Top 10 Foods with Protected Status

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At Gousto we spend a lot of time sourcing the right ingredients for our food boxes. We love knowing the story behind each particular product, which recently led me to do a bit of research into ingredients that have been awarded protected status.

Ingredients like these can be found all over the world, but I wanted to know which countries have the most foods protected by this kind of legislation.

Using a unique scoring system (with Instagram hashtag data alongside search volume data from Google) I crunched the numbers to discover if the protected status of these foods has helped boost their overall popularity.

Countries with the most applications to protect their foods

graph of countries with the most applications for protected foods

France is currently topping the charts with 42 applications to protect their regional ingredients. Generally, Europe dominates the charts with Spain in second place and Italy in third.

The most popular protected foods

Analysing Instagram hashtag data then gave me a good idea of which protected foods are actually most loved by the public:

  1. Feta Cheese (Greece)
  2. Raclette (Switzerland)
  3. Baklava (Turkey)
  4. Halloumi (Cyprus)
  5. Bratwurst (Germany)
  6. Sauerkraut (Germany)
  7. Spatzle (Germany)
  8. Waterford Blaa (Ireland)
  9. Kielbasa (Poland)
  10. Stilton (UK)

Most interestingly, four out of the 10 most popular protected foods are cheese! Feta, Raclette, Halloumi and Stilton all feature with an incredible combined score of 2,708,986 posts! Other cheeses worth a mention were Wensleydale and Welsh cheese Caerphilly, both enjoying protected status in the UK.

Interestingly, cheese based products are also the third most protected food type, with 255 products protected under the EU.

The Three Types of Protection: PGI, PDO and TSG

graphic explaining the three types of protection schemes

Of all new applications: 54% are for PGI, 43% are for PDO and 3% are for TSG.

Top 10 Most Protective Nations

The data reveals that Italy, France and Spain are the most protective of their regional produce, with a total of 744 registered products under each of the three schemes.

map highlighting the countries with the most protected foods

Total Products Registered PGI PDO TSG
Italy 299 168 129 2
France 249 144 104 1
Spain 196 90 102 4
Portugal 139 74 64 1
Greece 107 76 31 0
Germany 91 79 12 0
United Kingdom 72 41 27 4
Poland 41 23 8 10
Czech Republic 30 23 6 1
Slovenia 24 13 8 3

Most Protected Categories of Food

Out of the 1,440 protected foods registered, the Fruit, Vegetable and Cereal category came out on top, with almost a third of all protected foods within this category.

  1. Fruit, vegetables and cereals: 399 (28%)
  2. Meat: 344 (24%)
  3. Cheese: 255 (18%)
  4. Oils/Fats: 134 (9%)
  5. Bread: 94 (6%)
  6. Fish: 52 (4%)
  7. Beer: 26 (2%)
  8. Pasta: 11 <1%)
  9. Spices: 2 (<1%)
  10. Other: 131 (8%)

graph with most protected produce

World Foods with Registered Protected Status

Western European countries aren’t alone in being protective of their foods. There are countries across the world with ingredients that are already protected, or open applications to get their iconic foods added to the list.

Gousto food protected status

I hope you found this as fascinating as I did! Were any of these stats surprising to you? Share you thoughts in the comments!

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