Italian pasta sales know no bounds

Export is the phenomenon driving growth in this business sector today: the experience of Rummo, De Matteis, La Molisana, Andalini, Garofalo and Casa Milo
Italian pasta sales know no bounds

“The amount of pasta being exported has now surpassed 55% of national production”. This is according to Aidepi, The Italian Association of Confectionery and Pasta Industries, chaired by Paolo Barilla. “This figure is up 5.4% against last year, and represents volumes of over 1.9 million tonnes (worth over 2 billion euros). Germany, France and the Uk are the key importers of Italian products, followed by the Usa, Japan and Russia, along with huge increases in China (+41.7%) and Venezuela (+153.7%).”

“Establishing a presence in international markets is the key to future success in the mature and ultra-competitive pasta sector”, Antonio Rummo, international sales director at Rummo Lenta Lavorazione, confirms. “We currently export to over 40 different countries and this business makes up over 30% of our overall turnover. Our principal markets are Europe-based, with France, England, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain being the most important. We are experiencing double-digit growth in these countries where we have successfully entered into some of the main retailers. Over the past year we have also established profitable commercial relationships in Russia, where, particularly in the city of Moscow, there is a huge demand for premium products like our own. Finally, we are intensifying our efforts in other important markets, like the USA, Australia and Japan, where we have already been present for several years.”

“In terms of our international expansion plans, we are focussing on the emerging markets, primarily Russia and Apac”, echoes Marco De Matteis, MD of De Matteis Agroalimentare. “Short pasta varieties continue to be an important driving force for growth. This, coupled with increased awareness in certain countries, which were still considered emerging markets until recently, has opened up the way for speciality products. However, in Europe, there is currently an adjustment towards demand for basic or value products. The economic crisis has further impacted North American consumption, resulting in a slight decrease in demand overall.”

The preoccupation with price, in particular in France and Germany, has also had an effect on Pastificio Lucio Garofalo, who have had considerable success on the Iberian Peninsula. They now plan to strengthen their organisational structure and export capabilities (which are already around 60%) through the introduction of Ebro Foods. In brief, international markets have allowed Garofalo to close out another year with positive results: up 15% overall (8% in Italy), with a consolidation of market share at 6.7% in terms of value and 4.4% in terms of sales volumes.

Conversely, Pastificio Andalini, for whom exports represent 30% of turnover, will be concentrating on the Apac markets. “We are present in five continents both in terms of the Andalini brand and private-label products”, says Stefano Venturi, sales and marketing director at Pastificio Andalini. “Our Andalini Lab division supplies major manufacturers of ready meals with pasta varieties designed specifically for this type of consumer product. The most popular are penne, fusilli and spaghetti, but we believe, with the right approach, we can also promote tagliatelle, pastine and other specialties to international consumers. Many countries are investing in new pasta factories, but the expertise surrounding genuine product quality remains firmly Italian.”

La Molisana is experiencing double-digit growth in the Brics countries where a new “vintage” product line will soon be introduced to several retail chains. “We are also busy in Japan,” the company states, “where, in collaboration with Japanese food & beverage sector giant Suntory, we will soon be introducing our premium pasta product to the supermarkets.”

La Molisana’s export quota stands at 50% of overall sales, with a 75% increase in volumes in 2012 and 60% in 2013. Overall, the company saw volumes increase by 13.9% last year.

Trade fairs are still a great way to promote cross-border growth. This is something the Puglia-based Gramm (Milo Group) firmly believe. Under the Casa Milo brand they offer a range of fresh and dry pasta products and, more recently, baked goods, thanks to the new factory in Palo del Colle (Ba). The company, whose international results currently make up 40% of total sales, is convinced that international markets still have a lot to offer to Italian pasta. To this end they have participated at expos in Denver, Singapore, Cologne and The Fancy Food Show, New York. “Our principal markets are currently the USA, England, Japan, Australia, Germany, France, Luxembourg and Portugal”, confirms Marida Milo, co-owner of the company. “But there is still so much that can be achieved. We will not be limiting our growth potential. Our plans to expand commercially into South America and Scandinavia are just two examples.”

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