When you browse around your local supermarket, you may see a label appear on a lot of products that come from Italy:
Made in Italy.
We’re not talking about a random claim by a manufacturer here. Made in Italy is organisation that’s dedicated to ensuring consumers get their hands on legitimate Italian products. That means you can feel more confident in the product if you see the organisation’s specific mark printed on it.
Now, the Made in Italy organisation covers several aspects of Italian industry. These include food and fashion. But it’s Italian wine, as always, that will be the focus of our article today. We contend that wine may be the most important product to carry the label, for a number of reasons. But before we get into those, let’s look at who Made in Italy are and why they’re important.
What Does Made in Italy Do?
As a brand, Made in Italy has existed since 1980. And the reasons for it were pretty clear. With so many amazing products coming out of Italy, manufacturers wanted a way to assure consumers that they were getting the real deal. After all, any popular product is prone to forgers who create knock-offs. We’ve seen it with Italian wine, where counterfeiters cost the industry millions each year as well as making products that are dangerous for consumers.
However, we also see it in fashion. Many a street hawker will try to sell you “genuine” Italian garments that turn out to be cheap knock-offs.
So, Made in Italy as a stamp is intended to ensure that you’re getting the best of Italy when you pay for it.
And as a brand, the label is intended to continue the association between Italian products and the idea of luxury. Make no mistake about it, branding is a big part of what Made in Italy does. While ensuring consumers get what they paid for is important, the organisation also wants to support Italian manufacturers and create a certain sense of experience around the products that they create.
Since its conception, Made in Italy has become one of the country’s most important certifications. So much so that the organisation receives special protection from the Institute for the Protection of the Italian Manufacturers. After all, both organisations have the same goal, even if Made in Italy is a little more marketing-focused.
Of course, we’ve seen plenty of “Made in…” labels before. For example, American manufacturers are keen to point out that their products are “Made in the USA”. But it’s in the definition of “Made in” that Italy and other countries differ.
Let’s stick with the United States as an example.
A product from the United States can carry the “Made in the USA” label if “all or virtually all” of its manufacturing steps occur in the country. It’s the “virtually” that’s the point of contention here. This means that there’s some flexibility involved, which means some “Made in the USA” products aren’t entirely made in the country.
Italy’s language is very different.
To carry the Made in Italy certification, a product must be “totally” made in the country. That means 100% of all product planning, manufacturing, and even packaging must occur in Italy.
These stringent standards may seem a little harsh. However, they also ensure that quality is the key focus for the Made in Italy brand. If a product carries the label, you know that it hasn’t touched another country until it arrived wherever it’s getting sold.
So, with that being said, why is wine such an important product for Made in Italy. After all, it doesn’t have its own category, seeing as it falls under the Food category.
We can think of a few reasons.
Reason #1 – Wine Makes Huge Amounts of Money
Italy is one of the biggest exporters of wine in the world, with only France competing with it for the top spot.
In fact, figures from 2018 show us that Italy exports at least $7.3 billion worth of wine every year. And that’s not counting all of the wine that’s sold to people in the country.
Simply put, Italian wine makes a lot of money for Italy. And that means the wines that carry the Made in Italy stamp make the associated organisation a lot of money too. Made in Italy relies on the Italian wine industry to produce quality products. And the industry relies on Made in Italy to certify that these wines meet certain standards.
As such, there’s a symbiotic relationship here that is beneficial to both parties.
Reason #2 – When You Think Wine, You Think Italy
Made in Italy represents four major industries:
Each has its own brands that are popular on the global stage. But if you ask somebody what product they think of when they think about Italy, they’re not likely to say vehicles or furniture. And only the fashionistas will say fashion.
Most regular people will say food.
Italy is famous for its pizza, pasta, and so many other culinary delights. But it’s with its wine that the country stands out. If there’s one product that defines Italy, it’s wine. That’s why so many producers take such great pride in their products. They know that they’re contributing to an industry that has hundreds of years of history. Plus, every bottle of wine is a representation of the region from which it came.
Made in Italy has such close links to wine because it’s wine that most people think of when they think of Italy.
The Final Word
Made in Italy does a lot of amazing work for all of the industries that it represents. But there’s no denying that the Italian wine industry is one of the most important of those industries.
We recommend that all international buyers look for the Made in Italy stamp on their wines. It’s the only way to feel certain that the wine was entirely made in the country.
And of course, you’ll find plenty of Made in Italy wines in the Xtrawine store.
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