According to the Italian National Institute of Statistics, ISTAT, and Coldiretti (a national organisation of Italian producers), exports of Italian food of various categories increased dramatically over the festive period. Food exports from the country totalled approximately €3.5 billion in December 2019, signalling a 7% increase on the previous year.
The main products driving this surge were predictably those most associated with the holiday season – sparkling wine, confectionary, fresh-filled pasta (such as tortellini and cappelli), cured meats, and cheeses.
A festive tipple…
The export of sparkling wines, in particular prosecco, hit record highs with an increase of 4% on the previous period. Such an achievement comes amidst news that one of Italy’s top sparkling wine buyers, the UK, is seeing the first decline in demand for the fizzy stuff in five years.
No more Christmas Pudding?
Another seasonal product that experienced a hike in exports was confectionary, with an increase of 11%. Panettone and Pandoro proved particularly popular, continuing a trend that began well over a decade ago with many nations choosing to substitute their own Christmas cakes with Italian staples.
A thoroughly Italian Christmas…
Europeans also seemed to have picked up another Italian winter culinary tradition, that of eating a bowl of tortellini or cappelli in brodo. Exports of filled fresh pasta saw a jump of 8% in December – an increase comparable with that of cured meats and cheeses, which experienced a growth of 3% and 12% respectively.
…and a surprise in the stocking
Perhaps surprisingly, the success of Italian food over Christmas was also given a boost by the performance of Italian caviar overseas. Although caviar is more frequently associated with northern countries, the Italian region of Lombardy actually produces some very high quality caviar – it’s even been exported to the home of the luxury food-stuff, Russia.
While Christmas 2019 was a fantastic period for Italian food products, we expect 2020 to be even better. As many buyers start considering even now what to stock the festive shelves, be sure to get in contact with us and see if any of the producers we work with would be of interest to you.