It’s no surprise that Italian cuisine is popular globally and growing in popularity. What might be more surprising is that the fastest growth is taking place in the Asia-Pacific region.
According to the “Italian Cuisine Market Monitor” report – produced by consultancy group Deloitte in partnership with Alma, the international school of Italian cuisine – global sales of Italian cuisine last year totaled 229 billion euros (253 billions of dollars). This represents an increase of almost 11% compared to 2016, the year covered by the previous report.
The report says most of the growth came from the Asia-Pacific region, where Italian food sales grew at a rate of 4.1% per year between 2014 and 2018, in stark contrast to a growth rate of 2 .0% per year for the North. America and 1.2% per year for Europe.
Deloitte predicted that growth in the Asia-Pacific region would continue to grow through 2022, but at a slower annual rate of 2.7%. Worldwide, the report predicted that sales of Italian food products would increase by 2.4% per year until 2022.
Polling firm YouGov released a poll earlier this year that showed Italian food is the most popular in the world, followed by gourmet food from China and Japan, with food from Thailand and France tied. in fourth place.
Outside of Italy, the YouGov survey showed Italian cuisine was most popular in Spain, France and Sweden.
According to Deloitte’s report, the biggest markets for Italian cuisine are China – with sales worth 71 billion euros ($78 billion) in 2018, just ahead of the United States – with sales worth 69 billion euros ($76 billion).
Deloitte said factors helping Italian cuisine achieve such strong results included the use of high-quality ingredients.
According to experts who focus on Italian cuisine, part of the reason for the popularity of the country’s cuisine is its tradition of simplicity.
“I think Italian cuisine is so popular and so fundamentally satisfying because it’s based on fresh ingredients prepared in simple ways,” Rachel Roddy, a cookbook author who focuses on Italian traditions, told Xinhua. .
“For my last cookbook, the editor told me to include a lot of recipes that have no more than five ingredients and I told them that almost all recipes use less than five ingredients.”
But Roddy also said the idea of a national cuisine can be considered outdated.
“Take the example of what might be the most popular Italian dish, spaghetti in tomato sauce,” Roddy said, “spaghetti came to Italy from Arab culture and tomatoes came from the Americas.”
“Perhaps that’s another reason why Italian food is so loved internationally, because in many ways it has international origins,” she said.