Among all target markets for Italian extra virgin olive oil, Japan and Switzerland are the countries with the highest average export price (respectively 5.6 and 6 euros/kg) compared to a world average of 5 euros/kg. Yet even as regards cheese, Italy enjoys the highest price positioning in this market compared to all its direct competitors (€7.64/kg average import price compared to 3.62 euros in Australia or €3.97 in the USA). These figures emerge from the Agrifood Monitor survey conducted by Nomisma and Crif.
The higher price positioning for Italian products reflects the higher quality of export products which in turn responds to the close attention among Japanese consumers for "Made in Italy", as Nomisma emphasised in its analysis.
The survey involved 1,100 Japanese consumers, who confirmed Italy as the most representative country for perception of quality food in Japan, ahead of both France and the United States, despite these countries being the main suppliers of food products to the Japanese market.
Not all consumers, however, say they are ready to buy with eyes closed. The proof is that 48% of Japanese classified as "conservative-cautious" consumers proved to be aware of prices and very rational in their purchasing choices. The second largest group is represented by "experimental millennials" (36%), that is young people aged 18-38 years who are curious, open to new ideas and attracted by western culture - and for this reason have a higher-than-average propensity to buy Made in Italy products.
Then there are the "carefree globetrotters" (10% of the population), represented by Generation X consumers (39-54 years) with high spending power and a love for travel and learning about new cultures. They are the most interesting market segment for Made in Italy and the key words for reach them are internet, tastings, cooking shows and food-wine pairings.
That Italian extra virgin olive oil and especially olive oils with local identity are popular in Japan is well known to the winners of the Sol d'Oro international competition - the protagonists in May thanks to Sol&Agrifood at the third edition of Olive Oil Kansai, the most important Asian exhibition dedicated to olive oil held from 14-16 May.
If you would like to find out more and discover the olive oils taking part, read