Italian PDO, PGI cheese exports to the USA continue to rise

In 2023, sales reached €390 million, marking a 7% increase from 2022. AfiDop, the association of Italian PDO and PGI cheese producers, is set to participate in the Summer Fancy Food Show
Italian PDO, PGI cheese exports to the USA continue to rise

In 2023, exports of Italian PDO and PGI cheeses to the US exceeded 30,000 tonnes, marking a 3% increase from the previous year. Sales of these geographically certified dairy products posted an average value growth of 7%, reaching a turnover of €390 million.

The first quarter of 2024 has seen double-digit growth in sales of Grana Padano PDO, Parmigiano Reggiano PDO, and the various Pecorino cheeses, all long-favored in the American market. During this period, sales volumes of Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano surged by 28%, while Pecorino Romano PDO saw an increase of over 20%.

These figures come from AfiDop, the Association of Italian PDO and PGI Cheeses, at the Summer Fancy Food Show currently underway in New York. The association is present alongside the Consortia representing Gorgonzola, Grana Padano, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Pecorino Toscano, and Piave, promoting Italian cheeses in the US, where Italy holds the global lead in dairy exports.

PDO-PGI-Italian cheese-Antonio Auricchio-AfiDop
The President of AfiDop, Antonio Auricchio

Antonio Auricchio, President of AfiDop, remarked, “The Summer Fancy Food Show is a pivotal opportunity to showcase our denominations to a discerning American audience. This market absorbs nearly 12% of total Italian PDO and PGI cheese exports. It is a strategic market where we must continue to combat Italian-sounding products by promoting the culture of authentic Made-in-Italy goods, particularly through our forthcoming guidelines for US restaurateurs. Cheese is, in fact, the most utilized Italian product in foreign restaurants (94.7%) after wine, followed by olive oil, pasta, and cured meats.”

According to FIPE estimates, approximately 600,000 restaurants worldwide claim to be Italian. Of these, only 2,218 are genuinely Italian. Many foreign restaurants, bars, and patisseries emulate the services, layouts, logos, and offerings of those in Italian cities, at least in theory. In practice, the menus of these “Italian restaurants” bear little resemblance to those they aim to mimic, lacking quality and authenticity.

Today, Italian cheeses will take the spotlight within the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) pavilion (from 3 to 4 PM) with the tasting event “A Taste of Excellence! AfiDop Presents the Italian PDO and PGI Cheeses.”

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