Gourmet, healthy, comforting: Retail data reveals the many varied faces of consumers

Fiera Milano, Rho


Gourmet, healthy, comforting: Retail data reveals the many varied faces of consumers

IRi's surveys for TUTTOFOOD uncover a consumer who, on one hand, is looking for a more protein-rich diet, while on the other, loves fresh products and doesn’t shy away from “little pleasures”.

Picking out the trends behind the figures has always been one of TUTTOFOOD's strong points, allowing it to support companies in developing their business far beyond the five-day event. This undertaking involves a periodic survey of packaged food sales in large-scale retail conducted by IRi, a specialist analyst, for TUTTOFOOD.


So what trends are emerging from the latest data, collected up until August? First of all, two trends that had already been taking shape during lockdowns were affirmed: an increase in packaged meats, which therefore do not seem to be affected by the growing demand for plant-based substitutes, but rather complement them as the demand for protein-rich foods rises.


Meanwhile, there was a positive result for sweets, which seems to be consistent with the desire to “treat oneself” with recreational foods both as an emotional response to pandemic stress and for the “free” breaks that punctuate healthy dietary regimes which more and more consumers are embracing. In fact, in August, Fresh Desserts grew by 9.8% compared to the same month in 2020, with sales totalling €27 million, while Packaged Meats saw a 7.9% rise with sales of 69 million.


Albeit at lower rates, these trends were affirmed by figures from the beginning of the year: Packaged Meats grew by 3.5% (to 633 million) and Fresh Desserts by 2.4% (214 million). In addition to fresh produce, there was also a rebound in Seasonal Products which had been affected by closures in 2020: between January and August, these rose by 41.9% compared to the same period the previous year, totalling €562 million. The more gourmet tendency Italian consumers showed during the pandemic is also worth mentioning, with Fresh Pasta up 6.1% in August (44 million) and up 3.1% since the beginning of the year (480 million).


Continuing on the topic of rebounds, the Beverage sector also seems to have finally broken free of the standstill forced on it by hospitality industry closures, with double-digit growth: from January to July, wholesale channel sales increased 16.4% on the previous year, exceeding the billion and a half mark (€1,515 million), while in July 2021 the increase was 11% compared to the same month of the previous year, taking sales to a value of almost half a billion (416 million) in just one month.