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Marchio di Ospitalità Italiana

Italian Chocolate, love at first sight

The Aperitivo della Camera of last February, organized during the Valentine's Day week, has celebrated chocolate. Italy has always occupied an important position in trade with Japan regarding chocolate: it is the fifth largest exporter in Japan after the US, China, Belgium and France, reaching in 2013 imports for 1,909,924 kg with an increase of 280% from 2009 values.

This confirms the importance of the Japanese market for this industry which - notwithstanding reports stating that consumption indicators are lower than those of the US and other European countries - has a market value of 500 billion yen, 10% just for sales recorded during Valentine.

From this point of view, it is good to note that in the Japanese version of Valentine’s Day, women buy and give chocolate for male acquaintances. Men will have occasion to return the favor in fact exactly one month after Valentine's Day - which is called White Day and certainly represents another important opportunity for distributors. Also worth mentioning is the important role played by department stores such as Isetan and Mitsukoshi-Takashimaya, which as soon as mid-January devote entire floors to chocolate either as a gift or in the form of DIY ingredients, molds and decorations.

As far as foreign brands are concerned, Salon du Chocolat, one of the most important international events in the chocolate industry, plays an important role. Organized for the first time in Paris in 1994, now includes a Japanese festival that begins in mid-December, featuring a series of events dedicated to culminate later in a fair lasting 5 days towards the end of January.

During the cocktail Valentine, the Italian brand of chocolate presented by ICCJ were:


Amedei was founded in 1998 by Cecilia Tessieri. After an apprenticeship period in France, Belgium and Germany, she became maitre chocolatier and founded the brand Amedei, "mixing cocoa and expertise so as to revolutionize the way you create chocolate".


Roberto Catinari, known as the guru of chocolate, is 78 years old and features a long white beard. He founded his workshop in 1974 after an apprenticeship in Switzerland, and is now recognized as on of the leading master chocolate makers in the Tuscan chocolate valley. "Years of work with the same craftsmanship for each creation to allow Roberto Catinari to consistently provide a product of absolute quality, known and appreciated by a growing number of loyal customers and fans of the good."


The brand Majani was born in 1796 in Bologna with the "Laboratory of Sweet Things", a small workshop run by Teresa Majani. Official supplier of the Royal House of Savoy, Majani enjoys an ever wider popularity to its acme in 1911 with its “cremino FIAT”, created for an advertising campaign for the launch of a new car model. "Majani combines tradition and technology, combining craftsmanship with manuals robotics last generation".


Caffarel was born in Turin in 1826 by Pier Paul Caffarel. The symbol of Caffarel is undoubtedly the Gianduiotto, created for the first time by Michael Prochet wisely mixing cocoa and sugar with Langhe hazelnut, and whose production began in 1865. The name comes from Gianduia, the traditional carnival mask from Turin.


Now managed by Danielo, Stefania, Leonardo and Benedetta, Vestri is one of Italy’s finest chocolate makers. Also coming from Tuscany, Vestri was founded over thirty years ago, with a focus on total control of production and quality. Cocoa beans come from Santo Domingo (with an own plantation) to be transformed entirely by Vestri.

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