According to its 2015 sales report released last week, the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma saw healthy growth in the North American market, including an increase in US and Canadian whole ham sales by 3% and 19%, respectively. This represents a 51% lift in US export sales of Prosciutto di Parma since 2009.

Although Italy remains the largest market, the US maintained its 5-year lead as the principal foreign export market for Prosciutto di Parma, which accounts for over half of all dry cured hams from Europe. Globally, exports increased 3.9% over the previous year, representing roughly 2.7 million hams and 260 million Euro. However today, the US still consumes more Prosciutto di Parma than any country outside of Italy.

“Our export is very positive and has enabled Parma Ham to become a leading brand on the international deli-meat scene. Over the last ten years exports have risen by 50% and now represent 32% of yearly production.” said Vittorio Capanna, president of the Parma Ham Consortium.

Jason Stemm, vice president of the food, beverage and nutrition practice at PadillaCRT added, “The US market, in particular, continues to grow especially for pre-sliced and longer aged Prosciutto di Parma with 18- and 24-month hams more widely available.”

Pre-sliced packs of Prosciutto di Parma saw enormous growth in 2015 as well, now representing 19% of total production. North America in particular accounted for a significant increase in pre-sliced package sales, with the US growing by 8.3% and Canada by 28.5%. Canada represents an area of great potential for the Consorzio, especially as it awaits the return of its trademark rights in the country.

In total, production of whole hams decreased by 3.8%, however pre-sliced product remained strong. In fact, in 2015, the Consorzio saw a 6.3% increase in pre-sliced production, totaling 79 million packs, created from 1,582,000 hams. Exports (+5.9%) continue to grow significantly and represent 75% of total pre-sliced pack sales.