Food retail trends in Italy

Current Trends in Italy’s Food Retail Market

So how do Italians buy food, really? If you’re thinking of food markets in every town, brimming with people buying organic meat and vegetables directly from farmers, you may be in for a partial disappointment. In today’s Italy, most people buy their food at the supermarket.

That’s not to say that love for good food has disappeared. Modern life may be less bucolic, but supermarkets in Italy have come a long way in the pursuit of quality.

What an Italian supermarket looks like

At first glance, Italian supermarkets are very similar to any store in the UK. However, if you take a closer look you’ll notice that some products occupy a different amount of shelf space. For example, you could find:

  •  A limited choice of butter and a wider choice of olive oil
  • Lots of different brands of mineral water
  • Almost no presence of foreign wines
  • A wider choice of local ham and cheese
  • More calf and less lamb meat. Although less common, horse and rabbit can also be found.

At the same time, you could recognise many current food trends: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, organic, etc. Read more

food localisation strategy

A Primer on Food Localisation Strategy

The history of advertising is full of translation fails. Some of them are not completely true however, “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux” is often touted as a failed slogan translation. Legend has it that the Swedish vacuum manufacturer used it for a campaign in the US when in fact, the target was the UK market only. The agency that created it was from the UK, and the pun was intended.

However, real translation horror stories do exist. Like the one involving a Ford model named Pinto. After launching it in Brazil, Ford realised that Pinto in Portuguese is a slang term for penis.

When talking about food products in particular, getting your translations right will be the first step towards a successful launch into a new market, but it won’t stop there. To attract local consumers, there is a good chance you will have to adapt other elements of your brand, such as the logo, packaging design, product formulation and (if you have a bricks-and-mortar business) even store layout. This holistic approach is called localisation. Read more

BELFRIT Supplement Industry

Why the BELFRIT Project Is a Step Forward for the European Food Supplements Industry

You’ve probably heard of the Bendy Banana Law before: it’s an EU regulation that bans bananas that have a curvature beyond a certain standard. EU detractors have often used it as an example of how intrusive the European Commission can be in the lives of its member citizens.

Although this claim has been exaggerated (there is no ban for overly bendy bananas), there is indeed a regulation that sets specific quality standards for green bananas (colour, measurements, etc.) and restricts circulation of those with an “abnormal curvature.” The Bendy Banana Law is intended to replace national classification and grading systems by a common set of rules, resulting in a complex law for what you would think is a straightforward fruit!

Certain botanicals can be cures or poisons, too, which makes classification and application beyond colour, curvature or measurement more controversial. The law should protect consumers from ingesting harmful biotoxins – stating the obvious! – so how can we make clear rules for operators that want to inform consumers of the benefits that popular botanicals such as Aloe veraGinko biloba or Panax ginseng may have?

The clarity and vagueness of the EU law on food supplements

Foods are categorised by the role they play in our diets. Some countries classify foods with medicinal properties as food supplements, whereas others consider them medicines. According to Directive 2002/46/EC, the EU states that food supplements are “concentrated sources of nutrients or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect”, whose purpose is to “supplement the normal diet.” Read more

Food Packaging Translation - A Serious Business

Food Packaging Translation – A Serious Business Indeed

We place a vast amount of trust in the veracity of the information provided on food packaging. For those with food allergies, their lives can depend on the information that the packaging provides. For those who are dieting (whether for personal or medical reasons), ingredients and calorific values both have to be spot on. Then there are the cooking instructions – a mistake in the details of how to cook products such as pork or fish could have fatal consequences. That’s why there are so many rules and regulations around food labelling. It’s also why translating food packaging is such a serious business.

Food labelling – the legal context

Food labelling requirements differ from country to country. In the UK, the law requires that food and drink products must have labels that are permanent, easy to read and understand, easily visible and not misleading. The label has to include the name of the food, a ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date, quantity information and any necessary warnings.

These warnings include allergen information and a range of specific warnings relating to certain ingredients or preparation methods. For example, foods and drinks with more than 150 mg/l of caffeine must state that they are, “Not suitable for children, pregnant women and persons sensitive to caffeine.” Meanwhile, raw milk must state that “This milk has not been heat-treated and may, therefore, contain organisms harmful to health.”

Where a food product has two or more ingredients, these must be listed on the label, with the main ingredient first and the others following in weight order. Common allergens must be highlighted as part of the list. Read more

Translating Your Food Supplement Packaging

Translating Your Food Supplement Packaging: 3 Important Aspects to Consider

If you are a manufacturer of dietary supplements, functional drinks, or any other food with added health benefits, the whole world is now your potential marketplace.

Over the last few years, health-conscious consumers have fallen out of love with the idea of “dieting” and started to embrace an all over “healthy lifestyle”. The trend is set, and it’s already more than a fad: people want “real”, unprocessed food, possibly organic and sustainably farmed and they’re not afraid to take supplements to achieve optimum nutritional balance.

As a result, functional and fortified foods, dietary supplements and nutraceuticals are growing in popularity, and technology makes it easier than ever to export abroad.

Preparing your food supplement product packaging for a foreign market goes beyond translation. It’s also about making it fully compliant with local food regulations.

The first important distinction is whether the country you’re exporting to has a pre-market evaluation or not. In the US, for example, no approval is required to market food supplements. Manufacturers and distributors are responsible for their efficacy and safety. Canada, on the other hand, has a quite stringent pre-market approval process.

Whatever the case, translating your food supplement package correctly is something you’ll want to get right first time. Product recalls can happen anytime and for a variety of reasons: lack of ingredient compliance, misleading claims or incorrectly displayed labels.

Although regulations are always complicated for the uninitiated, here are three important aspects to consider when translating your packaging for a new market: Read more

Export packaging: does yours tick all the boxes

Export packaging: does yours tick all the boxes?

There’s no getting away from it: we live in a global marketplace. Despite some questioning the notion that globalisation is always for the common good, the vast majority of businesses will continue to look beyond their borders to grow revenues inline with their ambitions.

Once the preserve of big corporations, international trade is now so much more accessible, thanks to better communications, improved supply chains, faster payment infrastructures and, of course, the advent of e-commerce.

So it’s a particularly exciting time for SMES who, almost from the get-go, can start branching out and sell products overseas. However, increased opportunities like this usually come with increased challenges and risks. This is, perhaps, especially true for smaller companies which may not be as well prepared as their more established counterparts.

One such challenge is complying with the varied demands of food packaging regulations in all your target markets. Read more

Translating connected packaging

Connected Packaging: The Next Big Thing?

The increasingly complex challenges faced by today’s retail industry have been well documented of late – challenges which are often compounded when exporting.

Brands and retailers need to address rapidly changing consumer behaviours and expectations, as well as respond to the pressures of speedy delivery, regulatory demands and fluctuating exchange rates – just to survive in these unpredictable times.

So the search is on to identify and implement the very best of the latest innovative technology solutions – those which can be scaled up to suit international trading conditions and engage directly with consumers wherever they may be.

One of the routes currently being explored is connected packaging. Here at K International’s Retail Division, we can see some exciting potential uses for our clients, should this become accepted practice… Read more

15 Translation Resources for Retail Organisations

15 Translation Resources for Retail Businesses

Thanks to the close relationships we have developed with commercial brands, we have engineerd a set of proven localisation services specifically for the retail sector. Over the years we have gained an indepth knowledge of the retail sector and their translation requirements when it comes to getting products on shelf abroad.  While translation may only be a small part of the global sales process when viewed in isolation, its overall importance to the success of an international retail project cannot be underestimated . Here you can find 15 of our most popular retail translation focused resources, guides and articles that have been produced over the past few years. They will help to give you an understanding of the process of localisation and the role it plays in developing an international commercial business. Read more

Translating for luxury brands

Localizing Luxury Brands

China is now the world’s second largest consumer of luxury goods (USA is first, Japan is 3rd). As the world economy grows the centre of gravity of the global middle class shifts eastwards, with this shift your customers are changing, managing a luxury brand is not what it used to be.

The key to marketing a luxury brand is the considered and precise use of language to ensure that the target market is reached. Translating existing content with a full appreciation of the colloquial and cultural implications of the text is therefore vital to an effective expansion strategy.

The style and register is always paramount – never more so than when seeking to influence the purchasing intent of foreign markets. After all, if it was as simple as running the words through Google Translate there would be little need for a strategic multi-market plan. Irrespective of the product, service or demographic, in order to effectively promote on a multinational platform, it is therefore vital that the textual content is translated with a complete linguistic understanding of each specific market. Read more

Packaging regulation after Brexit

Translating packaging in a post-Brexit regulatory environment

After a stormy few weeks, the dust following the UK’s vote for Brexit is starting to settle. However, with the form that Brexit will actually take still unclear and much wrangling over the TTIP deal with the US still ahead, international trade is facing a period of uncertainty.  For industries as diverse as food and drink, pharmaceuticals and cars, this lack of confidence in what the future holds is affecting investment and, naturally, feeds into business decisions on launching products into international markets. Read more

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