Hard cheeses, double-digit growth


Italian hard cheeses continue to fuel domestic as well as global demand. (1) Mostly to the northwest of the Peninsula, with a peculiar concentration of hard cheese sales-42 percent of total Italian sales-in the regions of Piedmont, Aosta Valley, Liguria and Lombardy alone.

Cheese, a badass market

Sales of Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano, pecorino and various other typical aged cheeses–the flagship of Italian dairy production–have reached record levels, according to data reported by Assolatte.

Purchases in the large-scale retail trade (GDO) in Italy grew in the 12 months ended August 2019 to reach:

– by volume, nearly 36 thousand tons (+4.4%),

– by value, 550 million euros (+5.7 percent). Record sales in the modern distribution channel alone, adding to those in distrinizio nor traditional and other sales channels.

The plus of flakes and gratings

The best performance is for hard cheeses packaged in flakes. A format worth more than 13 million euros, growing in one year in both value (+15.3 percent) and volume (+13.9 percent).

However, grated hard cheeses-the ready-to-use versions of the famous PDOs, sometimes even in mixes-represent the most important segment, in terms of volume (69.4 percent) andi turnover (64.8 percent). With a still lively growth trend, +3.7 percent in value and +2.3 percent in volume.

Traditional hard sold in pieces

Hard cheeses sold in pieces, in turn, continue to grow in double digits. In fact, their total value, 142 million euros, expresses è growth over the 12 months of 11.8 percent in value and 13.8 percent in volume.

Stable, on the other hand, is the market for morsels, a format that is worth 37 million euros but shows no significant change (+0.1 percent in value).


(1) For an update on the outstanding global performance of Grana Padano PDO, see the previous article https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/mercati/grana-padano-dop-prosegue-la-crescita-del-leader-globale

Marta Strinati

Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".