Amid Growing Inflation, Italians Prioritize High-Quality Food Purchases

Italians intend to cope with the rising inflation by cutting other expenditures instead.

Bologna, Italy
By Paolo DeAndreis
May. 20, 2022 13:14 UTC
Bologna, Italy

Food prices in Italy have increased by 6.2 per­cent in the past year, mainly due to global infla­tion­ary pres­sures. However, Italian fam­i­lies do not seem inter­ested in lim­it­ing gro­cery spend­ing.

According to the lat­est report from the Institute of Services for the Agricultural and Food Market (Ismea), Italians intend to cope with the ris­ing infla­tion by cut­ting other expen­di­tures instead. Among them, some will spend less at restau­rants.

The new report showed that Italians con­sider the ris­ing costs of raw mate­ri­als and the energy cri­sis trig­gered by the Russian inva­sion of Ukraine as the main rea­sons behind infla­tion. Moreover, most of them believe infla­tion will con­tinue to rise in the next three months.

See Also:As Most Consumers Find Ways to Cut Costs, Olive Oil Consumption Trends Higher

Analyzing the answers of a sur­vey con­ducted on 3,000 fam­i­lies, Ismea deter­mined that 20 per­cent of Italians are ready to cut spend­ing on travel dur­ing their free time, 16 per­cent to reduce cloth­ing pur­chases and 12 per­cent to slash spend­ing on enter­tain­ment and out­door activ­i­ties.

Only 2 per­cent are ready to cut on their shop­ping bas­ket,” the report’s authors wrote.

Ismea data showed that Italian fam­i­lies plan to con­tinue pur­chas­ing bread, milk and extra vir­gin olive oil in the same quan­ti­ties as before. However, respon­dents were will­ing to cut back on pur­chases of eggs, fresh fruits, fish, cheeses, wine and frozen food.

Restaurants, which rep­re­sent one of the most rel­e­vant chan­nels for extra vir­gin olive oil sales, also are likely to be affected by Italians’ response to infla­tion.

Ismea noted how 24 per­cent of the respon­dents between 55 and 64 years of age and 30 per­cent of cou­ples who have one or more small chil­dren would con­sider spend­ing less on eat­ing out.

Younger con­sumers seem more will­ing to slash cloth­ing and travel expen­di­ture. However, all respon­dents empha­sized their focus on sav­ings to safe­guard their domes­tic food pur­chas­ing power.

Ismea empha­sized how fam­i­lies con­tinue to keep an eye on the health pro­file of the food they are buy­ing in the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. Seventy per­cent of Italians sur­veyed said they would not give up buy­ing Italian food even if that would lower costs.

See Also:Campaign in Crete Urges Hospitality Establishments to Choose Local Olive Oils

Almost half of the respon­dents said that they would not stop buy­ing organic and sus­tain­ably-pro­duced prod­ucts and local food spe­cial­ties pro­tected with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Although, Ismea warned that this data point var­ied sig­nif­i­cantly depend­ing on the prod­uct in ques­tion.

For exam­ple, 66 per­cent of the buy­ers intend to explore the ori­gins of the extra vir­gin olive oil they pur­chase. Similar lev­els of inter­est were also expressed by con­sumers about the ori­gin of eggs, fish and meat.

Ismea noted how a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of Italian con­sumers choose their pur­chases based on the food’s organolep­tic prop­er­ties, espe­cially for bread (44 per­cent), wine (37 per­cent) and extra vir­gin olive oil (20 per­cent).

While a grow­ing per­cent­age of buy­ers demon­strate that brand remains rel­e­vant when choos­ing pasta, frozen food or tomato sauce, the sus­tain­abil­ity pro­file of prod­ucts is also con­sid­ered. Fourteen per­cent said they would look for those char­ac­ter­is­tics when buy­ing eggs, white bread or meat.

Among the reac­tions to the cur­rent chal­lenges posed by infla­tion, 68 per­cent of Italian fam­i­lies said they would avoid wast­ing food, while 47 per­cent will com­pare prices more metic­u­lously.

Nine per­cent said they would pur­chase less food to con­tinue buy­ing high-qual­ity items. Conversely, only 1 per­cent of respon­dents said they would buy lower qual­ity foods to con­tinue pur­chas­ing the same amount.

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