Italian Cheese: Fresh Life on Foreign Markets

Export sales are growing double digit while authentic regional products, from Parmigiano Reggiano to Pecorino, are confirmed as key drivers
Italian Cheese: Fresh Life on Foreign Markets

Italian cheese producers are looking to foreign markets as a main destination for their excellent regional specialties as demand for fresh and hard cheese continues to grow. Global exports of Italian dairy products increased 10% for a value of 3 billion euros in 2017, according to Italian dairy association Assolatte. The positive trend contrasted with slowing demand in the mature domestic market. Around 87% of dairy products sold abroad were cheeses, which generated 2.6 billion euros in exports.

Italian cheese

Stracciatella Snack Gioiella – Capurso


Mozzarella remains the queen of fresh Italian cheeses, as more foreign consumers appreciate the texture of its ‘pasta filata’. A positive performance comes especially from the PDO Buffalo mozzarella from Campania region. More than 30% of production goes to countries such as France, Germany, Great Britain, United States, Switzerland and Spain. Italian output of mozzarella has reached 313,700 tons for a total value of 1.7 billion euros. Production of milk mozzarella reached 163,625 tons last year, up 3.1%. Buffalo mozzarella hit 44,950 tons, up 0.5%. Mozzarella for pizza remained stable at 105,125 tons, according to Assolatte.

Italian cheese
Ogni Volta cheese snack – Dalter Alimentari


Italian consumers confirm their passion for aged cheeses, led by Grana Padano PDO and Parmigiano Reggiano PDO. Grana Padano is the top-selling product in the category (44.4% of sales in 2017, up 0.7%).

Stracchino Frozen IQF in Crumble – Granarolo

Consumers see long-ripened cheeses as the expression of Italian tradition and an important ingredient in their meals. Around 73.7% of Italian consumers said they regularly serve Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano to their table. Pecorino cheeses are also strong performers, with sales rising 2.7% year on year.

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