Polish people have developed a taste for Italian cuisine. Over the last five years, the import of Italian food has grown by almost 50 percent.

2018-05-15  |  05:00

Italian cuisine has become Poles’ cup of tea. The Mediterranean diet has become the second most popular food type, second only to our own, traditional cuisine. This is translating into growing imports of Italian food, which recorded an almost 46 percent increase over the last 5 years. The EUR 826 m worth of exports of Italian food to Poland includes mainly coffee, chocolate and cocoa products, olive oil, pasta, tinned vegetables and fresh grapes.

“Italy is Poland’s fourth largest import country in general, and second largest European import country following only Germany. As regards the trade exchange between Poland and Italy, it is at a similar level, with about EUR 10 bn worth of imports from Italy to Poland and PLN 9+ bn from Poland to Italy. In the agri-food sector, Italy’s exports to Poland is about EUR 800 m, but Poland’s exports to Italy is also substantial,” Antonino Mafodda, Head of the Italian Trade Agency in Warsaw, told Newseria Biznes.

Total trade turnover between Poland and Italy in 2017 reached a record level of EUR 20+ bn, as the Statistics Poland data (GUS) show. Italy has become one of our major economic partners, ranking in the top five in terms of both exports and imports. The export of Italian food products has been growing rapidly for a few years now. As reported by ICE, the Agency for the internationalisation and promotion of Italian businesses abroad, the Italian Trade Promotion Section at the Italian Embassy, Italian producers exported to Poland EUR 826.3 m worth of foodstuffs, which is a growth by almost 13 percent in annual terms.

“Italian agri-food exports cover a very wide range of products. The main ones are coffee, chocolate and cocoa products, olive oil, pasta, tinned vegetables, including mainly tomatoes, and fresh grapes,” Antonino Mafodda listed.

Over the last five years, Italian food exports to Poland have grown by as much as 45.8 percent. This is mainly a result of the growing popularity of Mediterranean diet, and especially Italian cuisine, among Polish people. Following the local cuisine (68 percent), Poles tend to go for Italian food (58 percent), a survey by SW Research showed. For comparison, Greek cuisine was the food of choice for only 14 percent of respondents.

Italian cuisine is considered light and healthy, the Head of the Italian Trade Agency explains. While in Poland we usually go for a pizza or pasta, the Italians have much more to offer.

“Indeed, in Poland there is a considerable interest in Italian products, cuisine, cooking, and specific ways of combining products. Many Polish people go to northern Italy to ski in the Alps, or spend their summer holidays by the sea, mainly east of the Italian Peninsula. Such trips provide opportunities to discover new flavours and quality products, and learn the Italian way of cooking and products whose quality is in many cases guaranteed with special labels and certificates, also by the European Union,” Antonino Mafodda explained.

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