The Italian industrial tomato aims at increasing its export shares in the main third markets that are showing excellent performance. In the USA alone, for example, exports of pureed and peeled tomato products between 2017 and 2018 grew by 10%.
Last year closed with an export turnover of 1.6 billion euro, while two significant promotional activities are bound to be implemented in the USA and Asia worth three million euro, each subsidized by the EU regulation 1140/ 2014 on the promotion of agricultural European products.
PROMOTION AND INNOVATION ARE THE MAIN DRIVERS
“There is a need to work on the Italian product,” explains Managing Director of Anicav, Giovanni de Angelis, “so as to be able to carry out a series of initiatives with these funding programs in the target countries within the three-year period 2019-2021, such as participating in the main trade fairs in the USA on the one hand and the promotion through the Horeca channel in those markets that still need to be penetrated, such as China and South Korea, on the other hand. By the same token, the pizza festival in the USA is an event that is taking on fundamental importance.”
The initiatives aim at stabilizing profitability through a correct positioning on the markets, also taking advantage of the planning times of the American large-scale retail trade which, for example, unlike the Italian one, travels on more extended times. Italy ranks second as a tomato processor in the world after the USA and represents 13.6% of the world production and 49% of the European production. In addition to that, due to its great export vocation, Italy, is the leading exporter of tomato-based products that represent one of the main ambassador of Italian cuisine in the world despite the decline in domestic consumption.
TOMATO INDUSTRIES TO INVEST MORE ON PREMIUMNESS
A strong focus has been put on the need to improve premium productions, like peeled tomatoes, which are a symbol of Made in Italy quality around the world, for which PGI protection recognition has been requested, hopefully leading to increased demand from consumers and a better performance on the markets. Antonio Ferraioli, President of Anicav estimates that it is also essential to implement incisive defense mechanisms against the protectionist policies being instituted by a number of countries. The anti-dumping complaints filed in recent years by the Australian government against Italian tomato products and the retaliatory measures being levied by the EU against the USA have set alarm bells ringing among industry operators.
ITALIAN PRESERVES & SAUCES: PRODUCT TRENDS
- Organic, vegetarian – vegan and dairy free versions are increasing;
- Production process: raw materials are processed in the shortest possible time (i.e. the basil and tomato are harvested and processed fresh within few hours). Cold-processed and not pasteurized (pesto sauces);
- PDO/PGI ingredients: Grana padano and Parmigiano reggiano PDO cheeses (in sauces);
- Regional tomato varieties in tomato preserves & sauces: S. Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese-Nocerino tomato PDO from Campania, Pachino tomatoes PGI from Sicily, Yellow datterino tomato, Tomato from Tuscany;
- Regional cultivar in olive pickles and fresh table olives: Nocellara, Leccino, Taggiasca etc.;
- Pesto varieties: Genovese (with PDO basil) walnuts, pistachios, red pesto, bamboo;
- New flavors: hemp, turmeric, ginger, n’duja, truffle.