Italian Foods to Top $13.8 Billion by 2011: Study

NEW YORK -- Increasing consumption of pizza and pasta will drive retail sales of Italian foods to more than $13.8 billion in 2011, from nearly $12 billion in 2006, according to a new study by market research firm Packaged Facts.

The study, "Italian Foods in the U.S.," said this recent market growth has been driven by the pizza and pizza products category, which accounts for more than 45 percent of total Italian food sales at retail. Sales in this category topped $5.3 billion in 2006, a jump of 2 percent over 2005 sales.

"Market growth is coming from Italian food lovers eating increased quantities of diverse Italian fare," said Tatjana Meerman, managing editor of Packaged Facts. "Specialty Italian foods such as meats, breads, and condiments are making the move into the U.S. market and augmenting the current up-scaling of today's gourmet Italian foods."

Pasta sauce and pasta each make up slightly more than 21 percent of the market. The smallest category, Italian cheeses, experienced significant gains over the last two years due in part to increased demand for natural and gourmet varieties.

What has also helped the category's growth is the increased attention Italian food marketers have given to health and wellness trend, as shown by more of them positioning the health and nutritional benefits of their products, says the study. Additionally, organics have been embraced by all of the major marketers, and many have expanded their organic offerings while making an effort to keep their products "authentic."

The study examines new product trends, offers competitive profiles of industry leaders and niche players, and looks at consumer trends and behaviors surrounding the consumption of Italian foods.

The full report is available at:
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