Italian Food: the Latest Global Consumption Trends

According to Assocamerestero’s survey - involving 550 food & wine influencers from the United States, Canada, and Mexico - fresh pasta, buffalo mozzarella and Gorgonzola are on top of consumers’ preferences

Assocamerestero – the association including 78 Italian Chambers of Commerce Abroad (CCIE) and Unioncamere – presented the results of a survey on the consumption trends of Italian food in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The analysis was carried out as part of the “True Italian Taste” project – promoted and financed by Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development and carried out by Assocamerestero in collaboration with the Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad – aimed at promoting knowledge of the true Made in Italy food industry and contrasting the Italian Sounding phenomenon. The goal of the survey is to explore the potential for consumption, habits and purchasing trends of food & wine influencers in the three major countries of the American continent.

The survey involved a representative sample of 550 food & wine influencers; 23.5% of the respondents belonged to the 18-34 age group while the majority (62%) was 35 to 54 years old. About 28.2% of the sample was born in Italy, 33% in the United States, 22.1% in Canada, and 9.2% in Mexico.


Among the most appreciated Italian products buffalo mozzarella PDO comes in first place, selected from 47.5% of the total sample. This is the most voted food by Canadians (57.3%) and Mexicans (48.4%), ranking second in the United States (42.5%). Among Italian cheeses Gorgonzola (39.3% of the total sample), Asiago (33.8%) and Mascarpone (27.4%) are also highly appreciated. The appreciation for Italian cheeses and dairy products shows the reasons behind the spread of counterfeiting for this specific category of food, with a share of 35.2% in 2018 in the three countries. In second place among the most appreciated products we can find fresh pasta (38.5%), which ranks first in the United States (46.4%), second in Mexico (45.2%), and 17th (22.7%) in Canada.

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As for Millennials (18-34 years), they confirm the preferences of the general sample with fresh pasta (41.7%), buffalo mozzarella (41.7%), and Gorgonzola (39.3%) on top of the most popular products’ ranking. Young people are true “connoisseurs of the Made in Italy”, selecting in their first 20 favourite foods also typical holiday confectionery products such as Panettone (20.2%) and wines like Spumante Alte Langhe from Piedmont (22.6%).

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More generally, the choices made by influencers are often the result of their direct knowledge of Italy. The survey shows that more than 87% of the sample went to Italy at least once and there became an “Italian food lover”. Almost 70% of influencers prepare more than 3 times a week traditional Italian recipes. In first place, we find the Canadians: 35.5% of them introduce Italian cuisine in their kitchens almost daily – more than five times a week. They are followed by Americans with 20.9% and Mexicans with 18.3%. Finally, the propensity of influencers for food delivery and online purchases of Italian food is interesting. In fact, the data show that 41% of the sample ordered Italian food online and that more than a quarter (30.6%) did so at least 10 times.

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An extremely positive note for the food industry is that our food is what impresses most those who visit Italy – says Gian Domenico Auricchio, president of Assocamerestero -. Our survey confirms this and offers a cross-section of consumer trends not only by product but also by age. For example, Millennials are increasingly intrigued by Italian taste, especially in the search for new products. Not only for consumption outside home but also to use them directly at home.”

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