From 'authentic' digital to cricket burgers, from Mediterranean Veg to the booming US market, the year leading to the exhibition will be full of opportunities for agri-food companies.
We are approaching the biennial appointment with TUTTOFOOD - at fieramilano from 8 to 11 May - the Italian event that describes the state of the art of the sector and anticipates future trends.
The TUTTOFOOD Observatory collected and analysed the most relevant data to outline some of them. With respect to the markets, one of the most interesting aspects is undoubtedly the great recovery of North America. According to Euromonitor data, only in the US the retail market is growing at a rate of more than 11% per year and will reach a value of almost 25 billion dollars in 2026, with Food & Beverage leading the way. It is estimated that in 2023 global consumer spending will reach 54 trillion dollars, a monstrous figure in which agribusiness will play a significant role, especially for emerging economies.
Digital, but with attention to costs
What about consumer trends? Once again according to Euromonitor, in 2023 digitalization will definitively become part of mass habits and, in this transition, the process will be 'diluted' by the emotional aspect: the so-called 'authentic automation'. Machines, for the time being, will remain in the back office: only 19% of consumers feel comfortable while talking to a bot. The other side of the coin will be the growing cultural pressures to limit the time spent online, especially with respect to young people, who are the subject of numerous campaigns to this effect. Companies and retailers will therefore have to review their digital-physical blend from this perspective.
Moreover, especially in the first part of the year, we will still have to deal with the after-effects of the inflationary tensions of 2022. As a matter of fact, in many countries, including some advanced economies, there will be an increase in consumer groups willing to keep their expenses under control. In response, many international brands are enhancing loyalty strategies to retain consumers by offering loyalty-related discounts.
Between novel food and tradition
Yes, but what are we going to eat? The actual trends seem to contradict the saying according to which 'if you earn less, you eat worse', at least with respect to food-sensitive markets such as Italy. The food industry of Made in Italy enjoys excellent health: according to Istat data, it is worth more than 540 billion euros and accounts for around 25% of Italy's GDP. But this doesn’t preclude a general openness to novelty: it was just a few days ago when the first hamburger made with cricket flour had great success in Milan. At the same time, the Mediterranean diet continues to stand its ground according to its most original sense, i.e. being based mainly on plant foods.
Finally, the sales figures of packaged food in organised distribution collected by IRI for TUTTOFOOD also confirm that Italians like to alternate healthy eating with small satisfactions: in 2022, sales of Fresh Sweets grew by a quarter in value (+25%) to reach 426 million euros.
For industry previews and trends, the appointment is with the TUTTOFOOD schedule of events. If you are a company or brand, find out how you can exhibit at TUTTOFOOD 2023. If you are an operator, find out how to participate as a professional visitor.