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New food trends revealed by Coop Report 2019

The latest picture painted by the “Coop Report 2019 – Italian consumption and lifestyle trends” reveals a sharp increase in environmental awareness amongst Italian consumers in terms of their purchasing behaviour and lifestyles. Many Italians dream of having an eco-sustainable home (55%), they are increasingly opting for environmentally friendly clothes (13% today and 28% in the future) and cars, and they use green cosmetics (which are chosen by 1 out of every 4 women, while more than 13,000 products with sustainability-related slogans were launched in the sector in 2018 alone, an increase of 14.3% compared to the previous year).

Evidently, an environmentally-friendly brand image is perceived by Italian consumers as an added value. Food is no exception, with health being the dominant factor. Flavoured water has emerged as a new trend (sales rose by 164.7% in the last 12 months), while sales of fizzy drinks are falling and consumers are opting for products high in fibre and protein in place of fatty and carbohydrate-rich foods. After years of decline, 2019 saw a strong resurgence in sales of meat (up 3.5% in 2019), especially products of Italian origin.

Unsurprisingly, the frenetic pace of modern life has also given a boost to out-of-home catering (Italians spent €83 billion on out-of-home food consumption in 2018) and to ready-made or quick meals, with supermarket sales of instant food seeing sharp growth (+9.3% in a year). Food delivery services are also booming and are now used by 26% of Italians. Traditional first and second course meals are losing ground to sweet or savoury snacks, both of which are seeing double-digit growth, while consumers prefer to purchase fruit and vegetables pre-packaged, and meal replacement bars of all kinds are thriving. Italian origin is another key factor that can have an even bigger influence than price and taste, with 78% of consumers stating that they are reassured by products of 100% Italian origin (up 4.8% in 2018).