Pasta is the main Italian product that holds the Made in Italy flag in the world, high up and has done for many years. Thanks to the high quality standards and to the extraordinary appeal on foreign consumers, Italian pasta producing companies have exported 1.9 million tons of pasta in 2013 (+5.4% more than 2012 with an increase of 4% for a value of more than 2 billion euros. According to a survey made by Aidepi, the association of producers, export is about 60% of the production: a percentage that increases despite of the contraction of consumption in the national market that is 1% in terms of volume and -2% turnover. “We couldn’t think we were immune to the crisis virus – Riccardo Felicetti, President of the pasta makers’ section of Aidepi, declared recently.
Compared to the slump of other sectors, ours was contained. And export enabled our companies to maintain their production”. The countries to which we export the highest quantity of Italian pasta Germany is in first position as always with an increase of 4% in terms of volume and +5.5% in terms of value. Then come France, United Kingdom, USA, Japan and Russia.
Requests from Libya are also considerable having doubled the volume and the value compared to 2012. A result that reinforces the positive trend that began in recent years and that will continue also thanks to the new markets that come to know the sector: among them China and the United Arab Emirates that have registered an export increase of 33.6% and Brazil, first place in the Latin-American market, with an increase of 16%.
A growth that doesn’t have any intention of stopping. “There are wide spaces for growth for Made in Italy pasta on less mature markets – according to Felicetti – and I’m not only thinking about Asia, but also Central and South American countries and Eastern European ones as well. This is so true that people financing pasta factories are sure of this growth and of the return on their investments”. In fact, from this point of view, the Group has given funds to help Italian companies to conquer new markets: 5 million euros to the Rummo S.p.A. pasta factory in Benevento for its production and sales abroad, 2 million euros to the De Matteis pasta factory in Campania for a production line that will reinforce it in Europe, 1.2 million euros to Liguori in Campania to help with his requests from Japan, 4 million euros for an integrated short pasta line to the Ferrara Neapolitan pasta factory and lastly, 3.5 million euros to La Molisana to grow in North America, Russia and India and 3 million euros to Pasta Zara to renovate its plants in western Europe.
The signals coming from export highlight how pasta consumers are increasing even if it is virtually impossible to find a country that can aspire to reach our supremacy.
As shown in the graph, Italy is the first consumer in the world with its 26 kilograms of past per person per year. And this is no news. What is interesting is that it’s not the countries around Italy that come closest after it but the countries next in line are from a distance, Venezuela, Tunisia, Greece, and Sweeden with its 9 to 12 kilograms per person per year. Just underneath are the USA, Iran, Chile and Peru.
A curiosity: Aidepi and the Italian Consumer Union have created a new app called “la pasta” to let consumers know the qualities, the characteristics and the recipes on how to prepare this food king of the Mediterranean diet. “Making this app shows how close we are to consumers to help them choose and prepare one of the gastronomic symbols of Italy. Mario Piccialuti, director of Aidepi, declared that – “The quality, the image and the traditional and cultural values that pasta transmits, together with its healthiness and its undoubted versatility and extreme economic accessibility, make this dish a product in which Italian companies are leaders in the world for level and production, as evidenced by the always increasing appraisal of Italian pasta abroad”.