· The food industry is reporting countercyclic figures for February and March, with +17% contingently and a trend of +19%; a new weekly peak for large-scale retailers sales of packaged goods at 1,354 million euro, while 69% of Italian consumers are also turning to their local shops
· In March, e-commerce grew by 57% to 95%; food delivery for a growing variety of goods is also performing well.
· Consumers are showing preference for fresh-cut and ready-to-use products and preservable multi-products; meat, fish, fresh eggs and vegetables are also on the rise.
· TUTTOFOOD stands next to professional users with market monitoring, visibility for supply chain actors and a pathway to the upcoming 2021 edition.
· 2021 will see the début of TUTTOFRUIT: fresh-cut and ready-to-use, dry, dehydrated and fresh fruit alongside fresh vegetables, legumes and organic produce.
· Growing attention for focus markets, which now include Far Eastern countries.
The last few weeks have seen changes which normally take years. New purchasing and consumer habits. E-commerce is booming, and digital transformation is undergoing a quantum leap. There has been an unexpected impact on supply chains and international trade.
An industry on the front line
In all these changes, the Food and Beverage industry is on the front line. According to the report on the impact of the Covid-19 emergency published by ISMEA (Agrifood Market Service Institute) in March 2020, despite the almost complete closure of the Ho.Re.Ca. channel the industry is nonetheless one of the least impacted by the crisis and has reinforced its countercyclic potential.
Using data provided by Nielsen, the Institute reports that, in the week from 9 to 14 March, spending for packaged goods in large-scale retailers reached a new peak of 1,354 million euro. Overall, from 17 February to 15 March, sales grew by 17% over the 4 previous weeks (contingent) and 19% over the same period in 2019 (trend). The majority of spending is still at supermarkets (43%) while online food purchases have been growing weekly by 57% to 95%.
This exponential growth is confirmed by the Milan Polytechnic's B2C eCommerce Observatory, according to which Food & Grocery is the industry to have benefited the most from the boom in online sales. Starting with a penetration of just 1.1% in late 2019, in just a few weeks demand has remarkably grown, with a strong preference on the one hand for products perceived to be safe, like canned and longlife products, and on the other for goods which offer an occasion for family activities: bread, flour and yeast.
Food delivery has also conquered new territory, as suggested by the Just Eat Observatory: 90% of Italians consider it an essential service and 60% are using it. Pizza is the most commonly ordered dish, followed by hamburgers, sushi, chicken and Italian food. Desserts and gelato are up +133%, as are sushi and Japanese food in the family format (+124%) along with healthy poké bowls (+54%).
The trend for local shops to supplement large-scale retailers is also growing: a survey by Havas Commerce shows that 69% of Italians have returned to their local shops, focusing on necessary goods (76%), baked goods (49%) and recreational foods (39%).
With respect to purchasing habits, ISMEA has also noted a strong trend for fresh-cut and ready-to-use products along with preservable multiproducts, especially during the first weeks of the lockdown. Of individual categories, meat (+29% trend and +20% contingent), fish (+28% and +29% respectively), fresh eggs (+26% and +23%) and produce (+24% and +22%). Which are the most missed products? According once more to Havas, Italians are saying they miss shop-made pastry (28%), fresh products (22%) and fresh fruit and vegetables (21%).
TUTTOFOOD's commitment to the supply chain
While protecting the lives and health of people remains an absolute priority, there is no lack of reasons to look at what comes next. In these difficult weeks, the TUTTOFOOD staff have focused even more on implementing our concept of the exhibition as not only an international marketplace, but also as a full spectrum partner, supporting operator's business 365 days a year. On the basis of our ongoing monitoring of the markets and consumer styles, we have created observatories to help our partners find their way among these new trends. We have focussed on market segments and given professionals a voice with industry focus articles in our web magazine. But, first and foremost, we have continued working on the 2021 exhibition, to ensure it is a major point of reference for the agrifood business in Italy and abroad. Starting with the most dynamic market segments.
TUTTOFRUIT launches with fresh produce and innovations in the fresh-cut segment. Following the success of the 2019 Fruit Innovation exhibition, fresh fruit and vegetables, together with fresh-cut packaged products will be the protagonists of a fully fledged new section, TUTTOFRUIT, to even more effectively leverage the potential of high service content goods. In addition to fresh-cut and read-to-use products, professional visitors will find dry, dehydrated and fresh fruit as well as fresh vegetables, legumes, organic products and aromatic herbs and spices. Significant numbers of national and international producers are expected, while Italian and foreign professionals will include, among others, importers and wholesalers, large-scale retail buyers, Ho.Re.Ca. industry representatives and distribution platform operators. Our focus on internationalisation remains undiminished, thanks to strong investment in scouting, with the continuous addition of new highly profiled buyers in our top buyer portfolio.
TUTTOFOOD is the international B2B exhibition for the food & beverage industry.
The last edition saw 3,079 brands taking part, 16% of whom came from abroad.
The 2019 edition was visited by 82,551 professionals, with 23% coming from 143 countries.
For more information: www.tuttofood.it/en, @TuttoFoodMilano.