Global Opportunities

The Awakening of Private Label in Italy

Private label is on the rise in Italy. After a long period of negative perception, consumers are getting more and more acquainted with private label products especially for mass-distributed food. The Swiss Business Hub Italy has begun to study the overall private label sector with the aim to find opportunities for Swiss food exporters.

Private Label in Italy

Export perspective

Among European countries, private label has the smallest share in Italy, according to the latest PLMA’s 2020 International Private Label Yearbook. The same study however shows that the volume is increasing year by year.

According to an analysis by Euromonitor, one of the key reasons for this belated awakening of interest in private label in Italy was partly due to a false negative perception and to the complex Italian retailing structure. The highly fragmented sector created issues in stock management. In order to free their stock and improve rotation, retailers had to run dramatic promotions that made private label products less attractive since branded goods were sold at similar prices.

The rise of discounters in Italy has offered the basis for a new positive consumer perspective on private label. Consumers have seen that these products can be considered good value for money. Eurospin is a good example of this sort of success. It follows the Swiss example of local sourcing and strong private label branding.

Euromonitor foresees continuous growth for the future due to the new positive perception of consumers and more frugal consumer spending initiated by the economic crisis.

Positive trends for the future

In 2019, sales of mass consumer goods (mostly food related) increased once more. Growth of about 2 percent was registered, whereby weak prices have been partly responsible for the sustained demand. The private label sector is in fact growing at a faster pace than the rest of the market, with an actual market share of 22.3%.

All of the segments of the private label business in Italy have contributed to the positive performance. The premium and specialist ranges are particularly dynamic:

  • Premium +13%
  • Organic/Ecological +8%
  • Functional +8.5%

Organic and “free from” are the segments with the highest growth expectations, so this is the sectors in which Swiss companies may want to concentrate.

Thanks to the very positive perception “Made in Switzerland” enjoys in Italy, there may be interesting opportunities for those companies in the organic and overall sustainable industry offering their private label products and solutions. The Swiss Business Hub Italy is happy to discuss and explore opportunities which best suit your business.

The Italian market may offer a wide spectrum of opportunities, not only for exports of Swiss goods, but also to identify new partners especially in the white labeling area of the food sector.

MARCA – the biggest event for private label in Italy

In order to create opportunities for Swiss companies, the Swiss Business Hub has decided to join the biggest event in Italy for private label, MARCA.

For 16 years, MARCA has been a reference for producers and customers in the private label sector with a specific focus on food. The 2021 edition will also for the first time offer a digital business match platform with the aim of easing business opportunities for interested companies.

More than 900 companies exhibited at the physical edition in January 2020. The presence of all the major mass retail buyers is particularly interesting. The platform is also open to international business as it features buyers and companies from all over the world.

MARCA can be seen as a hotspot for sourcing new partners thanks to the excellent positioning of Italian producers in the food industry. It is also a perfect platform for producers thanks to the excellent reputation that Made in Switzerland enjoys, especially when it comes to specialty food. As a matter of fact, the next edition will devote much greater attention on the “free from” and “rich in” food segments.

For the March 15–25 digital edition, the Swiss Business Hub Italy is offering special packages to a limited number of companies. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us and discuss your attendance at the event.

More Information 

Export to Italy

Would you like to explore your business opportunities in Italy without any obligations? Contact Beat Kuster today to discuss your export project. At Switzerland Global Enterprise, we offer you initial free country consultations, prepare detailed market and competition analyses according to your needs, support you in your search for the right business partner, and inform you about legal regulations.


Read more
Recommend us
How should we contact you?

Premium Partner

Strategic partners

Institutional partner

Official program