When it comes to Italian food, two are its undiscussed staples: pasta and pizza. While the latter is best enjoyed in a Pizzeria (pizza restaurant) where it is traditionally cooked in a wood-fired oven, pasta is so easy to prepare at home that an astonishing 63% of Italians eat it on a daily basis: as a result, the average consumption per person in a year is over 23 kilos.
The last World Pasta Day – an event held every year on October 25th, organized by the Unione Italiana Food together with the International Pasta Organization (I.P.O.) – was the occasion to present the results of the research “Pasta consumption during the lockdown” done by DOXA. According to this study, the love for this healthy and easy-to-cook food increased so much during the recent lockdown prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic that pasta has just become the most sought-after comfort food. Surprising as it may seem, the research was conducted not only in Italy but also in France, Germany, UK and in the USA because together these five countries account for more than a third of the pasta consumers in the world.
As one would expect, the average per capita consumption is lower outside Italy (9 kilos per year in the USA, 8 in France and Germany, and 3.5 in the United Kingdom); however, considering that nowadays – in the land of high-protein diets – nine Americans out of ten regularly eat pasta, the scenario is rather interesting for all the professionals involved in the import/export business. It is also worth noticing that the affection for pasta has already reached such a level that diverse consumers across the world are beginning to develop a different taste, at least in terms of shape: whilst the French prefer it corta e liscia (short and smooth), the Britons and the Americans favour the long varieties like, for instance, spaghetti and linguine. The Germans are fond of fresh pasta while the vast majority of the Italians usually opt for the short and ridged types.
Despite these interesting differences, what is common to all the people interviewed is their appreciation of the quality of made in Italy pasta: it is preferred by 72% of Britons, 68% of French, 54% of Germans and 48% of Americans. Recent figures shared by the Unione Italiana Food reveal an extraordinary 40 % increase in the consumption of Italian pasta also in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and Romania; +30% in The Netherlands and Saudi Arabia and a significant +20% in the rapidly growing markets of China and South Korea.