Production, distribution and consumption are usually described in managerial literature as equally strong, following the so-called theory of balancing powers. Actually, in Italy power has always been concentred in the hands of producers, whereas distribution looks archaic and fragmented and consumers are deprived of representative organisations. But this scenery is changing, getting more and more consumer-oriented (not just marketing-oriented). For the first time in history, we can remark a convergence of interests between
producers and consumers, as customer satisfaction emerges as the main competitive asset.