The Italian economy has entered a new phase of growth, not least in the luxury and Made in Italy sectors.
In March, Campari bought Grand Marnier. A month earlier, Lavazza acquired Carte Noire, France’s num-ber one coffee brand. In October 2015, Italian group Sambonet Paderno Industrie SpA, purchased French Limoges porcelain manufacturer Raynaud and silverware company Ercuis, a member of the Comité Colbert, a body of 75 of France’s super luxury brands. Italy is coming out of a long period of lethargy, having been in recession since 2012, and is moving into winning mode as gradual growth is being recorded. The figures speak for themselves: 0.8% in 2015 and between 1.3% and 1.5% for 2016. And benefiting greatly from the upturn are all the sectors representing Made in Italy excellence on the international market.
Bulgari set to open a 12,000m2 factory
In the jewellery sector, Bulgari is building a factory of epic dimensions. In its latest press release, the LVMH-owned brand announced plans to reorganise its production in the early second half of 2016 and make the new site “the biggest jewellery factory Europe”. Fashion is buoyant too; in 2014, the sector recorded a global turnover of around €52.4 billion and growth of 2.7%. A further increase of 3.8% is expected for 2015. Bearing out this healthy situation, the 2015 edition of Milan Fashion Week in Septem- ber had a real sense of recovery in the air, with a programme of 70 catwalk shows and 83 showroom presentations, an increase of 24% compared with 2014. Andrea Illy, president of the foundation Altagamma – the Italian equivalent of the Comité Colbert – is riding the wave of success by launching a project this year that should lead to the opening of a higher education institute for the luxury sector. From 2018, 500 students a year will come out of the college located in Milan on the former site of the World Expo. The goal is to create an economic task force rooted in the country’s heritage.
Record year for the food industry
Heritage is another factor behind the good health of other markets such as fine food. 2015 was a year of records for the food industry, which achieved a turnover of €135 billion (+7%). A new generation of chefs, including Cristiano Tomei, Giancarlo Perbellini and Massimo Bottura, are flying the flag for this key area of Italian culture. As Sergio Lovrinovich, editor of Guida Michelin Italia, explains, “The current vita-lity ties in perfectly with the principles of our cuisine: conviviality, fondness for terroir, quality ingredients and family traditions. In a word: passion.”