Sales of Italian meat and cured meats dropped 3.3% year-on-year in 2020 to €8.23 billion, according to the latest data presented by Assica.
This decline was driven by the closure of the HoReCa channel and restrictive measures taken due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a negative effect on exports.
Production of cured meats fell by 7.1% to 1.09 million tonnes, while the production value dropped by 3.6% to €7.92 billion.
Exports of Italian deli meats dropped in volume (-7.2%) to 170,137 tonnes, but increased in value by 2.5% to €1.62 billion.
Recovery In Demand
While exports to the EU-27 and third countries were both affected, a recovery in demand in the US resulted in volume and value growth in the last quarter of the year.
The closure of the HoReCa channel had a significant impact on fresh meat and cold cuts consumption, but sales in large-scale retail outlets increased, with huge peaks in the first weeks of the virus outbreak.
While this trend slowed down gradually, purchases in large-scale retail outlets remained higher than in the previous year.
Cooked ham continued to be the most consumed product in Italy, with a 27.2% share of the total cured meats segment, followed by raw ham (21.8%), mortadella/wurstel (19%), salami (8.1%), and bresaola (2.5%). Other cured meats accounted for 21.3% of the share.
Assica has also launched a three-year promotion campaign, co-financed by the EU, Trust Your Taste, Choose European Quality, aimed mainly at a number of European countries, including Belgium.
Belgium is currently the third leading export market for Italian deli meats, with 7,489 tonnes of exported products going there, worth €96.2 million.
In the first two months of 2021, Belgian demand for Italian deli meats recorded a 12.1% growth in volume and 8.8% in value.