As part of The Extraordinary Italian Taste consumers’ awareness campaign, launched by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Economic Development in North America with the objective of promoting and enhancing Italian products through the diffusion of a greater knowledge on their specific characteristics and their authenticity, with reference both to their places of origin and their nutritional aspects, the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce, Southeast participated in the 81st Florida Food and Nutrition Educational Symposium and Exhibition (FL FANS) that took place in Tampa, on July 25 and 26, 2016.
Organized by the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the state’s largest organization of nutrition professionals (more than 3,000 members), the Symposium saw the attendance of 600 + of its members to obtain continuing education credit and visit the exhibits to learn about new products and services.
Highlighting the traceability, quality control, and certifications of Italian products, The Extraordinary Italian Taste aims at educating American consumers on how to identify a genuine product in order to make informed purchases and enjoy the best quality goods.
Not only was the Italy- America Chamber of Commerce, Southeast one of the exhibitors of the symposium, representing The Extraordinary Italian Taste campaign with a booth on its own, but it also organized an educational class on the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet and the connection between the territory and the quality of the products. The class, with an attendance of nearly 70 nutrition professionals, promoted the Mediterranean Diet as a genuine and a nourishing diet that contributes to leading a healthy lifestyle and overall physical wellbeing, as well as educated an audience of professional nutritionist and dieticians on the authenticity of Italian food products.
Italy is the European country with the largest number of DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) and IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) food products recognized by the European Union: a proof of the excellent quality of the Italian products, and above all, of their strong bond to their territory of origin.
A food heritage unique in the world for breadth, variety and quality excellence that claims:
- 275DOP (Protected Designation of Origin), IGP (Protected Geographical Indication), STG (Traditional Specialty Guaranteed) products;
- 523DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin), DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin), IGT (Indication of Geographic Distinctiveness) products.
Regrettably, every year about 54 billion Euros ($58.8 billion) are spent by consumers around the world to buy products with images and brands that evoke Italy, but are not actually related to the authentic Made in Italy production, a figure that is more than twice as much as the export value of the real Italian food products. If we focus on the North America market, only one product out of ten is an authentic Made in Italy, and the estimated damage caused to Italian companies by the so-called Italian Sounding phenomenon reaches 27 billion Euros ($29 billion).
“The Extraordinary Italian Taste” brand and the North America consumers’ awareness campaign were launched with the specific objective of putting a stop or at least stemming the spread of Italian food products imitations, as well as promoting the authentic Made in Italy under one brand.
The Italy- America Chamber of Commerce’s participation at the symposium representing The Extraordinary Italian Taste campaign was undoubtedly a success. The project excited curiosity, interest and approval among the numerous exhibit booth visitors and educational class attendees, receiving accolades from many of the nutrition professionals present.