At a time of uncertainty, there is a need to focus on new consumer targets or growing niches, such as food and wine tourism. What the research says.
Rarely since the post-war period have international markets experienced such uncertain times as the present. And with so much focus on the present, there is a risk of losing sight of medium-term trends, which remain crucial for ensuring business development.
So let's see what leading industry analysts predict for the coming years. Let us start with the most pressing issue, price increases. Taking Italy as an example, according to 35% of the sample of operators interviewed for the Coop 2022 Report, inflation will peak at the end of 2022, while for 28% it will do so by the summer and for 24% at the beginning of 2023. As many as 71% fear the risk of social unrest, both in Italy and in Europe (42% and 43% respectively).
So, how should we react? According to Euromonitor’s recent “Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2022” report, some of the consumer categories to focus on are Digital Seniors, i.e. mature people who have been introduced to the use of digital tools during the pandemic, Rural Urbanites, young metropolitans who seek to combine city life with nature, and Self-love Seekers, consumers who are particularly focused on personal gratification.
The latter are represented by 67% of consumers who say they want to have a positive impact on the environment with their purchases, while 78% of operators believe that climate change will impact consumer needs. New targets are opening up to e-commerce with Digital Seniors: 25% of the over 60s now buy online and almost 15% also shop online. E-commerce is also the trump card to win over Rural Urbanites, 37% of respondents, who continue to work from home, perhaps cultivating a small vegetable garden on their balcony. Finally, 56% of consumers also fall into the category of Self-love Seekers, who seek quality products for their own gratification.
Another area of possible growth for Food & Beverage comes from the great return of food and wine tourism. According to the latest Italian Food & Wine Tourism Report of the Italian Food & Wine Tourism Association, Italy boasts the European record for certified products (GI) - 814 as of November 2021 - and the economic value of certified productions reached 16.6 billion euro in 2020. The Italian agritourism network counts over 25 thousand companies, with wine and oil as the products receiving the most interest, also thanks to the dedicated "routes". In recent years, wine and food tourists have strongly moved towards organic products as well as micro-breweries and “taste museums”.
Data, trends and consumption habits have always been the focus of TUTTOFOOD’s rich programme of events (more than 100 events in the 2021 edition). TUTTOFOOD 2023 will take place at fieramilano from 8 to 11 May 2023.