The artisanal gelato industry is worth 15 billion euros
To open a artisanal gelato shop in Italy, it can cost 120,000 euros or more. Annual earnings? In a mid-sized city, earnings can exceed 200,000 euros.
The popularity of Italian artisanal gelato is unstoppable. This success can also be seen in the recent proposal to recognize gelato with UNESCO cultural-heritage status, such as has happened with pizza and pasta. The research arm of Sigep, the international show focused on artisanal gelato, pastry goods and bread, estimates that the business exceeds more than 15 billion euros.
The second most important market is Germany with 9,000 gelaterias, including 3,000 artisanal ones. Rhineland is the region of Germany with the most gelaterias—an impressive 900—followed by 600 in Bavaria and 400 in Hesse. There are 300 in Lower Saxony and 80 in Berlin. Spain is the third most important market, followed by Poland. Demand for gelato is growing in Austria, France, Belgium and Holland, and it is ever more popular in Eastern Europe as well. Outside of the EU, there are 40,000 gelaterias throughout the world, with markets like Argentina, the United States and Brazil leading the way. The Far East is also showing positive signs when it comes to gelato with China leading the way, followed by Korea, Malaysia and Australia.
Italy is also the main producer of ingredients and mixes for gelato, with earnings that can reach 600 million euros. More than 40 companies dominate this segment withoverall turnover of 1.6 billion euros.
There is also the industrial segment of machinery with 13 companies that control 90% of the worldwide market. The total revenue for gelateria equipment and furnishings is 535 million euros.
A gelato shop can be quite profitable, with margins of around 60-70% on the product. However, if quality ingredients, like fresh milk and fresh seasonal fruit, are used, earnings decrease. Quality ingredients can lead to great returns, however, in terms of customer loyalty, in the medium turn.
“To open a shop, you’ll need 120,000 euros or more, and annual earnings can exceed 200,000 in a mid-sized Italian city,” says Stefano Guizzetti (in the photo above), founder of the Ciacco format, which includes three gelato shops—in Parma, Bergamo and Milan.
100,000 gelaterias throughout the world
60,000 gelaterias in Europe
39,000 gelaterias in Italy
15 billion euros of turnover worldwide (in 2016)
9 billion euros of turnover in Europe (in 2016)
2.7 billion euros of turnover in Italy (in 2016)
300,000 workers in Europe
150,000 workers in Italy
535 million euros of turnover in the industry for machinery and furnishings in gelato shops
90% of gelato machines are made in Italy