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The artisanal gelato exceeds 10 billion euros for the first time in Europe. Gelato Day presents itself al Sigep 2024, amid record growth, innovation, and creativity

Countdown stars for the Twelfth Edition of the European Artisanal Gelato Day, which celebrates one of the most loved products of all time on March 24th every year, capable of generating a strong and growing business and supporting italian excellence in the Old Continent. At Sigep, the presentation of the next edition, the “Gelato d’Autore” contest, and the awards for the most creative gelato makers in Europe.

The 45th edition of SIGEP-The Dolce World Expo, the International Exhibition of Artisanal Gelato, Pastry, Artisanal Bakery, and Coffee by Italian Exhibition Group, scheduled from January 20 to 24 at the Rimini exhibition center, will be an opportunity to kick off the countdown to the twelfth edition of the European Artisanal Gelato Day, celebrated across the Old Continent (and beyond) on March 24th every year. Established by the European Parliament in 2012, Gelato Day is an important occasion to celebrate and promote artisanal gelato, a beloved product worldwide, representing a significant economic sector, confirming that the love for artisanal gelato knows no bounds. 

EUROPEAN SCENARIO. Artisanal gelato is a product found worldwide, but in Europe, it is an absolute protagonist. The Old Continent leads in both the number of gelato parlors – 65 thousand, employing around 300 thousand people – and consumption, with Italy leading the way (39 thousand points of sale, including over 9,300 gelaterias, 12,000 pastry shops, and around 18,000 bars offering artisanal gelato), followed by Germany (9,000 points of sale, including 3,300 gelaterias), Spain (2,200), Poland (2,000), Belgium (1,200), but there is also a significant presence in other countries such as England, Austria, Greece, and France. While last year saw a slight increase in the number of gelato parlors and sales volumes (+1% for both compared to 2022), 2023 will be remembered for the historical surge in revenue (+11%) that, for the first time, surpassed the 10 billion euro mark: last year’s turnover reached the record figure of 10.9 billion euros, a substantial increase compared to 9.83 billion in 2022 and 8.7 billion in 2021. The revenue growth is mainly attributed to the increase in prices (+10% in Europe) due to rising costs of agricultural raw materials such as milk, sugar, eggs, cocoa, and fruit in general, while the growth in the number of gelato parlors, tourist flows, and the duration of the season had a marginal positive impact. 

CONTEXT IN ITALY. Italy also experiences the same positive trend: the turnover in 2023 shows an 11% increase, reaching nearly 3 billion euros among gelaterias, pastry shops, and bars with gelato (compared to 2.7 billion in 2022, 2.3 billion in 2021, and 1.85 billion in 2020). Despite the contraction of Italians’ purchasing power, per capita spending on artisanal gelato has risen to approximately 43 euros, supplemented by spending from foreign tourists (about 2.5 euros per person), also growing in our country: +4% in the summer season, +13% throughout the year, with a particular increase in visits starting from August. There is also a positive sign for volumes, which, despite inflation and unfavorable climatic conditions, remained stable (+1% compared to 2022), providing hope for the future of the entire industry, which, as a whole (gelaterias, ingredients, machinery, equipment, display cases), is worth over 4 billion euros and employs more than 100,000 people. 

GELATO DAY AT SIGEP. To support and promote artisanal gelato and its important industry, Gelato Day will land at SIGEP, one of the most important meeting moments for industry operators. It starts on Saturday, January 20, at 4:30 p.m. at the Gelato Lab (Hall A7), where the “Gelato Day and Spring 2024 Gelato” meeting will take place, organized by Artglace and the Italian Gelato Association. Presenting the renewed twinning between these two events that aim to celebrate and promote the excellence of artisanal gelato will be: Hon. Mirco Carloni, President of the XIII Agriculture Committee of the Chamber of Deputies; Domenico Belmonte, President of Artglace; Claudio Pica, General Secretary of A.I.G.; Marco Cavedagni, President of Acomag; Carlotta Fabbri, President of the Gelato Products Group of UIF; Ferdinando Buonocore, President of the Comitato Gelatieri Campani; Vincenzo Pennestrì, President of the Italian Gelato Association; Valentina Sorgente, Exhibition Manager of Sigep – Italian Exhibition Group.

The absolute protagonist will then be the “Gaufre de Liège,” the Flavor of the Year 2024 chosen by Belgium, in the new “Gelato d’Autore” contest promoted by Artglace, G.A. (National Committee for the defense and dissemination of artisanal and self-produced gelato) and A.I.G. (Italian Gelato Association): on Monday, January 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the Artglace stand (No. 186, Hall A7), European gelato makers will compete with creativity by interpreting the official recipe of the Flavor of the Year 2024 (participation in the contest is free, the complete regulations are available on the Gelato Day website). The winners will be announced on Tuesday, January 23, from 2:00 p.m., at the Gelato Lab (Hall A7), where the awards ceremony for the third edition of the video contest that challenged master gelato makers from all over Europe with the Flavor of the Year 2023 “Apfelstrudel” will also take place. Announced last November during the MIG – International Gelato Show in Longarone, they secure a place on the podium: in the first position, the artisanal and natural gelateria “Burrocacao” in Imola, owned by the twins Elisa and Giulia Manara, in the second position, ex-aequo, Gelateria Perlecò in Alassio, Tenuta Chirico in Ascea (Salerno), and Gelateria Mil Sabores in Pontenure (Piacenza), while closing in third place, tied, are L’Arte del Gelato in Anzio Colonia (RM) and La Sorbettiera in Florence.

“Despite the challenges faced in 2023, our master gelato makers have shown extraordinary resilience and an unstoppable passion in pursuing excellence, achieving a historic result: a staggering 10 billion euros in turnover, tangible proof of their extraordinary dedication. Thanks to them, we face with optimism the countdown to the new edition of the European Artisanal Gelato Day.” – comments Domenico Belmonte, president of Artglace – “We invite all European gelato makers to join us in this edition, with Belgium as the protagonist, to promote and celebrate together the unique quality of artisanal gelato.”

All updates on the twelfth edition of Gelato Day are available on the website and on the official Gelato Day pages on Facebook (@24MarzoEuropeanGelatoDay), Instagram (@Gelato_Day), and YouTube ( All gelato parlors in Italy and Europe are invited to participate in the 2024 edition of Gelato Day by registering on the website and reporting all planned initiatives for March 24, 2024.