The Parmigiano Reggiano PDO protection Consortium has signed a historic agreement with Whole Foods Markets to increase the PDO cheese volumes in over 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The American chain owned by Amazon is committed to providing adequate product presentation inside the points of sale to help consumers distinguish Parmigiano Reggiano from similar products.
THE AGREEMENT IN DETAILS
The agreement is a concrete step forward in the development of the most renown Italian cheese’s foreign markets. Whole Foods – founded in 1980 in Austin (Texas) and purchased in 2017 by Amazon for 13.7 billion dollars – is therefore a leading player in the organic food distribution sector and can count on a network of 487 stores in the United States, 14 in Canada and 7 in the United Kingdom.
These three countries are in the top 5 of Parmigiano Reggiano’s largest global importers. The United States (10,439 tons) is the second export market after France, while the United Kingdom (6,940 tons) is the fourth one and Canada (3,030 tons) the fifth one.
The agreement provides for three concrete actions that will be taken by the Austin giant to increase sales and, at the same time, to offer an adequate positioning for the King of Cheeses. First of all, Whole Foods will organize two events a year to increase the visibility and the participation of the public at the opening ceremony of the Parmigiano Reggiano wheel: a show that always attracts ‘foodies’ and curious people inside the stores. In every point of sale the opening of the wheel will be the highlight from which to provide information to the consumer on the quality of the product and to promote its purchase.
The agreement also provides for an exchange of information and marketing data collected through the chain’s network and social media. Whole Foods Markets will place informational material from the Consortium in every point of sale. The goal is to inform consumers about the characteristics of Parmigiano Reggiano and the differences with similar products.
DEVELOPING THE DEMAND FOR PARMIGIANO REGGIANO ON FOREIGN MARKETS
This cooperation is the first concrete demonstration of the new approach promoted by the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium to consolidate and develop the demand for the King of Cheeses on international markets.
“The agreement with Whole Foods – says the President of the Consortium, Nicola Bertinelli – is unprecedented in the history of European PDO products. This action, together with the fight against counterfeiting and the Italian sounding phenomenon, will allow us to spread our product’s culture in the international markets. In the current scenario, on which Trump’s duties weigh heavily on exports, one of the most famous American distribution chains chooses to be on the side of Parmigiano Reggiano to ensure maximum quality and information about a product that once again proves to be unique and inimitable.”