Italians filling their shopping baskets with protein, but making room for treats too

Fiera Milano, Rho


Italians filling their shopping baskets with protein, but making room for treats too

While Packaged Meats performed well, all comfort foods underwent significant growth. Organic remains stable, Beverages bounce back.

Returning from holidays, data on consumption is multiplying. But what trends do these numbers illustrate for us? We take a look at what emerges after analysing surveys on packaged food sales in retail conducted for TUTTOFOOD by IRi. First and foremost, it should be pointed out that consolidated growth continues overall. In fact, from January to July 2021, sales almost reached a value of 30 billion (€29,826 million) with a 1.5% increase on the same period last year. An increase that is even more significant considering that the first half of 2020 includes the first lockdown, which saw a boom in food sales.



Comfort and freshness in the Italian summer


It’s by examining product categories that we get helpful clues for understanding where consumption trends are headed. It has become evident, for instance, that Italians want to be kind to themselves. On the whole, pretty much all comfort food products are experiencing growth: from January to July, sales of non-dessert sweets grew by 4.6% , exceeding a value of one billion Euro (€1,001 million), while Seasonal Products increased by 42% with sales of more than half a billion (€561 million). The warmer weather, on the other hand, brought with it a desire for freshness: in July, Ice-cream posted a +9.8% increase up on the same month in 2020, with sales of €164 million. There was even an increase in Fresh Desserts, with sales of €26 million, up +8.1%, and in Yoghurt, which grew by 4.4% to €113 million.



Healthy, but with desire to go out too


The increasing focus on higher protein diets is reflected in the excellent performance of Packaged Meats, which celebrated a +7.8% increase in July with sales of €71 million, while total growth since the start of the year stands at 3% with sales exceeding half a billion (€564 million). Continuing on the theme of fitness and health, Organic sales have held fast with sales of nearly one billion (€994 million) during the half-year period and increasing by 1.3% in July. But Italians don't just want to feel good, they want to go out too: this is suggested by how the Beverage sector has bounced back, which is strongly linked to eating out and which experienced double-digit growth in June, 47.9%. This trend was reiterated by data from Coldiretti: over the summer, two out of three Italians (65%) chose to eat out, generating takings of over 20 billion.