The Italian distillery industry is a small market, but one that has experienced significant growth in recent years.

Thanks to the constant work of experts and enthusiasts, today craft distilleries are a strongly rooted reality in Italy: the market has grown by 25% over the last 3 years, offering an increasingly wide range of products.

Among the most representative beverages, it is impossible not to mention gin, whisky and grappa, which have always been an essential part of Italy’s food and wine heritage.

What are the characteristics that make the offer unique? And how can companies aim to grow?

Settore distillatorio/ Italian distillery industry

High quality, small companies and an eye for sustainability

Among the factors that distinguish the sector, there is certainly the high quality of the offering. Attention to detail at every stage of the production process has enabled many companies to establish themselves on international markets.

The phenomenon closely concerns products such as gin: there are over 200 specialised labels active in Italy. This is a real boom, thanks to the continuing success of this drink all over the world.

The Italian offer stands out in this field thanks to its raw materials, which are unique in terms of taste and organoleptic properties.

The production of single malt scotch whisky, once considered a niche product and now increasingly appreciated by consumers, is also at the forefront. Its rediscovery in the last 10 years has been accompanied by that of rum, whose production has seen recent growth in Italy.

It is impossible not to mention grappa, the jewel in the crown of Italian spirits, the fruit of centuries of a tradition today kept alive by more than 100 specialised distilleries.

The creators of this revolution in the sector are above all small businesses, sometimes really microscopic: today over 80% of Italian companies have fewer than 10 employees. The percentage rises to 95% if we consider companies with fewer than 50 employees.

The data show a sector characterised by a strong artisan spirit, which also includes environmental sustainability among its strong points. The raw materials used are often derived from wine-making waste, and the residues can be used for the production of biogas and biomass.

Italian craft distilleries: a steady growth

The most recent data available on Distillerie.it describes the continued growth of the sector, even in the first quarter of 2021.

The year 2020 was a complex one for companies, with declining orders and cancellation of events such as trade fairs: however, the same period seems to have offered new opportunities for companies.

More and more consumers have turned to high quality products, driving the recovery of a sector that is now looking to the coming months with renewed enthusiasm.

In Italy, between January and March of this year, 58% of companies saw an increase in revenues, thanks in part to the contribution of digital channels. E-commerce is now a fundamental ally for the world of distillation, able to strengthen the commercial strategies of companies.

Now more than ever, giving continuity to this path of development means adopting new strategies that do not only include marketplaces and online sales.

Very often, in fact, the small distilleries that populate the market struggle to identify the right people with whom to build valuable relationships: one example is importers, who are essential for the internationalisation of companies.

Knowing where those most suited to manufacturers’ needs are concentrated is essential for those who have made quality a daily practice.

Market analysis answers questions that companies often struggle to answer, especially if they are engaged in the marketing of niche products: this is a fact for many craft distillers, who are called upon to choose new solutions to give their products the right visibility.

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