With a domestic market worth more than $90 billion, the US is the second-largest milk producer in the world after India (about 200 million tons): about 100 million tons per year (2020). The cheese industry accounts for 41% of the total value of the US dairy supply chain, with an expected growth of +1.5% in the coming years. Per capita consumption of dairy products in America remains steady. The top categories in terms of per capita consumption are cheese and butter.
ITALY IS THE TOP DAIRY EXPORTERS
Fifty-four percent of the USA dairy supply chain’s imports are related to cheese, followed by butter and spreads which together account for about 30 percent. Italy is at the top of the 2020 ranking of exporters with 319 million dollars. Together with New Zealand and Ireland, it covers 40% of total US imports, according to research by Monitor Deloitte for Intesa Sanpaolo’s Agribusiness department.
“In this respect, Italy is one of the top countries in many international markets,” says Renzo Simonato, Head of Agribusiness Intesa Sanpaolo “thanks primarily to the high quality of products. This quality is achieved thanks to the high level of know-how in the farms, and the presence of large industrial groups and cooperative-type organizations capable of competing worldwide”.
ITALIAN CHEESE EXPORTS ARE GROWING AGAIN
In the last four years, Italy has reduced its trade relations with the United States, reaching a total value of about 319 million dollars (-21% YoY). Cheese is still the predominant category, with a value of $300 million (94% of the total).
After this slowdown due to the Covid pandemic and the Trump administration’s additional trade duties, particularly on cheese, Italian exports are recovering. In the first half of 2021, Italian cheese exports to the USA increased by +27.3 percent.
Cheeses – Top ten U.S. trading partners ($ million – 2020)
ENTERING THE US MARKET AND ENHANCING THE SUPPLY CHAIN
“Enhancing the supply chain,” says Manuel Pincetti, Senior Partner Monitor Deloitte – “we cannot fail to consider the international dimension by looking at key markets for Italy, including the USA and China. On these markets, Italian products stand out for their quality and uniqueness. Opening to international markets is one of the main levers of growth and business de-risking, as demonstrated also by the performance of operators during the emergency”.
Deloitte and Intesa Sanpaolo’s indications for approaching foreign markets, and especially the US market, focus on a careful evaluation of the context, summarized in the following points:
- Market study;
- Making product tests on the perception of the references offered in the geographical areas of interest;
- Identification of product distributors with whom to enter into partnerships;
- Development of consumer awareness actions aimed at brand recognition and brand loyalty.