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Allegrini 2018

E-COMMERCE FOOD HAS GROWN OVER 30% IN 2016 (DATA FROM POLITECNICO DI MILANO), GOURMET PRODUCTS SOLD ONLINE GREW 17%, AND THE MARKET LEADER VENTE-PRIVEE.COM TRACES THE IDENTIKIT OF THE ITALIAN ONLINE CONSUMER

The relationship between consumers and the food world has changed a lot, as in many other fields, due to the advent of mass digital technology. Consumers are much more capable of gathering information through non-traditional channels and are easily enabled to buy, if the price is right, all kinds of products, from daily shopping in the big supermarket chains to far more noble and gourmet products.
The e-commerce field dedicated to food & groceries grew 30% in 2016, according to data from Food & Grocery Online of the Polytechnic University of Milan, while food and wine grew 17%. There is a stronger tendency for consumers to be tempted by taste and quality and therefore buy online, as the study conducted by vente-privee.com, the international group specialized in destocking and event sales, has confirmed.

According to the study, which focused on the subject of its members’ food preferences and particularly wine, there is a well defined common trait between online and "traditional" consumers, so to speak; that is, wine is conceived as a catalyst of conviviality and sociability. 46% of the sample said the best way to enjoy a glass of wine is in pleasant company; 39% of cases at dinner, either at home or in a restaurant (45%), in the company of friends (47%), family (33%) or couples (20%). Choosing wine, thanks to the increasingly vast catalogs available because of the e-commerce world, becomes a moment of discovery as 98% of respondents look forward to when the wine will be consumed, or even given as a gift.
Though it is not necessarily taken for granted, wine can also be an impulsive purchase - price point permitting -a true "impulse buy", especially if the buyer is a woman (39%), adding it to the grocery cart for the family, or in a couple, where an item of clothing might give rise to buying a bottle of wine for a special occasion, or a gourmet product to pair. Of course, when buying a bottle of wine, one pays attention to the label and the winery (74%), but is not afraid to discover new names, especially if there are special or timed offers. 82% of vente-privee.com respondents pay great attention to pairing, even changing wines during the evening. Often pairings are not linked to the “main” dishes, in the name of experimentation or perhaps a fancy name. 60% of the sample believes it is important to be able to match a glass of wine to a dish of meat or fish but, for example, 27% try to match it with chocolate which, like wine, has a very eloquent and emotional semantic subtext, and demands respect.

The vente-privee.com survey revealed that mobile channels are definitely the wine e-shopper’s favorite, boasting 70% of total traffic. The preference for portable platforms goes well with the inevitable "social” aspect of consuming gourmet products. So-called "social eating" involves nearly one out of two consumers, as 49% of respondents state that they share their experiences related to the food and wine world on their social channels - mostly Facebook (48.5%), followed by Instagram (24.20%).
Wine, then, has a clear advantage, since it is paired to food in order to better qualify it, by first photographing, then sharing and finally tasting because it is more and more a means to represent themselves, their personality, their beliefs and their culture. Packaging, including the label, is often an accomplice, and rated as very important by a noteworthy 75% of respondents.

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