Italian fresh and natural ingredients will make the difference. A 4.9% growth is expected for the year, consolidating the anti-cyclical trend of 2020, which saw a boom in fresh and cold foods.
In modern distribution, packaged food is traditionally the litmus test of consumer trends. So how did it fare in 2020, the year of the pandemic? Figures from IRI, a market research company specialising in big data, analytics and insight, and a partner of TUTTOFOOD, indicate that, in modern distribution, food reached an 8.4% value increase and a 7.1% volume increase at the end of 2020, also benefiting from a transfer from the out-of-home channel due to the various lockdowns.
According to IRI data, weighed fresh (+10.6% in value) and chilled foods, especially frozen (+12.9%) products, are the departments with the highest growth rates. Beverage results were also definitely positive, although its wholesale channel suffered from the consequences of out-of-home channel closures. However, in the modern channel these products ended the year with a 5% increased spending and +4.4% marketed volumes. While the hoarding effect pushed the demand for stock categories in the first few months, IRI estimates that, at the end of the year, about 5.5% of Food & Beverage sales are still related to the "migration" of food consumption from bars and restaurants to the home.
And what should we expect in 2021? Coop-Nomisma predicted that "good and cheap" will be this year's mantra. Based on the responses given to Nomisma’s survey, the best performers are expected to be foods made with Italian raw materials (53%), fresh ingredients (52%) and natural/sustainable ingredients (48%). These trends should drive growth in agri-food consumption towards +4.9% for the year.