Italian foodstuffs like pasta, wine, and olive oil are all staples of the British diet.
It’s not surprising therefore that Italy is one of the UK’s largest food trading partners. The country’s rich food culture, not only in terms of processed products like pesto and parmesan cheese, but also fresh produce such as tomatoes and olives, are firm favourites with British consumers.
After Brexit, there were initial concerns about falling imports from Italy, but since then the situation has stabilised.
What food products are imported from Italy?
Since Brexit, UK consumers have continued to enjoy Italian food and drink products.
The overall share of the UK food and drink market taken by Italian products has increased from 5.6 to 6.3 per cent. This makes Italy the seventh largest food and drink supplier to the UK, with the overall value of Italian food and drink imports reaching 4.21 billion Euros in 2022 – an 8.3 per cent increase on the 2021 figure.
These imports are made up of some of the staples of the Mediterranean diet.
What foods do we import from Italy into the UK?
Pasta is an iconic staple of the Italian diet, and increasingly a staple of the British diet. The UK imports significant volumes of pasta, of all different types, from specialist luxury end products to mass market favourites.
- Olive oil
Italian olive oil is regarded as something of an art form and is a staple ingredient in kitchens across the UK. Whether drizzled over salads or used for sauteing vegetables, the UK’s palate when it comes to this ‘liquid gold’ is growing ever more sophisticated.
- Italian wine
Often cheaper New World wines may now be the market leader in the UK, but Italian wines are still a favourite with UK producers. Whether it’s the sparkling charm of Prosecco at a party or a sophisticated Tuscan Chianti, Italian wines continue to be a significant component of Italy food exports to the UK.
- Italian cheeses
Italian cheeses such as mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan are used widely in UK cuisine and are one of the biggest Italian food and drink imports.
Tomatoes are integral to Italian cuisine and the sunny climate is ideal for their production. The longer growing season makes Italian tomatoes essential to ensuring year-round supply in the UK. Italian tinned chopped and plum tomatoes are a store cupboard staple in the UK.
What food does Italy export to the UK?
Italy food exports are a key part of the country’s economy, with the UK being a significant market for Italian goods. The ability of Italian producers to grow and produce food and drink that our own climate won’t allow means that Italy food exports add variety to our diet. From olive oil to pasta, high-quality cheese, delicious wines and fresh produce, Italy is a fairly local provider of food and drink to the UK.
What products to import from Italy?
As well as products that are grown and produced in Italy, other Italian products using international ingredients are also valued in the UK. This includes specialist coffee brands and high-quality confectionery. These often provide a good way for importers to enter the market, providing more niche and highly valued products that other more established and larger scale importers may not cater for.
The stress-free way to import food and drink from Italy
If you’re interested in taking advantage of the long-lasting UK love affair with Italian food and drink, then working with an import service can make the process much simpler.
At SSO International Forwarding, we make it easy for companies to import high-quality products from Italy.
Our food shipping services take the hard work out of importing food to the UK. We handle the practical logistics of getting your products to their final destination as well as customs and other formalities.
We understand that food products require careful handling, and our experienced team takes every care to ensure the safety and integrity of your consignments.
If you’re looking to import goods to the UK from Italy, other EU countries, or beyond then we can help. We are a trusted partner for UK food import and export businesses.
Contact our experienced team to find out more about our services and how we work.