Italian hard and fine-grained cheese Grana Padano saw growth in production, exports and consumption in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grana Padano was once again the most consumed PDO product in the world, with 5.25 million wheels produced, or 2.2% more than in 2019.
Of the total, 2.11 million wheels, or 41%, were exported (+3.4%), with Europe consuming almost 84% of Grana Padano PDO exports (+4.98%).
Germany consolidated its position as the leading export market, with a total of 567,028 wheels, up 7.18% compared to the previous year.
France was second with 242,586 wheels (+4.74%), followed by the Benelux countries, with 166,734 wheels (+3.80%).
The US dropped to fourth position, with 152,667 wheels (-8.91%), due to the effects of tariffs. The UK saw imports up 9.81% with 146,206 wheels.
In Italy, 2.9 million wheels were sold in 2020 as retail consumption grew by 6.4%, and by 1.5% in other channels.
At-home consumption compensated for the closure of the HoReCa channel, both in Italy and abroad.
As part of its 2021-2024 strategic plan, the Consorzio Tutela Grana Padano aims to increase consumption from a minimum of +11% to the desired +24%, exceeding six million wheels produced by the end of 2024.
According to director general Stefano Berni, the key buzz words for the consortium in the next four years will be "environmental sustainability, animal welfare and healthiness".
Together with KPMG, the consortium will also explore new opportunities to continue to grow sales and therefore production while respecting product quality and the welfare of the environment and the entire supply chain.