Parmigiano Reggiano: All-Time High Revenue, exports soar

Parmigiano Reggiano confirmed as number one PDO product with 1.4 billion turnover at production and 2.4 billion euro at consumption, and export share exceeding 40% (+5.5% growth volume vs 2017) and 3.7 million wheels produced (+1.35% vs 2017)

Parma, 15 April 2019 - The financial data of the Parmigiano Reggiano sector were presented today at the Milan Stock Exchange. The event was attended by Nicola Bertinelli, President of the Consortium, Guglielmo Garagnani, Vice President, and by Mauro Rosati, Director of Qualitiva Foundation.

2018 was a record year for PDO production, which saw a total increase of 1.35% over the previous year. The 3.7 million wheels of cheese (about 148 thousand tons) produced in 2018 represent the highest peak in the age-old history of Parmigiano Reggiano. Parmigiano Reggiano not only is the first PDO brand in the world as far as influence (“The Most Influential Brands 2018” ranking prepared by IPSOS), but it is also number one PDO/PGI food product in terms of value at production (Qualivita-Ismea report). 2.4 billion euro turnover for the protected designation of origin product, which is increasingly expanding abroad: an outlet for a constantly growing production that needs new market spaces. In the last two years, production rose from 3.47 million to 3.7 million wheels, a 6.6% increase.

Parmigiano Reggiano is also enjoying a very good period as far as price are concerned. While in 2016 the cost per kg was 8.60 euro, in 2018 the average price stood at 10 euro, a 16.3% increase (average price of 12 month Parmigiano Reggiano from producing dairy, source: bulletins from Borsa Comprensoriale Parma) Today, Italy accounts for 60% of the market, while the export share is 40% (+5.5% over the previous year). France is the largest market (11,333 tons), followed by United States (10,493 tons), Germany (9,471 tons), United Kingdom (6,940 tons) and Canada (3,030 tons). France and the United Kingdom grow (respectively +12.6%, +2.2%) Germany slows down (-4.4%) due to competition from similar products. On the other hand, exports to Canada increase (+17.7%), thus confirming, thanks to the CETA agreements, the expected opportunities for development.

At the press conference, market data were presented together with an overview of the actions the Consortium will undertake in guiding growth. The challenge is that of positioning the product at a profitable price: a further growth in production is expected in 2019, bringing the number of wheels to over 3.75 million.

Aiming at increasing demand, the Consortium’s budget includes an investment in communication for over 24 million euro destined to the development of sales in Italy and abroad: 1.5 million more than in the previous year.

“Parmigiano Reggiano continues to grow and expand its market. 2018 has been again a positive year: we reported an increase in production (+1.35), quotations (+2%) and exports (+5.5%). In spite of an increased product offer on the market, the price was steady and settled around 10 euro per kg (12 month Parmigiano Reggiano from producing dairy, average price at production)”, said Nicola Bertinelli, president of the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium.

“The foreign market is increasingly more important – continued Bertinelli – in 2018 we have exceeded the record share of 40%, an amazing performance considering that the figure was 34% only five years ago. Our key markets are France, United States, Germany, United Kingdom and Canada. The Consortium is investing a considerable budget (over 24 million euro) in promoting the PDO designation in Italy and abroad, with specific focus on new destination areas for consumption for our cheese, such as the Arab Emirates, where we launched a communication campaign to educate the consumer on the differences between the ‘real’ Parmigiano Reggiano and the fake Parmesan”.

The financial data presented today  commented Mauro Rosati, General Director of Qualivita Foundation are also the results of a marketing strategy put in place in recent years by the Parmigiano Reggiano Protection Consortium. They demonstrate that producing excellent food is no longer enough in an ever widening global market, that communicating effectively is also necessary, especially through new digital channels, where the value of the name associated with the brands is a true added value

The press conference introduced also the Consortium’s new policy on Parmigiano Reggiano as characterizing ingredient in prepared or processed foods. The number of agro-food companies that have been requesting to use Parmigiano Reggiano as ingredient is growing rapidly, evidencing that using the PDO name on the label of processed products provides added value to them. This is why the Consortium has updated its policy on this sector; on the one hand, by setting precise criteria ensuring the distinctive features of the recipes and thorough and stringent controls on processes, and on the other hand, by making it possible to use the new Parmigiano Reggiano trademark on the packs. And this is going to be another important new opening for the trade, foodservice, the food industry and for the PDO cheese production supply chain that will have access to new market spaces.