Spotlight: Italy’s confectionery market shows resilience, including within sector machinery exports

PISA/ITALY - 12/26/2017: Chocolate candies Ferrero Rocher. Golden wrappers. Chocolat with nuts. Golden, luxury delicious. Italian chocolate candy.

Italy’s confectionery industry has experienced disruption this past year amid the pandemic, as with markets around the world. But its sector equipment industry remains notably strong, reports Neill Barston

With Italy possessing links to some of the biggest names in the confectionery world, it’s little wonder it remains a nation with great affection for sweets and chocolate. The likes of Ferrero, which has its origins in the country, have shown a strong level of global expansion, including expanding into bar markets for the first time with its Rocher brand, reflecting a broader pattern of increased product consumption levels.

Other names traditionally associated with the country, including Perfetti Van Melle, Loacker wafers and Domori fine chocolate, have found their place among other major global brands such as Mars.

Notably, the country’s confectionery market has in recent years been valued at more than €5 billion, underlining its significance within the overall European segment. Furthermore, while it remains famed for its quality confectionery and ice cream, it has retained a strong manufacturing sector for packaging machinery for the confectionery and snacks sectors.

According to figures from UCIMA, the country’s equipment association, export sales of machinery in 2019 achieved record levels of €8 billion. Packaging machinery strength Despite such market challenges, a number of firms have reported strong fortunes, including packaging machinery group Cama, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary. A spokesperson for the company acknowledged that the industry was living through unprecedented times.

She said: “The demand in the food sector had an incredible peak in the pandemic’s first few months. These suddenly increased demands were initially used with the stock of products while the processing and packaging systems were upgraded.

“A survey carried out among our customers in different countries confirmed the need for technological updating of plants due to the greater need for production capacity both in terms of quantity and quality. “The market has sent important signals: the new dynamics of consumer demand required a redesign of the systems for the new packaging: more safety, more protection of food during production,” added the business, which believed there will be a greater requirement for future collaboration to develop future eco-friendly packaging and machinery solutions.

For its part, fellow Italian machinery business IMA has enjoyed a busy period in serving sectors including confectionery with its equipment ranges. The company has highlighted a core requirement for engaging online in recent months, with several key web-based presentations highlighting its present ranges.

This has included its Prexima series of tablet pressing machines, ranging from its 80 model for small batch production and R&D; the single-sided 300 series and 300T for medium production output; and 800 and 800T model for high output.

Among its other machinery for the industry are its GS coating equipment lines, vertical dosing and filling systems, multihead weighers, and primary packaging equipment. Meanwhile, Sacmi Packaging & Chocolate has continued its own production development amid the pandemic.

This month, it has unveiled its latest multi-style flat-base praline wrapping machine, the HY7, with a focus on high-speed and sustainable operating in response to market demands for greater productivity. According to the company, its latest range is capable of output rates as high as 700 pieces per minute, released under its longstanding Carle & Montanari name.

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