Comfort food in the spotlight in the autumn of uncertainty

Fiera Milano, Rho


Comfort food in the spotlight in the autumn of uncertainty

Freshly-baked sweets, Ice cream and Sweet snacks are the leads. Packaged meat continues to rise: vegetable alternatives seem to be more complementary than in competition.

Organised distribution is giving us mixed results. But, which trends seem to emerge from the numbers? IRi's (Institute for Industrial Reconstruction) surveys for TUTTOFOOD 2023 on packaged food confirm the differences in trends between product categories, with a few surprises.


For example, October values suggest that “new” festivities such as Halloween have a hold on Italian consumers. Products for festivities grew by 28% compared to the same month in 2020 for an expenditure of 12 million Euro. The fact that, in this phase of continuing uncertainty, Italians want to be pampered is also confirmed by the sales of Freshly-baked sweets (28 million, +9.6%), Ice cream (43 million, +7.7%) and Sweet snacks (+3.7% to 162 million), the latter two probably helped by the launch of new items.


Packaged meat also continued to recover, with sales of 83 million and an increase of +8.9% despite the boom in vegetable alternatives. The two commodities would thus appear to be complementary rather than competing. It should be noted that, although in value terms, these growth rates only partly reflect the rise in average price, which remains well below them for almost all products.


Looking at the period since the beginning of the year, the best performing product category is once again Festive Products: with a 41.5% jump, they accumulated sales of 575 million Euro, driven by Easter, which had occurred in complete lockdown in 2020. Meanwhile, the rebound continues for the Beverage segment. In September 2021, sales in the wholesale channel, amounting to 325 million Euro, increased by 15% compared to the same month last year: in line with the annual figure, which sees an increase of 16% for total sales 2,273 million. The reopening of the out-of-home market continues to show its effects.