MARCABYBOLOGNAFIERE 2020: a +28% increase in the number of professional operators; +21% in the number of exhibiting companies and +19% in exhibition space.

27 Jan 2020

Double the number of foreign operators attended the event while the number of meetings between exhibitors and foreign buyers increased fourfold.More than 90% of exhibitors have already confirmed their attendance at the 2021 edition.

The 16th edition of MarcabyBolognaFiere, the exhibition and conference dedicated to Private Label Products and organised by BolognaFiere in collaboration with ADM (the Italian Grocery Retail Association), concluded having fully achieved the expectations of its success.

The results, following the two days of the event, show significant growth across the board, with particularly visible increases in the number of professional operators taking part (+28% increasing from 11,177 last year to 13,032 in 2020) and an increase of +21% in the number of exhibitors, all of which took place in an exhibition space that was 19% greater than the space at last year’s event.

These increases were in line with the growing reputation of the event as a platform and meeting place for the entire production chain of Private Label Products and the growth that is now a distinguishing feature of the sector; this trend was further highlighted in the 16th MarcabyBolognaFiere Report that analysed the performance of the sector over the last year in order to asses the role of Private Label products and how they are perceived by consumers.

The study confirmed that the market share of private label products is now stable and above 20%, growth in this segment represents 30% of the growth in the entire Italian food industry in the domestic market over the last 16 years; forecasts for 2019 have also been achieved as revenues reached around 11 billion euros.

The new features introduced for this edition were also received favourably by both exhibitors and professional operators visiting the event. These innovations included the new layout that assigned a specific area (of 3,500m2) for the non-food sector, and MARCA FRESH, the space reserved for the sector of fresh produce that saw the segment of fresh fruit and vegetables take centre stage, and the new Satellite fair, organised in pavilion 28, which focused on some particularly pertinent issues such as traceability, digital industry, blockchain, organics, free-from products, with an innovative and smart format that included a schedule of in-depth, specialist meetings.

The actions aimed at an ever closer dialogue with international markets led to an increase in the number of foreign buyers, with trade delegations from 32 countries, more than 4,000 planned meetings took place between exhibitors and foreign buyers during the two days of the Fair as part of the International Buyers’ Lounge. Key to the activities of internationalisation was the collaboration with ICE/ITA, the Italian Trade Agency.

The event saw the morning of 15 and 16 January dedicated to two conventions: the Opening convention “The contribution of Private Labels to the challenge of sustainable development and the country” organised by The European House-Ambrosetti in collaboration with ADM (the Italian Association for the Grocery Retail industry), and the presentation of the 16th MarcabyBolognaFiere Report on the evolution of private label products in Italy – Case histories on the topic of sustainability (the experience of international Grocery Retail), organised by BolognaFiere and ADM, in collaboration with IRI and IPLC (International Private Label Consult).

Both of these events highlighted the growth of Private Label products, analysing also the key role of sustainability (understood in its broadest sense: from packaging to energy saving, promoting short supply chains to strategies for finding second lives for unsold products…). The discussion highlighted how much the sustainability factor has become strategic for national development but also highlighted the strong relationship Private Labels are developing with those consumers that are particularly attentive to ethical and environmental factors, who may see their values reflected by some of the large grocery retail groups.

Speaking on the topic via a live video link on the opening day was the Minister of Agricultural Policy, Teresa Bellanova. Ms Bellanova drew attention to the initiative by ADM, the associate members of which by 2021 will require all of their direct suppliers of agricultural produce to join the “Rete del lavoro agricolo di qualità” (Network of quality agricultural work) and ensure that, in turn, their Grocery Retail partners across their supply chains ensure that their own suppliers sign up to the network. “Your decision to promote the participation of agricultural companies in the Network of quality agricultural work can represent an important opportunity,” announced Bellanova. “Your contribution will be decisive. Distribution that is attentive to its suppliers, attentive to economic, social and environmental sustainability is one of the cornerstones on which change can be constructed.” The convention also included the speech by the Undersecretary of State for Economic Development, Alessia Morani, and a message of support from Minister of Economic Development Stefano Patuanelli.

Finally, there was also significant participation in the other conventions in the schedule which developed the common focus of the Fair (sustainability) with dedicated in-depth sessions that included events on: the importance of certifications in the free-from segment and standards for Private Labels; Cosmetics and Grocery Retail; trends and responsibilities; the role of packaging in the environmental sustainability of Grocery Retail; the Future of Private Labels in the Wine industry; today, tomorrow and abroad; Packaging Design; Innovation and Sustainability for products and processes; Blockchain for the organic sector; Organic: the right price? The multiple organic production chain and technology to provide guarantees for the market and consumers.

Offline media, radio, television, online and social channels paid special attention to the Fair this year, communicating the content and promoting the initiatives of the event with specials and in-depth reporting.

MarcabyBolognaFiere has already announced to the business community the dates for next year’s edition (13 and 14 January 2021), which will propose new initiatives as well as confirming the continuation of the dedicated non-food area (particularly appreciated by operators and exhibitors, many of whom have already requested larger stands) and further editions of Marca Fresh and Marca Tech.


Communication and External Relations Manager BolognaFiere SpA
Isabella Bonvicini, tel. +39 051 282920 – cell. +39 335 7995370 –

Press Office BolognaFiere SpA
Gregory Picco, tel. +39 051 282862  – cell. +39 3346012743 –