Italian food and drink consumption grew by 1.8 per cent in volume and 3 per cent in value in 2015.
The data was gathered from two separate studies, conducted by IRI and Ipsos Italia, on trends in food consumption and purchases in supermarkets, hypermarkets, independent stores and discounters.
Beverages and fresh products led the growth, rising by 9.9 per cent and 2 per cent in volume, respectively.
The most important purchasing factors remain freshness and price (71 per cent) followed by taste (53 per cent), but there has been an increased focus on the traceability of raw materials (37 per cent) and dietary concerns (18 per cent).
Free-from still stands out among the health trends, driven not only by a high level of food intolerance (32 per cent of households have at least one affected person), but also by the increasing number of vegetarians and vegans (present in 19 per cent of households). In 2015, gluten free grew in value by 31 per cent and lactose grew by 15 per cent.
The growth in consumption has not only affected supermarkets, but also the choices in meals consumed outside the home. Italy is now the third-largest market in Europe for dining out, with a turnover of €2.7 billion in 2015. An estimated 35 per cent of Italians claim to have a meal outside the home at least once a week.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.