Red sauces go regional, fancy and clean

The Italian tomato is the most appreciated on European and international tables thanks to its flavor and superior quality
Red sauces go regional, fancy and clean

Exports of Italian tomato sauces are showing a positive trend, strengthened by the added value provided by their origin and by an offer that is able to respond to the needs of foreign consumers in terms of quality and service. According to data provided by Anicav concerning the January-December 2018 period, over 2 million tons of red sauces were destined to foreign markets, resulting in a total turnover of more than 1.5 billion euros. The product is growing in both volume (+1.9%) and value (+2.69%) terms.

Jan-Dec 2018 canned tomatoes exports value: 1,542 billion euros, +1.90% YTD


  • Premiumness: the tomato goes beyond being a simple commodity and becomes a value-added product;
  • The Brix levels: the percentage of sugar present in the juice of a plant is a parameter to measure the quality of the agricultural product and in tomato-based products is increasing;
  • Regional origin: stating that the tomato is Italian is no longer enough, the regional origin of the product is highlighted;
  • Specialties: there is a boom of products deriving from different varieties of tomatoes (datterino, cherry, long, etc. . . .);
  • Organic and clean label tomatoes are considered a plus;
  • Sustainable packaging: the ecological and practical Tetra Recart carton polylaminated packages are extremely popular;
  • Quality and service: tomato pulp and strained tomatoes are enriched with few and selected ingredients or natural flavors (garlic, aromatic herbs, chili pepper. . .) to create a more advanced product than simple tomato paste while maintaining the same perception of quality and naturalness.
Jan-Dec 2018 canned tomatoes exports volume: 2,071 million tonnes, +2.69% YTD


Peeled and unpeeled, whole or chopped tomatoes have the largest market share: 928,000 tonnes (globally up 3.48 in value and up 3.81% in volume terms). On the other hand, tomato puree – with 231,000 tonnes (+2.52%) worth 358 million euros (+1.59%) – accounts for 15% of total exports.

Italy is the first producer and exporter of tomato derivatives for the final consumer,” says Anicav General Manager Giovanni De Angelis. “Over 50% of overall production is destined for exports, both to Europe and to the United States, Japan and Australia. In some districts, the percentage of production destined for export reaches 70%,” he adds.

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The largest export market for tomato sauce is Europe: Germany, France and the United Kingdom are the preferred destinations, accounting for over 1 million tons of the product (+1.72%) and a turnover of approximately 1.43 billion euros (+1.43%). Europe is followed by Asia, with more than 150,000 tons of exports and the US, where we export about 148,000 tons of sauce (+3.05% in volume and +4.86% in value). While accounting for only 69,000 tons of exports, Oceania shows significant growth both in volume (+7.13%) and value (+7.20%).

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