Food trends

PANETTONE WINS THE EXPORT RACE

22/12/2023

Just two years ago, more or less in the same weeks of December, we tried to explain the ultimate debate between Panettone and Pandoro, the two most loved Christmas puddings in Italy.  Although the traditional discussion is still ongoing in Italy and fans of one or the other often end up in heated arguments over which of them tastes better, the most recent figures about their export tell a story with just one main protagonist. 

The export of Italian panettone and pandoro is worth approximately EUR 500 million. Last year it registered a double-digit growth in European countries such as France (about EUR 125 million, representing over 20% of total exportations) and Germany (about EUR 110 million; 18% of total exportations), followed by the United Kingdom (approximately EUR 60 million, equaling to 10% of total exportations). Still, thanks to a strong marketing campaign that promotes the innovations implemented in recent years, Panettone is now forecasted to be the absolute winner of the Christmas race.  

According to The Guardian, Panettone – which has been steadily growing in popularity in recent years – is due to register unprecedented sales in the UK this winter. Although the classic one is still very much loved, the most popular British retailers offer many different types of Panettone, including salted caramel and chocolate orange. As if to say, besides importing the actual product, they are also making the most of the creativity that has been developing around this traditional cake. 

From the pistachio one – very much in fashion last year – to the exclusive Pure Gold (made with edible gold), this year’s innovative tastes included Red Christmas (with candied Sicilian pink grapefruit and red Italian bitter drink), Ascolano (with candied olives, chocolate drops and anise) and the Cocktail one (made with Comspolitan, rum and chocolate, or Gin Lemon). The trendiest ones come from Sicily and they are prepared using local fruits and products such as candied black cherries, figs, walnuts, chocolate from Modica and Malvasia wine. 

Vegan Panettone – whose recipe replaces traditional ingredients, such as eggs and butter, with vegan-friendly ones – is growing in popularity as well as the one produced in compliance with the kosher certification for Jew consumers, thus allowing Italian exports to break into the Middle Eastern market. If Japan’s and China’s interest keeps growing – mainly in major urban hubs like Tokyo and Beijing – it is Brazil that takes the podium of the annual consumption of Panettone with a staggering 450 million that transcends the weeks of festive seasons to make it a year-round indulgence. 

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