The U.S. continues to be the top export market for Prosciutto di Parma, growing 4 percent in 2018, led by an 8% growth in pre-sliced sales. Over the past 20 years, U.S. exports have grown over 350 percent to nearly 600,000 hams in 2018.
Italy continues to consume the majority of Prosciutto di Parma production (70percent in 2018), however, 75% of pre-sliced production (about 1.5 million hams/legs) is exported globally. Pre-sliced packaging has been an important part of U.S. growth geographically. With large national retailers like Walmart and Kroger adding Prosciutto di Parma, more consumers have access to this world-renowned ham.
“Expanding sales markets in the U.S. has presented an incredible opportunity for continued growth in this important market,” stated Paolo Tramelli, marketing manager of the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma. “This also reminds us that we must continue to educate consumers on not just prosciutto, but the quality and value of Prosciutto di Parma,” he added.
New research from the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma shows 63percent of consumers consumed prosciutto in the past year, but only 14percent purchase it regularly. Prosciutto ranks only behind pepperoni, bologna and salami with regards to cured meats that U.S. consumers are most familiar.
In recent years, the Consorzio has launched training videos for retailers and chefs, including its award-winning TheWholeLeg.com website directed at educating chefs on how to utilize the entire leg of prosciutto to maximize value and minimize waste. For 2019, they recently launched a consumer campaign, Carve Out a Moment, reminding consumers that while Prosciutto di Parma is special, it is not limited to special occasions.
“Utilizing the consumer insight that many consumers feel that Prosciutto di Parma is a treat to be reserved for important moments, we wanted to encourage more frequent purchase by empowering consumers to include it in more occasions,” summarized Jason Stemm of Padilla, the Consorzio’s U.S. marketing agency.
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