The global truffle market, valued at around $300 million, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19% in 2023, with a forecast increase to $316 million by 2023. Italy leads European production, with 45 tonnes of Tuber melanosporum & brumale, while Spain and France follow with 35 and 10 tonnes respectively. The truffle market is diversified, offering products ranging from fresh truffles to a variety of truffle-based products; prices can vary significantly according to species, size and distribution channel. Tuber magnatum (white truffle) is the most expensive, with costs reaching around 2,000 euros per kilogram for large sizes.

Dynamic trends in truffle demand in Italy

The Italian truffle market displays distinct trends characterized by highly seasonal demand, close links with the catering, processing and tourism sectors, and the influence of international tourism on consumption patterns. Seasonality plays a crucial role in the Italian truffle market, with demand peaking in October and November, following the harvesting calendars of these highly prized mushrooms. This season coincides with a peak in truffle events and fairs, which not only celebrate this delicacy, but also attract thousands of visitors, which can further increase demand. A large proportion of Italian truffles, up to around 75%, are processed in the processing industry. Here, they are transformed into a whole range of truffle-based products aimed at consumers seeking a luxurious taste at a more accessible and convenient price. The foodservice sector, which accounts for the remaining quarter of demand for fresh truffles, often relies on local truffle suppliers, especially if they are located in truffle-growing regions. The fact that Italians are eating out more often has led to a noticeable change in food consumption habits. The proportion of Italians having lunch at home has fallen from around 78% to 72% in twenty years, with out-of-home food consumption now accounting for around 36% of the total value of the food market. In addition, international tourism has had a profound impact on demand for truffles. In recent years, Italian regions such as Umbria, Abruzzo and Piedmont have been visited by increasing numbers of foreign tourists, drawn by the appeal of authentic truffle experiences. These tourists, who make up a considerable percentage of visitors to truffle fairs, contribute to the growing worldwide recognition and demand for Italian truffles.

Leading figures in the Italian truffle industry

The Italian truffle market is a mosaic of tradition and prestige, with key players who stand out not only for their role in truffle cultivation and hunting, but also for their contribution to truffle products and tourism. These players have established themselves as emblems of excellence in a sector that is both ancient and constantly evolving.

  • Urbani Tartufi is a name synonymous with truffles in Italy and beyond. They have a remarkable presence in the truffle sector, with a vast selection of truffle-based products. Urbani Tartufi stands out for its ability to innovate while respecting tradition, as demonstrated by the recent launch of an organic range of truffle products. This move to organic production demonstrates the company's commitment to meeting the demands of modern consumers while maintaining high quality standards.
  • Also worth mentioning is Assotartufai, an association representing Italian truffle hunters, which provides a wealth of knowledge about the different truffle species found in Italy. The association informs the public and its members about the various aspects of truffles, from the unique characteristics of each variety to sustainable practices for hunting and harvesting these precious mushrooms.

The truffle market is also home to a form of experiential tourism, spearheaded by organizations offering guided truffle hunting tours. These experiences take two main forms: simulated searches and real searches. Simulated searches involve hidden truffles to guarantee discovery, while real searches rely on the expertise of professional truffle hunters and their trained dogs. These tours are not only a pleasure for truffle lovers, but also a bridge between the rural tradition of hunting and the contemporary tourist experience.

Finally, local events such as Alba's Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco attract a global audience and serve as a hub not only for the trade of these culinary gems, but also for the promotion of gastronomic tourism.

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  • Last update : 24/10/2022
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Summary and extracts

1 Market summary

1.1 Definition and presentation

Truffle is the name given to particular species of mushrooms that are found in the ground and grow in symbiosis with roots of various plants. A single fungus can give life to different truffles. There are 4 main categories of truffles on the market:

  • Tuber Magnatum Pico (or white truffle of Alba): The tuber magnatum Pico is certainly the most expensive truffle on the market, and it can only be found in Italy and certain regions of Croatia.
  • Tuber Melanosporum Vittadini (or Tartufo Nero pregiato): This truffle is the most known truffle in the world, as it is also the most present in other countries other than Italy, such as France, Spain, Bulgaria, and Croatia.
  • Tuber Uncinatum Chatin (or Tartufo Uncinato)
  • Tuber Aestivum Vittadini (or Summer Truffle, Scorzone): The scorzone is the most collected and most present truffle in Italy.

Truffle harvesting in Italy was responsible for the origin of the first legislation concerning the collection of wild products on the national territory. Since then, the regulatory framework has undergone a series of changes in the hope of preserving the activity and limiting the black sale of the product, but to date the sector still lacks some main guidelines.

The truffle market is highly fragmented in Italy and consists of a multitude of small players who are truffle-hunters, "tartufaia" cultivators, manufacturing companies and distributors. The country continues to lead the rest of Europe in the production and export of truffles, boasting an ancient tradition of harvesting, thanks to the morphological conditions of the territory. Concerning the total national production, the Apennine areas in the center (Marche, Lazio, Umbria, Tuscany) represent 53%, followed by the South with 39% and the North with 8%. In the regional production, Umbria and Abruzzo are the more important producing regions, representing altogether the 53% of the Italian production. 

The demand for truffle is tightly linked to the restaurant, transformation and tourism industry and it is highly seasonal. As a matter of fact, the demand usually peaks in October-November, as it follows the truffle collection calendars. In addition, every year there are an increasing number of fairs and events organized around the truffle world, which leads to talk about a real tourism of truffle, attracting thousands of visitors.

The offer of truffle-based products has significantly expanded in recent years, as consumers can get a taste of truffle in a more convenient format and at a less prohibitive price. Furthemore, many truffle-based products manufacturers have decided to offer a biological line, which doesn't use any artificial or chimical element in the production process, to adapt to the changing customer demand. 

List of charts

  • Prezzo medio tartufo nero pregiato (Tuber Melanosporum Vittadini)
  • Prezzo medio tartufo bianco pregiato (Tuber Magnatum Pico)
  • Répartition de la demande en truffes
  • Valore della produzione venduta di funghi e tartufi freschi o conservati
  • Récolte de truffe dans les principaux pays producteurs
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Latest news

Urbani Tartufi invests 8 million euros to expand a plant dedicated to truffles - 22/12/2023
  • Year Urbani Tartufi was founded: 1852.
  • Main location: Scheggino (Perugia).
  • Planned expansion: Doubling the farm area by adding 8000 square meters, for a total of 16000 square meters.
  • Investment for expansion: About 8 million euros.
  • Main foreign markets:
    • U.S. presence: Urbani Truffles USA with 60 employees and locations in New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco.
    • Expansion in Asia: Plan to open branches in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore and Bangkok within a year.
  • Total revenues in 2022: 85 million euros, with 18% growth.
  • Revenue target for 2025: Surpass 100 million euros.
  • Truffle production target for the current year: 300 tons.
  • Eco-friendly line introduced: "Natural Philosophy" with eight products in recyclable packaging.
  • Truffleland: Company dedicated to growing truffle trees, with a volume of more than 150 thousand trees per year.
  • Urbani Truffle Museum: Founded in 2012 and dedicated to founder Paolo Urbani, located in Scheggino.
  • Urbani Truffle Academy: Training place for chefs and gastronomy experts from around the world.
Sabatino truffles, in Montecastrilli leading company in the industry active in 60 countries. - 24/07/2023
  1. Quality and International Recognition: Italian truffles are considered among the best in the world, with such high quality that they attract high-profile admirers such as Oprah Winfrey, Billy Joel, Martha Stewart and George Clooney.
  2. Top Companies in the Industry: Sabatino Tartufi, based in Montecastrilli, is one of the leading companies in the world of Speciality Food and a leader in truffle marketing and processing, with a presence in more than 60 countries.
  3. Quantity of Active Harvesters: In Italy, there are over 70,000 truffle gatherers, called "tartufai" or "cavatori," licensed by regions, provinces, mountain communities and municipalities.
  4. Economic and Geographic Impact: Truffle-related business in Italy is around half a billion euros, involving several regions from north to south of the country, including Piedmont, Umbria, Marche, Tuscany and Sardinia.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Urbani Tartufi
Tartufi & Delizie
Appennino Food Group
Sabatino Tartufi
Sulpizio Tartufi

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