Exporting to Italy is a weekly occurrence for Supplement Factory. We have a warehouse and packing partner facility in the heart of Perugia that dispatches regular orders for us. In addition, we have our own sales and legal department in the region.
To sell a food supplement from another country into Italy online, you need not do much to get your sales rolling. Once you hit various fresh-holds you must consider registering for their version of sales tax (IVA).
Further to the above, anyone wishing to retail their products in stores must register the label of the product with the Ministry of Health, who are located in Rome. Once you have submitted your label, you can begin selling the product, although it must be noted that the Health Ministry may ask you to make changes to your labels to meet the local regulations as well as the EU guidance.
Local regulations will always prevail over the wider EU legislation.
Italians have a large appetite for food supplements. They have the largest volume of sales in Europe, with sales focused specifically on the well-being sector and VMS sector. Distribution is weighted in favour of pharmacy channels, where locals still seek the advice and consultation of pharmacists for health and nutrition needs.
More recently, as with most countries, sports nutrition has boomed with the fitness culture breathing life into the gym start ups and chains, thus the appetite for proteins and body building supplements has spread at a rapid rate.
With sports supplements expanding, so do online sales, as the Italians learn to trust the online methods of payment and get used to faster delivery times.
As with all EU countries, this desire to purchase goods online gives rise to the growing dominance of AMAZON, eBay and local Latin player, Privalia.
There are many contract manufacturers in Italy, since there is also a large industry for making pharmaceutical machinery in the Country. Using local supplement manufacturers is beneficial, but, we are seeing more direct orders for manufacture for multiple reasons.
Italian factories close in August for a period of 2 weeks for a national holiday called Ferragosto. Some factories are, in fact, closed for almost the entire month of August. As such, this causes business interruption for companies that cannot build their stock holding and supply chain needs around their complicated suppliers.
In modern Europe, factories work 12 months per year and often, if they’re extremely busy 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. This means that we are seeing a rise in enquiries from the Italian businesses that are trading supplements across the EU.
Beyond the above mentioned reasons for choosing UK manufacture, the UK is also a big market for Italian brands, this means that Italian companies also choose to manufacture their goods in the location closest to their fastest growing customer bases.