Walmart signs own brands sourcing deal with Italian Trade Agency

ROME — The Italian Trade Agency and Walmart on Monday formalized a new agreement to promote Italian wine and food products through Walmart's own brand with products imported directly from Italy.

Exports of Italian food and wine to the United States reached $4.6 billion in 2016, up 4% from 2015, according to ICE. Ice cream (up 34.5%) was a big driver behind those sales as America's sweet tooth gravitated to more gelato offerings, but growth was also realized in the sale of Italian-sourced vegetables (up 9.2%), rice (up 8.8%), olive oil (up 6.6%) and wine (also up 6.6%).

The agreement, signed earlier in the week in Milan, Italy, by ICE president Michele Scannavini and Walmart's Silvia Kawas, dry grocery VP, is expected to increase the overall appeal for Italian products in the U.S.

The agreement is for one year with the possibility of renewal and includes the distribution of products through the Walmart retail network, which has more than 3,600 stores in the United States, as well as the creation of the Walmart brand Italian imports.

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