It is an ambitious project as for the first time 15 Sicilian leading businesses in the agri-food sector have come together under the same brand to conquer the shelves of large-scale retail shops in the USA, the first purchaser of agri-food products in the world. The project Gustoso Sicilian Food Excellence is the medium to bring 30 lines of Gustoso-branded products to the USA. What is innovative is that some businesses have pooled together and created a common brand, the Gustoso Sicilian Food Excellence, to enter the American market.
A common brand allows combining the required standards to the capacity to meet the consumer demand for these products. Also, investing on a brand means to provide certainties and protection to consumers and to be well equipped to meet the challenges of international markets by launching a well-customised marketing campaign involving promotion, advertisement and development of the common brand activities. The network is the most accomplished tool to share both risks and costs and also opportunities and advantages since the businesses that have joined the network share strategic assets by exchanging goods and services and good practices.
The idea of creating a business network to ‘attack’ the US market has been cleverly outlined by Daniele Cipollina, the founder and chairman of the business network.
The 15 companies of the network have been selected and involved due to the following characteristics: traditional and unspoilt products, links to the production area, family history and tradition in the field. The businesses will benefit of scale economies and solutions, tools and benefits to achieve a status on the US market.
The business network will rely on the Gustoso Import Promotion USA, a joint venture company between Gustoso Export Promotion Italia and IBS North America (International Business Strategy provides strategic consultancy especially in the field of internationalization of companies aiming at consolidating their presence in the vast and complex American market).
The Gustoso Import Promotion USA will be in charge of receiving, stocking, delivering, tracking orders and billing all goods on behalf of clients. It will also deal with all import paper-work and will help the businesses to comply with FDA standards for more complex products such as preserves, cheese and all food preparations which need to be licenced to enter the USA market. It will also build the selling network in the USA by including independent representatives or distributors.
The Gustoso Import Promotion USA will initially organise product tests. After the initial test, follow the marketing and selling tests in order to control risks and limit investments to reach regional and national networks.