Imports of pre-sliced Parma Ham into the UK rose again last year, as the boom in the Italian specialty ham continued. Sales in 2005 rose by 17% from 2004, according to the Parma Ham Consortium, and have more than doubled since 2000.

Packaged pre-sliced Parma Ham has become steadily more popular across many export markets since it was first introduced in 1992, but the UK is the largest market for the product. Some 7.5m packets (723,000kg) were imported in 2005.

“It’s an extremely positive result and reassures us of the value of the investment and marketing policies we have pursued,” said Stefano Tedeschi, president of the Parma Ham Consortium.

Interestingly, however, Parma Ham remains primarily a domestic product, with only around 18% of the total production sold outside Italy.