Burrata, a fresh cheese typical of Puglia, is conquering the world. According to data from Google, the keyword "burrata" has seen a 900% increase in searches globally year-over-year. This trend demonstrates how more and more people around the world are discovering and appreciating this fresh Italian cheese. Furthermore, the explosive growth of research in recent years bears witness to the enormous success of burrata, which is becoming one of the most sought-after Italian dairy products in the world. Let's see what the business opportunities are for distributors, retail, and food service.
Data and trends in the world
The growth of burrata in the last 10 years, from 2013 to today, shows a clear growth trend, with peaks in correspondence with the summer season. The forecasts for 2023 are record-breaking.
Considering only searches in English, Google indicates millions of searches by enthusiasts, restaurateurs, and companies that in different countries register a global growth of 900%:
Taking Germany as an example, the trend from 2015 to today is similar to that worldwide trend.
A similar trend is recorded in the United States, which is the major export market for Italian burrata.
As shown in the previous images, there is a strong seasonality superimposed on the growing trend of searches. In particular, every year searches increase from March throughout the spring and reach their peak in July and August. This trend is repeated every year and can be used to maximize business opportunities by choosing the periods to advertise with distributors, retailers, and catering operators, as well as for final consumers who prefer to buy burrata in the warmer months.
In the following image, the data relative to France in the last 5 years, show a seasonality with more marked variations than other countries.
It is interesting to compare the data with a country in the southern hemisphere, where the seasons are reversed. Australian data confirm that seasonality, albeit less marked than the general growth trend, affects sales and consumption.
To better understand in which period of the year there is a greater consumption and sales of burrata, let's focus on the last 12 months, comparing France and Australia, in the following images.
Export: why is burrata so successful in the world?
Burrata, a fresh cheese typical of Puglia, has achieved considerable popularity beyond the Italian borders. In recent years, the export of this product has considerably expanded, leading this cheese to become one of the most popular dairy products in the world.
According to data from Istat (National Institute of Statistics), exports of burrata have seen a constant increase in recent years. Burrata di Andria PGI recorded a turnover of 56 million euros a year, which is only a small part of the total production. In particular, the United States represents the main outlet market for Italian burrata, with a 29% share of total exports, followed by Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
But why is the burrata so successful? The answer is linked to the quality and versatility of this product. Burrata has a creamy consistency and a delicate flavor, making it suitable for many gastronomic preparations. Furthermore, the production of burrata is closely linked to the Apulian tradition, where the processing of milk and the production of fresh cheeses is an ancient art handed down from generation to generation. In the major export markets, burrata is perceived as an example of a typical product of regional cuisine, which even international consumers are discovering for its incredible variety and authenticity.
The attention to the production processes and the quality of the ingredients has also contributed to the success of burrata in the world. Many Italian companies have chosen to invest in cutting-edge technologies to ensure maximum food safety in the production of this fresh cheese. Furthermore, the use of high-quality milk and natural ingredients has helped to give the burrata an authentic and genuine flavor that has conquered the palates of many consumers.
Ultimately, the burrata represents an example of Italian food excellence that has successfully established its presence in international markets. Thanks to its versatility and quality, this fresh cheese has reached an increasingly vast public, confirming Italy's leading role in the dairy sector on a global level.
Characteristics and processing of the traditional burrata
But what exactly is burrata? It is a fresh stretched curd cheese, similar to mozzarella, but with a creamy filling inside. Burrata is made using whole cow's milk and rennet, and its filling is made from stracciatella, a blend of hand-torn strings of stretched curd and fresh cream.
One of the distinctive characteristics of burrata is its creamy and soft texture, which makes it perfect for serving as an appetizer or as the main ingredient in fresh pasta dishes or salads. Furthermore, thanks to its delicate flavor, burrata is usually paired with various ingredients, from fresh vegetables to meats and cured meats to gourmet pizzas.
Pairings and preparations
Burrata is one of Southern Italy's gastronomic treasures, appreciated for its creaminess and intense flavor. But how to pair it to enhance its characteristics and create exceptional dishes?
First of all, the burrata can simply be eaten on its own, perhaps accompanied by a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt, and black pepper. But its qualities also make it perfect for many other recipes.
A classic pairing is a burrata with fresh cherry tomatoes, basil, and extra virgin olive oil. The sweetness of the cherry tomatoes goes perfectly with the creaminess of the burrata, while the basil and oil add a touch of freshness and flavor.
Another idea is burrata with raw ham, rocket, and balsamic vinegar. The sweetness of the burrata balances perfectly with the salty and aromatic flavor of the raw ham, while the rocket adds a note of freshness. Balsamic vinegar is the final ingredient that completes the harmony of this dish.
For a vegetarian variant, you can opt for the burrata with grilled zucchini, mint, and grated lemon zest. The grilled zucchini add a crunchy texture, while the mint and lemon zest give the dish freshness and acidity.
An original combination is a burrata with swordfish carpaccio and rocket. The burrata, in this case, acts as a creamy element that balances the strong flavor of the swordfish and the freshness of the rocket.
Finally, burrata goes perfectly with pasta dishes. For example, you can prepare a delicious plate of spaghetti with burrata and cherry tomatoes, or rigatoni with burrata and grilled aubergines.
Thanks to its creaminess and its particular flavor, it is perfect for creating simple but tasty dishes, which are inspired by the culinary tradition of Southern Italy.
Opportunities for producers and distributors
For importers and distributors of Italian products looking for fresh and creamy cheese to expand their offer, burrata is the right choice. This typical cheese from Puglia is one of the most appreciated Italian dairy products in the world, thanks to its soft and creamy texture and its delicate and fresh flavor.
Google search data are indicative of a growing interest, which also represents an important business opportunity for companies operating in the food chain: producers, distributors, retailers, and restaurants.
Considering the popularity of the product in the various national markets, several B2B marketing strategies can be implemented to intercept the growing trend in consumption and sales, both in the retail and food service sectors.
First, it's important to use online channels to build a strong digital presence. Social media, for example, can be used to promote Italian burrata and attract enthusiasts of the product, such as chefs and restaurateurs, as well as end consumers. Furthermore, a well-designed website with search engine optimization (SEO) can help increase product visibility and reach new potential customers (especially on search engines like Google and Bing).
Furthermore, a creative strategy could be to organize "remote" tastings (with samples sent to the participants), within a virtual event where the participants can taste the product and learn more about its history and characteristics. This can be an effective way to reach new potential customers innovatively.
Finally, it can be helpful to collaborate with food industry influencers, such as chefs, bloggers, and food critics, to promote Italian burrata on online channels and increase product visibility.
In summary, B2B marketing strategies can be a valid support for both producers and distributors, to respond to the increase in demand from final consumers.