How Pasta Transformed from An Italian Icon to A Global Dish

The Pasta sector has always occupied a leading place at TUTTOFOOD. Also during the next edition, to be held in conjunction with HostMilano in Fieramilano from October 22 to 26, producers and distributors of the sector will meet in the dedicated TUTTOPASTA area, according to a TUTTOFOOD press statement.

In 2020, Italian exports of pasta and bakery products were characterized by a strong growth; the best results were recorded for the Italian province of Parma (+EUR43m to France), and, above all, for the territories of Naples, Avellino, and Campobasso to the US. It was already one of the most beloved dishes in the world. The lockdowns that made us spend more time at home, and prompted us to cook more, have further established it as the queen of the global tables. We are talking about pasta whose consumption has seen a boom in many countries in 2020.

Statista’s figures predict that, after touching USD123bn in 2021, global sales of pasta will continue to grow by 2.35% per year over the next four years. For the current year, the largest global market is expected to be China, which is worth almost USD25bn. On average, each global consumer eats 7.7 kg of pasta and spends USD16.30 on it. According to data from Unione Italiana Food – partner of TUTTOFOOD – 2020 was a golden year for both domestic consumption and exports. Over 50 million more packages were sold in the country, with peaks of around +40% in March and +10% between October and November, and exports grew by 16% to over EUR3.1bn. The US has become the world’s largest consumer of Italian pasta, thanks to a record +40%, overtaking France (+4.3%) and Germany (+16%). Great results also came from Great Britain (+19%) in spite of Brexit.

Italians: home-based, curious, and sustainable “pasta chefs”

The pasta was one of the favorites in the shopping cart during the 2020 lockdowns. The possibility of cooking more at home has undoubtedly strengthened the self-esteem of many Italians who have tried innovative recipes and products “different from the usual” continuing to feel like “home-based” chefs. There was a propensity to buy special products for gratification and enjoyment, cooking something new and experimenting with new dishes, also relying sometimes on deep-frozen fresh pasta, a practical alternative to the home-made one, that is still particularly appreciated for its appearance, flavor, and texture similar to the hand-made production. Deep-frozen fresh pasta has been very appreciated also internationally, thanks to its below-zero storage that allowed many production companies to cross the Italian borders, with the guarantee of exporting a product without preservatives, good and healthy.
But 2020 was not just the year of the pasta consumption boom. Even a niche product such as gnocchi experienced the changes of this unusual period, in a positive way. In addition to the timeless classic potato gnocchi combined with various sauces, the sector introduced alternative proposals: stuffed gnocchi.

New formats, therefore, are demanded by consumers who pay particular attention to different tastes and flavors, but also to packaging rewarding the most virtuous companies that present on the market recyclable and more sustainable ones.

At TUTTOFOOD 2021, held in conjunction with HostMilano at fieramilano from October 22 to 26, industry leaders will be the stars of the dedicated TUTTOPASTA area.

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