Year 20 No. 2 (2012): Issue 2/2012

Il sapore dell’ italia: i nomi delle marche alimentari pseudoitaliane in Germania

Published 10/10/2013

How to Cite

Rieger, M. A. (2013). Il sapore dell’ italia: i nomi delle marche alimentari pseudoitaliane in Germania. L’Analisi Linguistica E Letteraria, 20(2), 249–258. Retrieved from


Italian cuisine is famous and appreciated all over the world. To some people, its variety and lightness are expressions of the Italians’ proverbial joie de vivre, to others it simply recalls the sun, the sea and holidays. Of course, everyone agrees that Italian cuisine is a synonym of savouriness and quality.
As far as Germany is concerned, Italian gastronomy has a history of almost 60 years and an annual turnover that exceeds three billions euros. The overall success of the Italian way of eating can also be seen in supermarkets offering a wide range of typical Italian foods. There, in addition to the Italian BARILLA, BUITONI and LAVAZZA, one will find German brands like COMBINO, RIGGANO and BELLAROM. Their Italian sounding names clearly want to suggest an Italian origin of the respective products. Since Italian origin is a guarantee of savouriness and quality, German companies
try to make use of the so-called country-of-origin effect. The linguistic analysis of 41 Italian sounding brand names owned by German companies demonstrates that the naming strategies can be put down to just a few patterns. At first sight this seems to violate the marketing imperatives of
innovation and diversity. Yet, the names are perfectly functional: since they reflect the Germans’ idea of the Italian language – as demonstrated empirically – these names reach their main goal, i.e. they – and the respective products – are perceived as Italian. At the same time, the supposed Italian origin becomes a quality mark.