Pasta is booming across the world: from Italian icon to global dish

Fiera Milano, Rho


Pasta is booming across the world: from Italian icon to global dish

In 2020, the global market will be worth almost $123 billion and will continue to grow at a rate of 2.35% per year in the coming years. The largest market is China, which alone is worth around 25 billion.

It was already one of the most beloved dishes in the world. The lockdowns that made us spend more time at home, and prompted us to cook more, have further established it as the queen of the global tables. We are talking about pasta whose consumption has seen a boom in many countries in 2020. And beware, this is not a passing fad. Statista 's figures predict that, after touching $123 billion in 2021, ($122,925 million to be precise), global sales of pasta the trend will continue to grow by 2.35% per year over the next four years. For the current year, the largest global market is expected to be China , which alone is worth almost $25 billion. On average, each global consumer eats 7.7 kg of pasta and spends 16.30 dollars on it.


And in the pasta’s home country? According to data from Unione Italiana Food - partner of TUTTOFOOD - in Italy 2020 was a golden year for both domestic consumption and exports. Over 50 million more packages were sold in the country, with peaks of around +40% in March and +10% between October and November , and exports grew by 16% to over EUR 3.1 billion. The USA has become the world's largest consumer of Italian pasta, thanks to a record +40%, overtaking France (+4.3%) and Germany (+16%). Great results also came from Great Britain (+19%) in spite of Brexit.


“Beyond the unique conditions caused by the Covid pandemic, pasta continues to grow abroad because markets are changing,” says Mario Piccialuti, General Manager of Unione Italia Food . In the past, there were differences in consumption between Italy and countries with a strong Italian presence, where pasta is a dish in itself, and other cultures that saw it as a component of a single dish. Today, thanks to the growing popularity of the Mediterranean diet, pasta is increasingly being eaten 'Italian style' in these markets too as a base accompanied by other healthy ingredients.”


"This is a cultural change ," says Piccialuti, "due to the different narrative surrounding pasta emerged in recent years, for example by great chefs, Italian and otherwise, around the world. Certainly the resonance of the World Pasta Day, held on 25 October of each year, played a big role and this year it will be held during TUTTOFOOD.