An “Indian summer” for packaged food in the large-scale distribution sector

Fiera Milano, Rho


An “Indian summer” for packaged food in the large-scale distribution sector

The pace is still dictated by “lockdown” products such as frozen foods, ready meals or fresh condiments. Organic products are slowing down, and the Beverage sector is still suffering.

In the USA, an “Indian summer” is when autumn temperatures are still like those in the summer. And it is a sort of “Indian summer” that packaged food in Italian organised distribution is continuing to experience. According to the data processed for TUTTOFOOD by IRI, from January to October, the value of sales totalled 41,335 million euros, with as much as a 6.7% growth compared to the same period in 2019. The increase in the month is also in the same vein, with October 2020 seeing an increase of 6.6%, bringing spending to 3,729 million.


The “lockdown effect” also continues to be felt in the product categories that record the best performances. Pre-cooked products have stood out since the beginning of the year, up by 17.7% to 199 million euros, and Fresh Condiments up by 14.9% with a 312 million expenditure . Frozen Foods are almost on a par (up 14.15%), and close to two billion (1,953 million). Packaged Meat  (+ 13.5% for an expenditure of 778 million) and Cheese (+ 12.5% for 2,582 million euros) climb into double figures, as do Dairy Products, practically on a par (+ 10.4%, for an expenditure of 1,259 million) and Sweet Spreads (+ 10.3%, 683 million euros).



Organic is still doing well, the Beverage sector holds on in September


Products that we also generally find among the best performers in October: Precooked Products have grown by 13.2% (18 million), Frozen Foods by 12.6% (192 million) and Packaged Meat by 10.3% (75 million). The Organic Sector is still in positive territory, but growth is slowing down: since the beginning of the year, it has recorded an increase of 3.4% (1,399 million expenditure) while in October it had a net increase of 4% (134 million). On the other hand, the difficult period for the Beverage sector continues, having been affected in the autumn by the new measures to close the away-from-home sector after the second wave. In the Beverage Wholesale Channel (Integrates and Consortia), from January to September the decline is more than a quarter (- 28.6%), bringing total expenditure below two billion (1,960 million euros). Still fairly untouched by the closures, September however, manages to limit the losses (- 1.1%) totalling 283 million euros.