- Press release
, François-Xavier Branthôme
- 2022 Season
In 2022, the quantity of tomatoes processed in Italy was 10% lower than in 2021. In terms of sales channels, after the Covid-19 period, the retail sector is currently resizing as the Horeca sector expands.
For Tiberio Rabboni, "an analysis of processed products in 2022 reveals the latest market dynamics and consumption patterns, providing a key to understanding the current 2023 season."
Northern Italy's Interbranch Organization for the processing tomato industry (IO Pomodoro Nord) has analyzed data obtained from the industrial tomato sector during the 2022 season. The study shows that 36.3% of tomatoes grown last year in northern Italy were processed into pulp, 29.9% into passata, 32.3% into pastes and 1.5% into specific by-products such as sauces and frozen foods.
The quantity of tomatoes harvested was 6.7% lower in 2022 than in 2021. As a result, production quantities of tomato products also fell, recording an overall decrease of 10% compared to the previous year. In a detailed breakdown, the decreases recorded were 8.5% for passata, 5.7% for pastes and 12.5% for pulp, mainly diced pulp and extruded passata pulp.
After several years of restrictions linked to anti-Covid measures that led to a change in food consumption habits and lifestyles, retail sales outlets recorded a slowdown, with only 27% of processed products being absorbed by this channel, the lowest percentage in the last five years. By contrast, production for the hotel, restaurant and catering sector accounted for almost 21% of the total, the highest figure for the last five years. This increase in production for the Horeca sector has been driven by a recovery in consumption in the Away-From-Home market, reflecting growing consumer interest in eating out.
The significant slowdown in consumption in the retail sector is a source of concern for operators, given that, across the board, all marketing channels have been affected by the confirmed increase in the price of raw materials paid to agricultural producers by industry operators, by the high costs of production in the field and by the high costs of industrial processing that continue to weigh on the sector.
By contrast, the production of products intended for further processing by the food industry remains stable in terms of quantity, with a decrease in absolute terms only for pulp and passata.
An analysis of the quantities of certified organic tomatoes processed in northern Italy shows that passata remained the most represented product on the market in 2022, followed by double-concentrated paste and pulp. Overall, organic products represent 7% of the total volume of processed tomatoes.
The data collected confirms the marked differentiation between the types of processed tomatoes produced in northern Italy, both in terms of the range of products obtained and their destination in the various trade channels (see additional information at the end of this article). This diversification is a key element of flexibility that gives northern Italy's processing industry its stability and solidity, enabling it to cope with the various complex scenarios that characterize production and markets every year.
Tiberio Rabboni, President of IO Pomodoro da Industria Nord Italia, has pointed out: "An analysis of processed products is particularly useful and topical, as it reveals the latest market dynamics and consumption patterns, providing a key to understanding the current 2023 season. Among the most significant developments in 2022 has been the end of the effects of Covid restrictions on Horeca outlets, and renewed consumer and market interest in processed products offering service content."
Some complementary information
Details of the distribution of tomatoes as a raw material according to the different types of products marketed in the Horeca sector.
Details of the distribution of tomatoes as a raw material according to the different types of products distributed through consumer retail channels.
Sources: OI Pomodoro Nord