Italy’s Consorzio Parmigiano Reggiano has signed a distribution agreement with Whole Foods Markets (WFM), valid in the US, Canada and the UK.
The agreement, signed with the US-based retail chain, will give the Consortium an increased presence in 487 stores in the US, 14 in Canada and seven in the UK.
These three countries are in the top five largest importers of Parmigiano Reggiano in the world: the US (10,439 tonnes) is the second biggest export market after France, the UK (6,940 tonens) is the fourth, followed by Canada (3,030 tonnes) in fifth place.
According to the agreement, the Austin-based retailer will develop a number of in-store activitations to increase sales and, at the same time, to offer an adequate positioning for Parmigiano Reggiano.
WFM will organise two events a year, providing information to consumers on product quality and helping them distinguish Parmigiano Reggiano from similar products.
In a related development, the Consortium has identified a recent case of PDO violation, this time no less than in the Selfridges department store in London, reports La Repubblica.
The product in question is 'Grated Italian-Style Parmesan' which, on its back label, mentions 'Handmade in London' as its area of origin.
These indications allowed the Consortium to intervene to withdraw the product from the market.
The Consortium carries out over 2,000 inspections every year in 61 towns and cities in 27 foreign countries to identify cases of potential counterfeiting of the PDO product.
Meanwhile, the Consortium is forecasting a moderate increase in production in 2020, with volume set to increase to 3.78 million forms.
Record revenues of €41 million are forecast, compared to €38.3 million in 2019, while €27 million (compared to €22.4 million in the 2019 budget) will be invested for promotional activities both in Italy and abroad.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.