New York — America's increasing consumption of pizza and pasta is expected to take the retail market for Italian foods from nearly $12 billion in 2006 to more than $13.8 billion in 2011, according to Italian Foods in the U.S., a new report from market research firm Packaged Facts.
Recent market growth has been driven by the pizza and pizza products category, which brings in more than 45 percent of total Italian food sales. Sales in this category topped $5.3 billion in 2006, a jump of 2 percent over 2005 figures.
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.
But in spite of the trends driving the Italian food market, there has been very little change in household penetration over the years, according to the report.
"Our research shows that more households aren't consuming Italian foods. 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."
Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer industries, including consumer goods and retailing, food and beverage, and demographics. Italian Foods in the U.S 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.