Italian Market Review – Belts Continue to Tighten

Like many Western European countries, growth within the Italian food market has been hampered by the economic situation.

Much of the Italian food industry has been affected by the worsening economic situation experienced by the country. The Italian economy has continued to decline, while industrial production has shrunk by almost 25% over the last few years. In addition, Italy holds the largest debt in the Eurozone (currently estimated at over EUR2,000bn). Although these factors have had an adverse affect upon consumer spending, it has opened up opportunities for sectors of the food industry as Italians seek affordable meal centers. Italy has one of Western Europe’s smaller markets for frozen foods. In 2012, per capita consumption of frozen foods in Italy amounted to 10 kg, which ranks below the Western European average of 13 kg and considerably less than countries such as the UK (32 kg) and Germany (41 kg). Volume sales of frozen foods in Italy were therefore worth up to 610,000 tons. Together, frozen vegetables, fish and seafood account for over half of this figure. Much of the under-developed nature of the Italian frozen foods market can be attributed to the fact that most consumers (especially amongst the older age groups) have preferred to prepare and eat fresh foods. However, there is evidence that more Italian people are increasingly turning towards frozen foods as convenient and affordable meal options, a trend which has been responsible for much of the recent growth ...

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