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QUALITY MADE IN ITALY SALAMI THE BUSINESS OF CATERING TO FINE PALATES
Italian salami is an international business triumph for the most refined tastes. DOC prosciutto and sausage meats are historically products created for consumers who place quality first and foremost, and tend to distrust imitations and substitutes. As a rule, this is especially true for the category known as “crudi”, the raw cured meats which have always been the pride and excellence of Italian production, but it also directly applies to other products bearing quality labels, such as mortadella and salami.
Although export growth is mainly limited to the past decade, Italian charcuterie has asserted its preeminent role. For the period ranging from January to September 2010, export statistics made available by Assica (the national association representing meat producers, supported by Confindustria) show record sales volumes, with 89,743 tons of charcuterie products exported abroad, for revenues of over 700 million Euros. Even weiner sausages produced in Italy (or wurstel as they are known in Italy), better known as the ubiquitous American hot dog, managed to find a niche spot in the US market.
In the USA, Italian salami has recently been more successful than anywhere else, representing the leading export market for non-EU countries: sales for 2010 amounted to 34.8 million Euros (+22.9%). However, the first country for exports in terms of quantity is actually Croatia, which imported 3,635 tons of DOC products. Other countries providing a strong boost for exports of salami products in Europe are Germany, France and the United Kingdom, whereas Slovenia and Malta have consolidated their position.
Italy’s foods industry on the whole has had a positive year, and the best results have been obtained by the salami sector: growth for Made in Italy charcuterie rose a whopping 9.9%, more rapidly than that of the foods industry overall.
“These satisfying export results,” states Lisa Ferrarini, the President of Assica, “increasingly convince us that we need to keep on pushing on this front. The free circulation of the entire range of Italian salami outside the EU is a goal we will continue to pursue. The results are more than satisfactory for typical prosciutto products, but only partially so for cooked salami products. Our attention has now turned to less affirmed products such as salami with a shorter seasoning period, and pork meats.”
All of these products have an undisputed global appeal, shared equally between new proposals and traditional market favourites such as raw prosciutto ham. The timeless excellence of so-called “nostrani” salami confirmed their presence abroad in 2010, with sales volumes increasing 10.3%. In Europe as well as in countries outside the continent, the world’s most famous boned and boneless “leg of ham” occupied a primary place on quality dining tables around the globe. Exports of mortadella and wurstel were just as encouraging, with a growth rate in sales of 18.3% in 2010, and 14.8% for salami.
Made in Italy charcuterie products also stood out in the category of cooked prosciutto (+10.5% in volume for 2010), for which, unlike salami, demand has grown equally both in the USA and Europe, sustained by winning trade partnerships. Exports of bresaola also grew over the past year by 5.2%, affirming its position as a smart dietary product for health conscious consumers. These qualities are present in all Italian salami products, thus making them appreciated on tables the world over.