Tofu: increasingly appreciated by italian consumers
2 March 2023
Tofu has been the first ‘meat alternative’ to emerge and has its roots in a very ancient tradition. The first recipes were created around 2,000 years ago in China, under the Han dynasty. Soy milk was curdled with salt or citric acid to form curds, which were then pressed into white blocks. As the recipe spread to other Asian countries, different variations of this product began to emerge, with different production techniques, textures and flavours.
To this day, tofu is still a very popular food, especially in Asian countries where it is an integral part of traditional cuisine. In Italy, this product has been discovered more recently by the mass market and is becoming increasingly popular. The secret of its success is undoubtedly its excellent nutritional values and extreme versatility. In fact, it is perfect for both savoury and sweet dishes due to its neutral flavour and extremely malleable consistency. In the East, it is used in its softer version as an ingredient for soups, but it is also perfect cooked in cubes to enrich salads or seasoned with spices and accompanied by vegetables. It can also be used as a base for desserts, for example for Protein Brownies.
Nielsen reported a good performance for the tofu market in 2022 in Italy. The category continues to grow, reporting an increase of 12.4% in value and 13.4% in volume for 2022 over 2021. To date, the total market is worth € 11.4 million. In addition to the classic white tofu loaf, the product offering on the shelves has been expanding in recent years, with various flavours that are readily available from smoked tofu to tofu with herbs and tofu with sesame for example. This has made its consumption more acceptable and convenient.
Atlante includes in its classic Vegamo line a ‘Made In Italy’ tofu product made from Italian soya. It is a high protein, low sodium product that has a high nutritional value.