Italy, the home of opera and romance, is renowned across the world as having produced some of the best confectioners in history. Today, Italians continue to produce high-quality sugary treats, which are a pleasure to sell wholesale. Confectionery is a passion that I wholeheartedly share with the Italians, so here is my rundown of the country’s top brands.
The Nicest Nougat
Quaranta is an Italian supplier of wholesale confectionery with an impressive history. It was founded by the sweet-obsessed Quaranta family almost 100 years ago in Caravaggio. Some of the recipes developed by the original founders, Antonio Quaranta and his wife Alzira, are still in use today, such as their delicious almond nougat. Quaranta nougat is stuffed with hazelnuts or almonds, which are encased in a marbled crème filling. This brand’s products are a wonderful addition to any shop, as they store well. Despite being made without artificial colourings, palm oil or trans-fats, the individually wrapped nougat does not dry out or harden, meaning that they have a reliably long shelf life. They are also gluten free, making them ideal for customers with dietary requirements.
A stand-out product from Quaranta’s range is the 3 Tier Nougat Cake. This brilliant display piece holds ‘cake slices’ of three of the most sought-after flavours of the brand’s nougat. The top layer supports delicate, blush pink Four Fruits nougat studded with country berries, lemon, strawberries and other fruits. My personal favourite, the mouth-wateringly good mixed chocolate, sits in the middle, and is a great gift for chocolate lovers who are looking for something different. Last but certainly not least is the bright green and yellow of the tropical fruit layer, which is decorated with dried pineapple, papaya and cherries.
Venchi dates back to 1878 and was founded in the city of Turin, which is well-known for its creamy hot chocolate that first appeared in the city in the 1500s. This brand is dedicated to retaining traditional knowledge through the use of original recipes. Venchi is loyal to its roots, using high-quality and local produce, such as Piedmontese hazelnuts, and combining them with the finest cacao South America and Africa have to offer.
Venchi’s products are aesthetically pleasing and satisfyingly flavourful. A favourite of mine is their Chocolate Truffle Cigars. In the assorted collection, you receive beautiful cigar-shaped truffles that are packaged in a wooden crate in three truffle flavours: orange, nougatine with caramelised hazelnuts and dark New Guinea cocoa.
There must be something in the air in the Piedmont Alps, as another gem from Turin has made it onto my list of Italy’s best wholesale confectionery. My final pick are the beautiful sweets of Pastiglie Leone. Though this brand technically originated in Alba in the mid-nineteenth century, Pastiglie Leone moved to Turin soon after. Their candies are made with natural flavourings such as absinthe, propolis and anis, which reflect their heritage.
These Italian sweets come in pastel-coloured, individual tins as part of the Retro Chic Collection, with flavours ranging from liquorice to lemon to peppermint to violet. The delicate colours of the pastilles work in perfect harmony with the soothing pastels of the tins, which – by the way – make excellent counter displays.
Have I tantalised your taste buds? Then why not explore the flavours of Italy for yourself and for your customers by delving into our range of Italian wholesale confectionery?
Angelina Moufftard works for hf Chocolates, established wholesale confectionery suppliers with decades of experience supplying sweets and high-end chocolates to retailers across the UK. Working with the most dedicated suppliers from France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the USA and the UK, hf Chocolates' great tasting and beautifully packaged products add panache to any sweet display.