QMS See Italian Opportunity for Meat

ITALY - Italians facing the economic downturn are still not skimping in the kitchen, new research has shown.
calendar icon 18 March 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

A new consumer study by independent research firm Boston Consulting Group has shown that the food loving Italians are more likely to cut down on things such as appliances, cars and clothes than make sacrifices to their food and drink.

48 per cent of Italians declared food and drink to be the un-renounceable items in their home budgets.

This could be positive news for Scottish meat exporters, as the favourable rate ensures that Scotch Beef is now extremely competitive. It also carries the PGI label, a marque that quality conscious Italians seek out.

Margaret Stewart, Export Marketing Manger for QMS said: “Italians are still willing to pay a premium for high quality products. There is also a trend towards ‘typical’ regional and traditional products, and Scotch Beef ticks the boxes for both.

“Our work in Italy has been focused on on top class suppliers into the catering sector and the independent butcher trade, which is still a retailing powerhouse. More than a third of all beef sales are through butchers, about the same amount as sold through supermarkets.

“Italy has been in a long standing recession for a few years now, so the economic downturn hasn’t been the same shock to them as it’s been here and in America. Also they’re out and out lovers of buying quality produce and it isn’t a discretionary spend like it is here.

“Scotch Beef has always been highly regarded in Italy and although Italians are fiercely proud of Italian products, as far as beef is concerned, they have the largest production deficit in Europe which makes it one of our most attractive export markets.”

Italy is the third most important country in the Europe in terms of pro-capita consumption of beef, at 24.7 kg annually. This is considerably above the EU average of 20kg.

In 2007, Italian home consumption of beef totalled 1.458 million tonnes – this figure has fluctuated over the past few years, but 2007 compared to 2002 shows a growth of 10.9 per cent.

Quality Meat Scotland has had a business development manager working in Italy since 2006 when the export markets reopened.

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