Pesto Genovese, prepared to specification, represents only a tiny part of the market (around 4%). The rest is done by the many variations of “Pesto alla Genovese” proposed by various brands, made for the need to understand the taste of a large section of consumers and produce large volumes with similar characteristics.
Modern industry has enormously contributed to the widespread use of local products. This is the case of Pesto Genovese, with the promotion of the recipe regulated by the Consortium, but also creating numerous variations and diversifications.
- The recipes of the products you can find in supermarkets, for example, a non Pdo basil or sunflower oil in addition to or in replacement of the extra virgin olive oil or cashew nuts in combination with the pine nuts.
Starting from the traditional Pesto Genovese recipe, supermarkets have also created a wide variety of recipes in order to meet the demand of diversification. So along comes the Sicilian pesto, the pesto with rocket or without garlic. Today there is also a vegan version that contains tofu instead of Grana Padano Pdo and Pecorino Pdo, proposed by Saclà to meet the demand of consumers who choose not to consume dairy products for ethical or health benefits.
• "Not all areas can make large volumes with PDO and PGI products -said Stefano Gatti, commercial director of the Saclà company- especially due to the difficulties in finding suitable raw materials in the quantities needed to meet the demand for the finished product . They are like the flagship car of car manufacturers: the need to make the market understand clearly the quality of which Italy is capable. Not to name any brands, the Italian and foreign markets, reward quality even in the “pesto” sector. In a country which is very aware of this aspect, such as the UK, we were the first to bring Italian pesto sauce to the supermarket shelves and today with this reference we hold 57% of the market share. We are also working make our pesto Made in Italy in the US and Asia a success."
(In the photographs: Stefano Gatti, Chiara Ercole and the vegan version of Pesto Genovese)