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HoReCa Italy, organic products in one out of two bars and two out of three restaurants

Organic finds more and more space in the menus of public establishments, bars and restaurants. According to the ISMEA survey carried out in collaboration with FIPE and AssoBio and presented on 23 May 2023, on the occasion of the 'Organic in commercial catering' event, organic products reach half of the bars and 70% of the restaurants.

Organic in bars and restaurants, the numbers

Data collection it was conducted in September and October 2022 in a representative sample of national bars and restaurants and collected over 2.000 telephone interviews.

ISMEA, which analyzes (organic) consumption outside the home for the first time, provides a new perspective of analysis for organic.

In a context that sees a physiological slowdown in the growth of organic food consumption at home, after the significant rates of increase to which organic products had accustomed us for years, the monitoring of Horeca, even on aspects of a purely qualitative nature, can in fact, provide valuable elements to guide the choices of politics and the supply chain.

(Fabio Del Bravo, Head of the Rural Development Services Department of ISMEA)

Breakfast and aperitif, the organic offer in one out of two bars

Of the approximately 111 thousand bars active in Italy, one out of two offers organic food and drinks. The incidence is higher in the points of sale in the cities of central and northern Italy and with more than 6 employees.

On average almost 20% of foods and beverages offered at these establishments is made up of organic products, with a greater representation of fruit, milk and wine.

The breakfast and the aperitif are indicated by the operators as the most suitable consumption occasions for the inclusion of organic proposals. The organic product is sold for almost 15% more, on average, than its conventional counterpart.

Organic in two out of three restaurants

In the restaurants the presence of organic foods and drinks is more widespread. It concerns two thirds of the more than 157 restaurants active on the Italian scene.

The bio it is more common in restaurants in Central Italy (over 76%) and in the North West (69%), in linear progression with the number of employees. From 60% in restaurants with only one employee to 81% of those with more than 49 employees.

Within these exercises, organic represents over 30% in value of purchases, with peaks of 42% in the case of vegetables and 34% ofextra virgin olive oil. Also in this case the organic product generates a surcharge of almost 17%, justified by a surplus in procurement costs.

Side dishes and appetizers these are the dishes where the presence of organic products is more significant.

Promising prospects

Find organic food and drink in bars and restaurants it might be easier, in the near future:

– over 80% of restaurateurs and almost all of the bar managers interviewed declare their intention to confirm the purchase of the same quantities of organic products,

– 13,5% of restaurants could become exclusively organic establishments, a figure that drops to 6% for bars.

I driver of consumption outside the home

underlines i driver of consumption away from home: sustainability, environment, ethics and fair remuneration along the supply chain. And it underlines the fundamental role of organic agriculture in highly topical areas such as food safety, healthy eating, environmental sustainability and the fight against climate change.

'The attention to organic productions is the testimony of how i Consumers today they are increasingly aware of the need to combine one's well-being and one's own health with the well-being and health of the planet respecting the territory, seasonality, quality and safety. All values ​​promoted by FIPE with the Catering Manifesto presented and signed on 28 April on the occasion of the Catering Day' (Luciano Sbraga, Director of the FIPE-Confcommercio Study Center).

Marta Strinati


(1) FIPE, ASSOBIO AND ISMEA: catering looks to organic. ISMEA, Press release. 26.5.23 https://www.ismea.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeBLOB.php/L/IT/IDPagina/12336

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Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".

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