A sector that represents almost half of all packaged food product sales in retail. Manufacturers and buyers agree: innovation will allow for further growth.
In a scenario where consumption growth is slowing down, Grocery proves to be the real star of retail. In fact, according to surveys by IRI for TUTTOFOOD, out of almost 4 billion of total expenditure, this sector represents 1.7 billion. A result achieved largely due to the growing service content of these products as well as continuous innovation introduced by companies.
Pedon, an Italian family business operating across the globe to produce and distribute pulses, grains and seeds, is also focusing on innovation. Marketing manager, Matteo Merlin, states: “Consumers are increasingly turning to products that are practical but also healthy, natural and, at the same time, tasty and easy to create recipes with." The company will continue investing in ready-to-eat products: “We recently expanded our I Pronti line. Plus, the new segment is represented in Mix with Vegetables. And we’ve created a new format for our crunchiest, most revolutionary range, Legumes Made as Snacks.”
Lastly, an undisputed leader in the vegetable preserves market: the F.lli Polli Group. Maria Giordano, the company's marketing director, says growth in the Plant Based segment is driven by an increased focus on nutrition and fruit and vegetable consumption. She affirms: “More fast-paced lifestyles, resulting in fragmented eating times, have led to growth in both Snacks and Aperitifs in recent years.” Consequently, the products they are investing in are precisely the latter, including the new range of ready-made sauces ‘Pesti Plant Based’. Furthermore, the marketing director concludes: “Last but not least, it's worth considering our new range of Squeezy Pestos, in handy top-down packs, which enable more creative, gourmet touches to be added to dishes and are our delicious response to the home cooking trend that has been raging throughout the pandemic.”
A development that is also reflected in consumer demands, as confirmed by large retailer brands, many present alongside their buyers at TUTTOFOOD. “In consumer choices, there’s a growing focus on the products themselves, particularly reflected in Grocery,” explains Adriano De Zordi, CEO of Bennet. “Since 2019, we’ve launched our Value Chain project, which aims to ensure quality and control at all stages of the production cycle. The company also focuses on products sourced from supermarkets’ local area. In fact, local production is considered a key factor in the company's mission. For Bennet, choosing these products means contributing the promotion of regional agricultural and food heritage, rediscovering the local identity and allowing for a conscious use of the area while reducing environmental impact.”
“Once pandemic restrictions ended, we moved from crisis consumption to a more 'reasoned' consumption, which starts looking at quality combined with convenience again,” adds Giovanni D'Alessandro, General Manager of BASKO. “The selection becomes a benchmark not only for proximity, but also for positioning: we've noticed a rebound for traditional items in stores. But even demands for innovation and sustainability are reaching increasingly broader segments of consumers and are increasingly becoming purchasing motivations for grocery products.”
Developments that TUTTOFOOD will continue following in the coming months throughout the journey towards the 2023 edition, taking place at fieramilano from May 8th to 11th, 2023.