Amid Growing Inflation, Italians Prioritize High-Quality Food Purchases

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

Bologna, Italy
May. 20, 2022
By Paolo DeAndreis
Bologna, Italy

Recent News

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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