The Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium Announces Favourable Results in 2022: Sales Up by +2.6% and Exports Up by +3%

The Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium announced its 2022 performance at a recent press conference at Milan’s Palazzo Giureconsulti. In 2022, a year in which food consumption dropped in Italy by -4.2% and cheese consumption by -3% in terms of volumes, the best loved and most renowned PDO product in the world posted an impressive performance in sales and prices: consumer turnover hit an all-time high of 2.9 billion Euro vs. 2.7 billion in 2021, increasing by +6.9% (156,620 tonnes vs 152,690 tonnes in 2021, +2.6%). A new high was also reached in sales volumes in international markets, increasing by +3% (64,202 tonnes vs 62,351) and value at production with 1.8 billion Euros vs. 1.71 billion in 2021. The member dairies of the Consortium have therefore reacted well to the pandemic, to the uncertainties of the geopolitical crisis triggered by the Russian invasion of 24 February, to the rise in energy costs and to the reduction of the purchasing power of families in certain markets.

In terms of consumption distribution, the Parmigiano Reggiano target market is becoming more and more international: the weight of exports increased by two percentage points, hitting 47%. The fastest growing market is Spain (+11.3% with 1,602 tonnes vs 1,439 tonnes in 2021), with a great performance in the United States, the first export market for Parmigiano Reggiano PDO (+8.7% with 13,981 vs 12,867 tonnes) and France (+7.2% with 12,944 vs 12,077 tonnes). Good results also came out of Japan, growing by +38.8% (1,010 vs 728 tonnes) and Australia, which posted a +22.7% increase (713 vs 581 tonnes) and Canada, up by +6.3% (3,556 vs. 3,345 tonnes).

Italy accounted for 53% of sales. As regards to distribution channels, Large Retail chains proved again the top one (62.3%), followed by food manufacturers (17.5%), which benefited from the increasing demand in products featuring Parmigiano Reggiano among their ingredients, and by direct sales from dairies, which markedly increased (+5.3%). The Ho.Re.Ca channel was again in last position, therefore illustrating enormous potential for development, accounting for 9.2% of the total. The remaining 11% was distributed through other sales channels.

In 2022, the market price of Parmigiano Reggiano hit an annual average figure of 10.65 Euro a kilo (12-month Parmigiano Reggiano from the producer dairy), an increase compared to 2021, when it came to 10.34 Euro a kilo. The output slightly decreased vs. 2021, the year in which the highest ever number of wheels was produced: 4.002 million wheels vs 4.091 million (-2.2%). Of the provinces in the area of production, Parma was the largest producer (1,357,224 wheels vs 1,419,179, -4.37%), followed by Reggio Emilia (1,245,159 wheels vs 1,302,555, -4.41%), Modena (849,145 wheels vs 824,551, +2.98), Mantua (455,439 wheels vs 442,659, +2.89) and Bologna (95,303 wheels vs 102,200, -6.75%).

With a total investment of 18.6 million Euros allocated to market development in 2023, Parmigiano Reggiano is firmly on its way to becoming a true global brand, ready to meet the challenges of extremely large markets, despite imitation products. This is the reason why the Consortium is working to enhance the PDO distinctiveness, providing consumers with more information on its characteristics: maturation, origin, the production process and flavour, all elements that distinguish Parmigiano Reggiano from imitators. A perfect example is the United Kingdom, Parmigiano Reggiano’s no. 4 export market accounting for 6,570 tonnes, which features profound contradictions generated by Brexit, posting a -1% decrease vs. 2021. The tender procedure for promotion activities, organised in January 2022, had the goal of establishing Parmigiano Reggiano as a testimonial of the quality and value of the entire European agricultural production (estimated total value of the project: over 3 million Euros in three years). The first TV advertising campaign in the UK, with a commercial featuring Gennaro Contaldo, an Italian chef who is a favourite with the British public and Jamie Oliver’s mentor, as well as the Consortium’s brand ambassador, aired on ITV, Channel 4 and Sky.

«2022 was an unprecedented year for Parmigiano Reggiano: both for the performances achieved, sales up by +2.6% and exports up by +3%, and for the challenges it set us for our future», said Nicola Bertinelli, the Consortium President. «We succeeded in addressing it thanks to the ability to work as a team, and this is what we must continue to do in 2023. The data at the beginning of the year is very encouraging: in the January-February two-month period, sales in the Large Retail Chains channel in Italy grew by +15.1% vs. the same period of 2022. The Consortium must take more more on the responsibility of being the control room of the entire supply chain, working with distribution chains and players to drive consumption in a year in which the highest production peak ever, the one posted in 2021, is being marketed, with a structured plan comprising investments in communication and demand development, in Italy and especially in foreign markets. We must continue to keep the Parmigiano Reggiano price competitive, in order for it to be affordable for households, and to defend the profitability of our firms, which have already been hit by the higher production costs. This economic uncertainty must be addressed together, shifting from an individual dairy logic to the Consortium’s logic of “we”, in order to create new market opportunities and ensure the PDO’s future».