Food spending is subject to continuous increases, with inflation reaching + 6,2% on an annual basis in April. To face the umpteenth crisis, Italians change their sales channel and purchasing strategy.
Inflation on food spending
The survey 'Impact of inflation on Italian consumption'of ISMEA involved 3 thousand families (representative of the Italian sample). (1)
Beyond the 60% of respondents have a realistic understanding of the situation and believe that in the next three months, inflation will grow a lot, up to 10%.
The remaining 40% of the sample is divided in half, between the pessimists (especially young low-income residents in the south), who believe that by the summer the increase in prices will exceed 10%, and the optimists who expect a return of inflation within 3%.
Fears for basic food items
Among the waivers of Italians, travel (23%), entertainment and restaurant meals (21%) and clothing (15%) stand out. Only 1% of the sample is afraid of being forced to cut even the budget for food shopping.
Fear more widespread is the increase in the price of basic necessities (94% of the interviewees). But more than half (52%) even express concern that they will no longer find products on the shelves.
In search of convenience
of affordable prices relaunches the hypermarket channel, heavily penalized in 2020, with i lockdown that forced to shop under the house. 70% of respondents consider it the ideal point of sale in which to find the best combination of assortment / offers.
58% of the sample then plans to change stores or teaches in search of greater discounts, 57% to move towards i discount and 35% to local markets.
13% of families declares that he also wants to rely onecommerce in the pursuit of convenience. However, this convenient option is seldom a source of savings in grocery shopping. as we have seen.
Less waste, more planning
To cope with the impact of inflation on food spending, Italians are focusing on a forced saving strategy that also has positive implications.
68% of families respondents plan to reduce food waste, today excessive, and almost half (48%) to reduce unnecessary purchases and pay more attention to the quality / price ratio and the price / weight ratio in purchases. Learning to control the price per kg instead of per package is an attitude full of surprises.
The good habit 38% of respondents intended to plan purchases with a list.
Hard times for famous brands?
For brands that dominate the market, sometimes more for the hype advertising that for the real quality of the product, the balance could change. A prospect, moreover, anticipated by Coop's turnaround, which has raised strongly its branded products, in a key quality / price ratio.
The interviewees in fact, they declare their intention to renounce the products premium (27%), to brands, except when in promotion (22%), to turn to the brands of distributors (14%) and to reduce quantities in favor of quality (9%).
The quality, according to 70% of the interviewees, it is 100% Italian product. Also essential for almost one in two are the DOP / IGP products, from sustainable or organic agriculture.
I driver of choice
I driver of choice change according to the product:
- well-known brand (brand). It is considered important in the choice of pasta (29%), frozen food (27%), puree (24%) and milk (20%),
- origin of raw materials. It is the first driver of choice for meat, fruit, vegetables, eggs, extra virgin olive oil, for a percentage of consumers between 66% and 58%,
- guarantee of sustainability. It mainly affects the purchase of eggs (14%), fresh bread (10%), white meat and red meat (both 9%),
- organoleptic qualities. Bread stands out with 44%, followed by wine and cheese (37%), seasonal fruit (31%).
Inflation and portions of food expenditure
THEISMEA survey he also questioned households on the elasticity of demand in the face of rising prices.
The result reflects spending power. To varying degrees, Italians plan to purchase the same quantities of the following food groups:
- bread, milk and extra virgin olive oil, basic foods in the Italian diet, for 35% of the interviewees,
- eggs and fresh fruit, other staple foods, 33% of the sample,
- fish (22%),
- cheeses (20%),
- wine (19%),
- frozen foods (18%).
The effects inflation on food spending are heavy. ISMEA respondents, however, declare that if the price increase is contained within 3%, habits are not changed even for wine (47%), frozen food (45%) and past (41%).
The managers of the public good, rarely struggling with the livelihood needs of the population, will also be able to draw suggestions from this survey.
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".