Video Feature

Italian pasta in India

Italy is the biggest pasta exporter in the world holding 38% of the total world exports of pasta.

In 2009 1.5 million tons of Italian pasta ended up in foreign countries, worth approximately 1.8 billion US$. The Italian pasta export trend has been growing constantly for years and the European Union is its main outlet. The first market is Germany, with a quantity share of 20.1% in 2009. In second place is France (13.6 %), followed by the United Kingdom (12.1%), United States (8.9%) and Japan (6.5%). These five countries alone account for 61.2% of Italian pasta exports. India imported some 3,200 tons of Italian pasta in 2009 at a per kg value of 1.2 € / 75 Rs. This means the Italian pasta market in India in 2009 had a total value of 3.8 million €.

India only imports 0.2% of Italy’s total pasta exports, that’s only 1% of what Germany imported in 2009. However India’s pasta imports have been growing at a high rate of 39% p.a. between 2005 and 2009.

India applies a tariff of 30% on pasta imported from Italy. Considering the rising food inflation in India and the upcoming Free Trade Agreement between India and the European Union, the Indian Government most probably will remove or reduce this duty soon.

There are only very few Indian companies manufacturing pasta. One of them is United Agro Industries (“Blue Bird” brand), many other companies had tried to produce pasta in South India in the 1970s and 80s, but failed because of low demand and awareness of pasta. Most of the pasta produced in India (also known as “Vermicilli”) is manufactured in the unorganised sector.

New retail outlets like Reliance, Bharti Wal Mart’s Easy Day, Aditya Birla’s More or the new SPAR Hypermarkets will make it possible for Italian pasta producers to build their brands through promotional activities in organised food retail outlets. The SPAR group has already shown very keen interest to tie up with Italian pasta producers and the Italian Trade Commission to organise tastings and promotion activities in their new hypermarket stores. Italian food & beverage events, like the “Festa Italiana” organised every year by the Indio Italian Chamber of Commerce will further increase the awareness of the quality of Italian pasta and its brands.

The major Italian pasta brands in India are currently Barilla, Buitoni and Agnesi. But there are many more pasta producer in Italy keen to explore the Indian market. At the same time Indian companies are looking for setting up new pasta production plants with Italian Joint Venture partners in India.

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