Italy’s potential for bakery and sweet confectionery

Italian assortments are increasingly appreciated abroad. Among them, bakery products play a key role, while chocolate exports are also growing

Sweet bakery products, which account for about 52 percent of the total value exported by the Italian confectionery sector, recorded an increase in exports of +16.6 percent in volume in 2021, and +15.8 percent in value. This is 755,920 tons of products and a turnover of 2,425.8 million euros. These data were released by Unione Italiana Food, the Italian food industries’ association which also provides the ranking of top importer countries.

Top importers of Italian sweet bakery in 2021

Germany 121,204 +16%
Source: Unione Italiana Food

In 2021, the largest importers of Italian confectionery products were France and Germany, which together generate a volume and value share of 30 percent. France imported 119,084 tons of Italian sweet baked goods (+11.5 percent compared to 2020), corresponding to 450.6 million euros (+14.6 percent). Germany, on the other hand, imported 121,204 tons of products (+16 percent), accounting for 412.7 million euros (+16.8 percent). The third destination, with some distance, is the United States with imports of 59,164 tons (+21.3%), amounting to 271.4 million euros (+19.7%). This is followed by the UK (54,954 tons, +20.6 percent; 218.3 million euros, +24.8 percent) and Spain (43,972 tons, +20.3 percent; 157.4 million euros, +20.2 percent).

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Europe accounts for 77.8 percent of volumes (588,087 tons) and 71.8 percent of the value (2,069.7 million euros) of Italian sweet bakery exports. The American continent follows at a great distance (78,204 tons, 10.3 percent share; 360.9 million euros, 12 percent share). Less significant, but with very positive growth rates, is Asia. With a volume share of 8 percent and a value share of 11 percent, it is growing by +13.5 percent and +19.6 percent respectively, showing its full future potential; especially considering the size of its population. Finally, Oceania and Africa put together weigh about 4 percent of exports in volume and value.


Exports of Italian chocolate and cocoa-based products, which amounted to 224,716 tons worth 1,249.6 million euros in 2012, reached 381,901 tons (or 1,836 million euros) in 2021. In ten years, the increase in export sales was +56% in volume and +47% in value.

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