Giovanni D'Alessandro - General Manager BASKO
A year has now passed since the start of the pandemic, so an initial assessment can be made. We have moved from emergency consumption in the beginning to more "reasonable" consumption in the later stages, looking again at convenience, also as a consequence of the spending limits that many families suffer.
In some cases the frequency of visits has decreased and the range becomes a benchmark not only for proximity but also for positioning. In the POS we have seen a recovery in traditional and fresh products, with the exception of bread where we see a shift towards industrial breads and bread substitutes. Frozen food is also growing and spending is shifting from "out-of-home substitutes" such as frozen pizzas to more everyday products such as vegetables. Fruit and vegetables have been suffering a bit in recent months, but it seems more of a seasonal phenomenon. After the first emergency passed, the pressure of promotions is also returning.
The pandemic has undoubtedly drawn greater attention to sustainability issues, to which we had already been committed for some time, as evidenced by the initiative for the collection of plastic at our points of sale that we organised with the city of Genoa. Innovation is also reaching wider consumer groups, and here too we have not been a forerunner. We offer our consumers six different ways to shop, including delivery and click & collect. Digital commerce is a sector that we are looking at with great attention, but one that requires great investment, and in which we must be very careful about costs, carefully timing promotions and not using the price lever as the only trigger in the relationship with the customer, as is unfortunately already happening. As far as physical stores are concerned, the pandemic has accelerated trends that were already underway, such as the growth of proximity stores, also with innovative formats, and the crisis of large stores.