Marinated and pickled vegetables, as well as olives refer to a world of quality, practicality, versatility of use and, last but not least, typicality that is often associated with Italian products found abroad. Among the most appreciated products abroad are all the items that best represent Italian flavours and food culture. “The trends that we highlight on international markets,” says Marco Fraccaroli, CEO of F.lli Polli, “are linked to new food tastes such as organic and healthy. Even so, recipes with a strong gastronomic value are becoming increasingly more interesting. In other words, these are all products that exalt Italian excellence and trace the traditions of our country.” Natural, simple ingredients and everything that expresses conviviality and sharing have been confirmed as purchasing drivers overseas.
PICKLED VEGETABLES TRENDS
- The most popular Italian products in this category combine quality and a strong culinary tradition;
- Plenty of focus is also placed on their naturalness and versatility during social eating situations;
- More and more consumers are beginning to appreciate Italian olives thanks to their high quality;
- More demand for products that are part of the typical Italian ‘antipasto’ (starter): artichokes, grilled sweet peppers and sun-dried tomatoes.
ITALIAN PRODUCTS ARE IN GREAT DEMAND
Commercial Director at Pucci, Stefano Preda, declares that “In some countries that are close to our culinary characteristics the products are very versatile: from olives to appetizers, from pesto to artichokes, from mushrooms to bruschetta. In many cases, regional specialties are tested, too. In other countries the range is narrower and only comprises dried tomatoes, pesto and capers. In any case, we find that people are truly curious and more and more interested in experiencing something new.” The lion’s share, according to Preda, is covered by Italian olives, which are much appreciated as they are of a higher quality than the Spanish ones.
OLIVES, ITALIAN QUALITY DRIVES SALES
“Olives abroad,” explains co-owner of Ficacci Olive Company, Giuseppe Ficacci, “are sold in two categories, namely ‘grocery’ olives that are kept at room temperature in jars or in bags and ‘specialty – deli’ olives that are refrigerated and sold on trays and pails or at the deli counters. We oversee the second category and the trends are highly interesting. The western markets are mature, and the consumption of olives is consolidated and slightly growing. The eastern ones are less mature, but their growth rates are stronger.” While Ficacci presides over Northern Europe (the most important area for the company), there are increases particularly in Northern and Central America, as well as in South Africa. However, “we find it more difficult to consolidate our turnover in the Middle East.”
D’Amico approaches foreign markets in a targeted and personalized manner based on the country and the channel, thus broadening the consumer’s knowledge. “In addition to being present at the main trade fair events,” points out Marketing Manager, Maria D’Amico, “we focus on targeted b2b events and focus target travels.”
In the experience of Madama Oliva, “in-store promotions are increasingly appreciated abroad,” notes the company “they are becoming an important tool to push the culture of table olives, the richness of existing cultivars, the diversity of flavours and consequently how to use them in the kitchen.”
PONTI: THE APPEAL OF ITALIAN MARINATED VEGETABLES
Marinated dried tomatoes, sliced artichokes, grilled peppers and aubergines are the pickled vegetables Ponti is most popular for on international markets. “There is a huge interest,” explains Marketing Director, Elena Cattelan, “in Italian food, perceived as a ‘system’ that obviously also our products are part of. Foreign chains are very open to secondary placement activities that see us alongside other traditionally Italian specialties. On the other hand, Italy has perhaps never benefited so much as today from a cleansing in the culinary sense.”
NERI: QUALITY DRIVES THE INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY
“The promotional activities we have been focusing on over the past year,” says Commercial Director of Neri Industria Alimentare, Alessio Baronti, “that promote the quality of the raw material and the traditional process to preserve the plus points of the product, are traditional store promotions, especially in the Balkan area, with promoters and product tastings. We keep paying attention to attacking the foreign food service sector with high quality products”.
CITRES: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING PROACTIVE
In the experience of Nicola Imberti, Export Manager of Citres, the performance of vegetables in oil, pickled vegetables and olives in the foreign markets is quite stable. “Traditional Italian products, such as olives from Cerignola, the entire line of pesto and sun-dried tomatoes, have always been successful. This applies to both the retail and restaurant channels, in which our products are actively present.”