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Purchasing power still at stake, but consumption is growing

Italian purchasing power slows, but consumption continues to grow in the first half of the year, remaining above + 1%. They grow more in volume than in value, and with less promotions. Not only that: after a long recession, sales finally register encouraging signs even in the South where moreover, more than in the North, the "domestic table" is spent.

Food consumption is booming (+ 2.9%), pushing the total turnover of the GDO upwards (+ 1.7%), thanks mainly to the boom in sales of fruit and vegetables (+ 10.4%) , drinks (+ 3.8%), ice creams and frozen foods (+ 5.4%). Sales that increased mainly due to the weather, and that are added to positive data reported by fish (+ 1.8%) and packaged food (+ 1.1%). On the other hand, the progressive decline in non-food sales (-5.6%), personal care (-0.3 %%) and home care (-1%) continued.

In the meantime, the Italian consumer continues to evolve, to change his eating habits and lifestyle, proving to be more temperate than in the past (he smokes, drinks and loves less) and with a strong inclination towards everything that is spiritual ( Buddhism, yoga and vegan). The "new" consumer also proves to be "master" of the Internet and increasingly attracted to the healthy well-being as certifies for example the explosion of sales of organic products (+ 40% vs. 39% of Spaniards, 38% of Germans and 33% of the French).

It is no coincidence that about half of the growth in GDO volumes comes from here. A trend that is also corroborated by the surge of the "therapeutic foods": superfood (avocado + 78% and ginger + 72%), sirt diet (cranberry + 30% and buckwheat (+ 23%) and similar products ( beet + 47% and seaweed + 15%).

These are new trends that have actually helped to keep the value in the shopping cart afloat. "2017 is the year of the end of the 'downgrading': the majority of Italians have now left behind the time of food waivers and the hunt for promotions. The desire for quality and experimentation has finally returned ", observes Marco Pedroni, president of Coop Italia, commenting warmly the Coop 2017 report presented yesterday in Milan, together with Stefano Bassi and Albino Russo, respectively president and director of Ancc-Coop .

An annual event, that of the most important GDO brand, to take stock of the evolution of Italy and of Italians in the light of the changes that have taken place, the consequent changes in spending behavior, the performance of the various consumer segments and the evolution of retail. "The elements of recovery in consumption are also evident in our sales network: in the first 6 months of the year we improve in the grocery segment (+ 1.2% in value and + 2.1% in volume) – adds Pedroni -. Furthermore, in the face of some revival of food inflation, we continue to curb selling prices and defend the purchasing power of our members and consumers. The inflationary delta between Coop and the market average is close to -2% ".

Although Pedroni looks at the glass half full, Coop's number one is aware, however, that the uncertainties about the future persist due to a "doped" growth in inflation and a worrying increase in the price of raw materials. "In the first case, inflation rises because of the costs and not because of the demand, in the second it is sufficient to look at what is happening to extra virgin olive oil to understand how unsustainable the situation is".

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