Pre-packaged food products, Italians love ready meals. And that’s not all

Fiera Milano, Rho


Pre-packaged food products, Italians love ready meals. And that’s not all

The entire sector is growing, many segments up by double figures. Surprising performance for condiments, pre-cooked and frozen foods. As home chefs, Italians trust in mass market brands.

Confirmation of the opinion held by most analysts: in the first half year, consumers focused on essential shopping, particularly food. This is confirmed by data analysed for TUTTOFOOD by IRI in July. Packaged food sales across large-scale retail chains increased by 7.7% to come close to 30 billion Euro (29,326 million Euro to be precise).



The IRI figures also bring “sociological” confirmation in that, as already suggested by previous reports, while it’s true that Italians rediscovered home-cooking during the lockdown (and reopening phase), it is also true that they often preferred to trust in products offered by their favourite brands or chains. The two segments that saw the greatest growth between January and July are Fresh Condiments (+21.8% for 234 million Euro), Pre-Cooked Foods (+21.1% for 143 million) and Frozen Products, which come close to 1.5 billion (+16.7% for 1.427 billion).



Many sectors in the double digits


Also in the double figures when it comes to growth are Packaged Meat (546 million equating to 15.6% growth), Cheeses (at 1,842 million thanks to a 15.5% rise), Sweet Spreads (492 million, +13.7%), Dairy Products, UHT and Similar (919 million, +13.1%) and Pasta (664 million, +10.4%). July proved to be a month of adjustment, with most segments continuing to grow, albeit by a more contained 6-7%. In absolute terms, it was the Multi-Product (grocery) sector that continued to dominate with sales equating to 12.164 million between January and July and a growth of 7.3%, in line with the pre-packaged food product average.



Meanwhile, the Beverage segment struggled, affected first by an almost total block of out-of-home sales before experiencing a very slow recovery. In the first half year, the drop equated to 42.8%, with sales falling below the billion mark (938 million Euro). In June, the decline was less marked, -18.3%, with sales of 300 million, an improvement that may continue during summer months, thanks also to better than expected levels of national tourism.