With an estimated turnover of 15 billion euros per year, pizza confirms its reputation as a Made in Italy goldmine. The data recorded by Coldiretti – Italian federation of independent farmers – confirms the growth trend of one of the pillars of the Mediterranean diet.
Pizza has established itself as one of the most versatile dishes in Italian cuisine, and the cornerstone of an economic system including 128,000 pizzerias nationwide. Its growth supports the employment of 110,000 full-time staff, and the same number of part-time weekend staff. “Passion for pizza is a global matter”, states a Coldiretti memo, “with the top consumers being North Americans, eating 13 kg (28.7 lbs.) annually per capita, whilst the Italians lead pizza-loving Europeans with 7.6 kg per capita, ahead of the Spanish (4.3 kg, 9.5 lbs.), French and Germans (4.2 kg, 9.3 lbs.), British (4 kg, 8.8 lbs.), Belgians (3.8 kg, 8.4 lbs.), Portuguese (3.6, 7.9 lbs.), and finally the Austrians (3.3 kg, 7.3 lbs.)”.
The estimated 8 million pizzas baked in Italy every day also impact the nation’s food and agricultural output in terms of ingredients used, amounting to 200 million kg (about 441 million lbs.) of flour, 225 million kg (about 496 million lbs.) of mozzarella, 30 million kg (about 66 million lbs.) of olive oil, and 260 million kg (about 573 million lbs.) of tomato sauce every single year. It is a success for the symbol of traditional Italian cuisine, although it multiplies the risk of use of ingredients that have nothing to do with Made in Italy. “In fact”, states Coldiretti, “there are more and more initiatives launched to guarantee the Italian origin of the ingredients and provide consumers with full and transparent information. These include the obligation to specify the origin of the extra virgin olive oil (established by the European Union) and dairy products (established following national decrees requested by Coldiretti), in force as of April 19th, 2017, as well as tomato product labelling legislation, in force as of 2018. The next aim is to bring transparency from the supermarket shelves to pizzeria menus, making customers aware of the origin of every ingredient used”.