The Italian food industry covers a large variety of special dishes and diverse product categories. In particular, the Italian gastronomy ranges from high-quality olive oils over typical Italian cheeses to internationally-known pizza and pasta specialties. It is a cuisine which has become popular and widely adopted all over the world.
Italian foods occupy a significant place in the food consciousness of Americans. A survey conducted in the spring of 2015 found that 46.31 million Americans had visited an Italian restaurant in the 30 days prior to the questionnaire. Apart from dining at Italian restaurants, pizza delivery services are also popular among Americans. In 2015, consumers in the U.S. spent approximately 9.7 billion U.S. dollars on pizza delivery, however this figure decreased from the 12.1 billion U.S. dollars reported in 2016.
Pasta and rice are another popular category of Italian foods. There is a wide range of pasta varieties, such as dry rice, spaghetti/macaroni, refrigerated pasta, frozen pasta and noodles. In 2016, the sales of frozen pasta in the U.S. amounted to some 351.7 million U.S. dollars.
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