Is the Frozen Food Sector in Italy Thawing?

Italy

The world’s ninth largest economy is in severe crisis even as the country’s debts are shaking global markets. Italy – a nation saddled with overweening bureaucracy, a tangled political scenario, excessive corruption, and non-competitive industries – is facing its worst period ever.

By Rachit Kumar, Persistence Market Research

The food industry in particular is likely to witness the brunt of both Brexit and President Trump’s protectionist policy on ‘Made in Italy’ products. While Italian food exports recorded a stupendous increase of just under 13% at the start of 2018, the imposition of trade tariffs by the United States – one of the largest export markets for Italian food products – will no doubt have an adverse impact on the Italian food industry. The main strategy for indigenous food producers will rest on beefing up demand in the domestic market.

Convenience to Drive Domestic Demand

Italian consumers have realized the advantages of frozen food products in resolving some of the critical issues accompanying a modern day hectic lifestyle. Besides benefits such as value for money (attractive price points owing to stiff market competition), focus on health (increasing vegan and organic food products – more on that later), and convenience (ready-to-cook and eat meals), frozen food also facilitates waste reduction (green and eco-friendly packaging formats) – thereby tipping the scales in favor of frozen vegetables, meat, and fish for day-to-day consumption. No wonder then that revenue sales of frozen food in Italy recorded an increase of 1.2% in the year ending February 2018, with volume sales also on a significant high graph.

A typical Italian consumer is prudent about the choice of food that essentially falls in line with the current lifestyle. Factors such as a fast-paced lifestyle and a rapidly increasing number of women in the workforce are pushing the demand for ready-to-eat frozen food across Italy. A projected 1.4% growth in GDP in 2018 (0.3% growth registered in the first three months of 2018) is indicative of a substantial increase in consumer spending, especially on products such as convenience and ready-to-eat food. The proliferating number of single households is also expected to boost the consumption of frozen food across Italy in the coming years.

You can read the entire article in the May-June print issue of Frozen Food Europe

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