Exports fly, opportunities grow

Fiera Milano, Rho


Exports fly, opportunities grow

In the first seven months of 2022, Italy's agribusiness exports grew by 21%. Credit to the quality of products, but also to new channels. Countries with the most potential include the USA, Germany, China, UK and Mexico.

After the countries that focus on large volumes (Germany, the Netherlands, France) or raw materials (the USA, Brazil) comes Italy: with a value of 42.3 billion euros in 2021, rising to 50 including agricultural products, it is the world's sixth largest exporter of food and beverages. Thanks to the quality of its production, Italy is the world leader in exports of pasta and canned tomatoes (where it holds market shares of 29% and 44% respectively), while it is second after France in wine exports, reaching 24% for sparkling and 21% for still wines, and in extra-virgin olive oil with 20%. That's according to a Nomisma analysis presented at a recent event in collaboration with Verallia.



Best growth rates in Europe


In terms of rates of increase, however, it is the best performing European country both for this year and in recent years: in the five-year period 2016-2021, the compound growth rate of Italian exports was +6.2% – compared with +3.8% for France and +2.9% for Germany – while in the first seven months of 2022, tricolor exports reached a new record high: 28.5 billion euro, +21% over 2021 against the +15% and +16% put in by German and French competitors over the same period.


Also according to Nomisma, despite the uncertainty of the current global macroeconomic scenario, opportunities for further expansion of Italian food & beverage exports in the coming years are plausible among both more mature and emerging markets. "In the case of markets where the presence of Italian F&B is already established, the greatest opportunities for growth are seen in the USA, the world's leading importer of food and beverage products and the second largest destination for Italian exports," - Emanuele Di Faustino, Nomisma's Head of Industry, Retail and Services, said during the Vetrallia event. "This is a market characterized by significant size, high spending capacity and demand for Italian products still concentrated in a few federal states (the top 5 intercept 55% of Italian food imports and 70% of wine imports), all factors that imply enormous growth potential for our exports. Not to forget the excellent appeal that Made in Italy food enjoys among Americans: for 28%, Italy is the foreign country with the highest quality food & beverage products,” he concluded.



Digital commerce, another opportunity


A further contribution to export growth in the coming years may come from the e-commerce channel. An elaboration by Netcomm on EDV and Statista data highlights which destinations have the greatest growth potential for both Food and Beverage. In Food, the advanced markets include the United Kingdom with an index of 30 (on a scale of 0 to 100), where exports are now worth about 1 billion euros; France with an index of 25 and a current value of 1.2 billion; and Germany, index 22 and current value 1.4 billion. Emerging countries include Mexico (index 70 and value to date 126 million); China (index 66, value 427 million); and Russia (net of sanctions) with index 26 and value 104 million.


As for Beverages, the most attractive advanced markets are Belgium (index 65, current value 410 million); again UK (index 27, value 440 million); and US (index 18, value 546 million). In contrast, the top 3 emerging countries consists of UAE 70 and 107 million); China again (65 and 336 million); and Mexico (50 and 53 million). But how to make the most of this opportunity? Netcomm analysis reveals that globally, online penetration of total F&B sales will increase from 7.8% today to 10.2% in 2025. Which results in important numbers in absolute terms. Studies suggest that we need to target new consumer categories by enhancing the brand experience – even protecting the brand-with an ethical and sustainable approach and invest in online advertising from an omnichannel perspective.


AtTUTTOFOOD 2023, at fieramilano from May 8 to 11, 2023, the dense schedule of appointments will explore these and many other avenues of growth through export, for both Italian and international companies. To be featured at TUTTOFOOD as an exhibitor click here. To participate as a professional visitor, visit this page.