Allegrini 2018

Italians’ spending trends in the year of Covid-19, Nielsen data, analyzed by Coop

Wine is growing (and remains Italians’ favorite drink), especially red. “Pantry”, “breakfast” and “no stress” products in the shopping cart

The pandemic has changed many aspects of Italians’ daily life, including their spending habits. Italians stocked more food and bought more breakfast products because it took longer to shop, due to various closure and time restrictions. Another big reason was smart working, because eating breakfast, snacking or lunch breaks at the cafés was much more difficult to do. However, we know that Italians bought even more wine to accompany meals during lockdowns, which for many people meant being able to eat lunch at home, and not give up aperitifs or leisure moments. These are the trends that Nielsen data confirmed between February 2020 and February 2021, analyzed by italiani.coop.
Wine, especially by the glass, has been confirmed the number one favorite drink of Italians. Almost half of the alcoholic beverages sold in mass retail (47%) were wine, sparkling wine and champagne, for a total of 2.7 billion euros, +10% in 12 months. Red wine was the leader (42% of consumers are “red wine lovers”) but there were significant regional differences (on the map of Italy, in the photo). The biggest growth in the 47%, for instance, was registered in Basilicata (+19%, perhaps also for south working, i.e., people returning home for smart working that usually resided in other areas of the Country). However, in a nation where 6 million Italians consider wine tasting one of their favorite hobbies, there were also big increases in Emilia Romagna and Veneto (+ 17%), in Friuli Venezia Giulia and in Umbria (+14%) and also in the Marche (+ 13%).

The approach to food has also changed. First of all, there is the “pantry effect”, which we have written about often in the past when talking about purchases of pasta, canned goods and tomato purée (and the growth of frozen foods). Italians were convinced they would have to stay home for a long time, or remain closed in suddenly, therefore in the past year, for example, they bought more frozen fish, pizzas, vegetables (in the specialty items, for instance, pancakes). Then, instead, closed in at home they experienced what Coop calls the “breakfast effect”, that is, they had time to make breakfast, which is why sales of milk, cereals, biscuits, jams, etc. grew. To keep calm and relax, despite the closed in lifestyle, they looked for the “no stress” effect, so chamomile (+ 33%) and tea (+8%), but also of coffee (+ 10%) sales increased.

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