Italian food exports have seen record growth of 10% since the start of 2017, according to farmers' association Coldiretti, quoting data from Istat, the National Institute for Statistics in Italy.
Last year, the most popular Italian foodstuff abroad was wine, with a value of €5.6 billion, followed by fresh and processed fruit (€4.6 billion), fresh and processed vegetables (€3.7 billion), animal products, meats and processed meats (€3 billion), milk and derivatives (€2.7 billion), pasta (€2.3 billion) and olive oil (€1.2 billion).
Nearly two thirds of exports go to the EU (+6% year on year), but there has been growth across all major markets, from North America to Asia and Oceania. Russia saw a drop of 59%, but the value remains low because of the embargo affecting most food types, except wine and pasta.
The US, growing by 11%, is, by far, Italy's main market outside the EU, and the third in general terms, after Germany and France, and ahead of the UK.
However, Coldiretti warns that the success of Italian food exports could be impacted by new protectionist measures.
US president Donald Trump is reportedly considering 'blacklisting' certain EU products in response to the EU blocking US meat imports due to hormone treatment.
The blacklist is thought to include categories such as mineral waters, which had a US export value of €147 million in 2016, followed by peeled tomatoes (€78.9 million), fresh and chilled truffles (€9.7 million), chestnuts (€5 million) and chocolate bars (€1 million).
© 2017 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.