Food Industry Monitor | 2024

27 June 2024 - University of Gastronomic Sciences, Pollenzo

The observatory on the performance and business models of Italian food companies conducted by the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo and Ceresio Investors

Food Industry Monitor | 2024

X EDITION - “Ten years of the Italian food industry”

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Italian food has grown significantly over the last ten years, from a value of EUR 53 billion in 2012 to around EUR 90 billion in 2023. Exports have seen continuous growth, rising from EUR 23 billion to EUR 44 billion over the same period.

Employment in the food processing industry alone increased from 449,000 to 488,000, a record growth of about 39,000, in a period that turned out not to be particularly good for the Italian economy.

performance 2023

2023 was an extremely positive year for the food sector with a growth of 10% thanks to both the good performance of the domestic market and the excellent performance of exports.

In 2023, the sector's exports reached EUR 44 billion, registering growth of 6.3%, an excellent figure even if lower than the growth recorded in 2022, which was partly determined by price increases. Profitability figures show a largely positive scenario. Commercial profitability (ROS) reaches 5.1%, a figure in line with that recorded in 2022. The return on capital employed is close to 8% and is slightly higher than in 2022, thanks to the ability to optimise inventories.

FORECAST 2024-2025

The sector's growth will continue in the years 2024-2025 at rates above GDP. Specifically, growth of +4.8% is expected for 2024, and 5.2% for 2025.

Exports will also continue to grow; we estimate that in 2024 foreign sales will grow by 8.1% and in 2025 by 7.3%.

In 2024 typical Made in Italy sectors such as coffee, oil, spirits and wine will grow at rates above the market average, mainly due to good results on the international market. Other sectors such as pasta, milk and dairy products, and sweets will grow at slightly lower rates, suffering from the tensions generated by the distribution system and the contraction of consumption in some segments of the Italian market.

Round table


The conference was presented by Sebastiano Barisoni, deputy executive editor of Radio 24 Il Sole 24 Ore, who also moderated the panel discussion that included a representation of the major operators in the Italian food & beverage sector, in particular:

Regina Corradini D’Arienzo - CEO of SIMEST, Alessandro Santini - Head of Corporate & Investment Banking at Ceresio Investors, Andrea Stolfa - CEO of Omnia Technologies, Massimo Ambanelli - HIFOOD co-founder and CSM Group CCO Americas & Asia, Federico Vecchioni - CEO of Bonifiche Ferraresi SpA, Maura Latini - President COOP Italia


The conclusions of the conference were traditionally entrusted to Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food and President of the University of Gastronomic Sciences.

The Food Industry Monitor analyses the performance of a sample of about 840 companies, with an aggregate turnover of about 90 billion Euro, active in 15 food sectors. The Food Industry Monitor analyses the historical performance of food companies from 2009 to 2023 focusing on the following dimensions: growth, exports, profitability, productivity and financial structure. Forecasts of turnover and export growth and profitability trends for the two-year period 2024-2025 have been drawn up for each sector.

Full video of the conference