GDO data reveal an Italy that craves sweetness and good food

Fiera Milano, Rho


GDO data reveal an Italy that craves sweetness and good food

Even as it settles down after the growths of 2020, sales of sweet and baked treats continue to grow. Fresh pasta also did well and the first positive signs came from the beverage sector.

The summer season is here, the vaccination plan has gathered speed and from 1 July the Green Pass will be available for travel between European countries. ISTAT also revised its forecasts upwards, estimating that GDP could rebound by almost 5% at the end of this year.


How do these macro-trends translate into consumer behaviour? Analysing the data on sales of packaged foodstuffs in organised distribution, processed as usual for TUTTOFOOD by IRi, there was a setback in April, with several product categories showing a minus sign. A stop that should be read as an adjustment compared to the sustained growth, in particular, during lockdowns: since the beginning of the year, in fact, all packaged goods remain on positive ground, with a +2.4% that brings total sales to almost 17.4 billion euros.


What does the performance of the product categories tell us? Certainly a country in search of a little sweetness after the emergency, as witnessed by the good results - both in the months from January to April - of sweet and baked goods. But also of an Italy that continues to want to cook well, according to the increase in fresh pasta. The focus on natural and healthy products, accentuated by the pandemic, is in turn reflected in the recovery of the organic sector: the slight decrease in sales since the beginning of the year, which comes after long periods of double-digit growth, was replaced in April by a +1% with sales of 138 million euro, over half a billion in the year to date (584 million).


Some initial, tenuous positive signs - probably linked to partial reopenings in some regions - are also emerging from the beverage sector, which has been severely affected by the forced closure of the off-trade. In March, sales of alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, beer and wine in the Beverage Wholesalers Channel rebounded by +17.3% to 82 million euro in value. Since the beginning of the year, the numbers are still negative, but this certainly bodes well for the gradual reopening during the summer season.