Food consumption in Italy in 2022. Coop Italy surveys


Food consumption in Italy in 2022 will show focus on inflation, health and short supply chain, possibly organic, according to Coop Italia surveys. (1)

Food consumption in Italy, 2022. Hope and fear

Hope and fear is the oxymoron that emerges from the two surveys conducted byCoop Italy’s Research Office in December 2021. The words associated with the next 12 months are the same as in 2021, but ‘hope‘ (32 percent of consumers surveyed) and ‘recovery‘ (16 percent) are associated with ‘change‘ (15 percent) where ‘fear‘ doubles, from 3 to 7 percent in one year.

Inflation is the first concern. Increases in household consumption, along with the labor market, are the jarring note in an optimistic view of the overall economic trend and the Covid situation.

Hostage to inflation

Among managers surveyed, 6 out of 10 expect consumption to follow GDP at a distance, due to an estimated +2.9 percent inflation. According to 63 percent of experts, the aggravation will continue through 2022.

Under this scenario, 1 in 2 households plan to maintain spending at pre-pandemic levels (49%). But while 22 percent of the sample is confident of recovery, nearly 1 in 3 (29 percent) Italians fear they will not be able to recover.

Renunciations will primarily penalize technology products, evenings with friends, travel and vacations.

Food prices, price increases over 3.5 percent

Food prices, according to supply chain managers, will see an average increase of more than 3.5 percent.

Consumers will seek refuge in promotions, convenience stores and channels ( discount stores, first and foremost), as well as waste reduction. For many Italians-especially in the South and in economically disadvantaged groups-the cost of living will also penalize food consumption, with a new and more substantial consumption gap with the better-off.

Organic, local and private label

Consumers once again reward local food (100 percent Italian and local) and reinforce the trend toward organic and health food, which had already emerged in the preview of the Coop 2021 Report.

Above all, 2022 will be the year of MDD, the distributor brand. Private label, according to 61% of supply chain managers, will be a winner because of value for money…

GDO on the test bench

In 2020, the breakout of the pandemic had sent sales in the large-scale retail sector soaring (+4.8% over 2019). 2021 ended with the same sales levels, with a slight decrease (0.5 percent) in physical retail only(ecommerce. excluded). Thanks also to the good performance of Christmas sales, +3% in the last two weeks of the year.

The year 2022 will be the test case. The key elements–according to the experts interviewed–are pricing, digitization of channels, and new buying behaviors (for products and formats). With an increasing focus on ethical, social and environmental sustainability issues.

Inflation and epidemic complicate the forecast for 2022. However, the Coop Research Office-with the support of Nielsen-estimates a slight increase in total retail sales, just under 1.5 percent in value, as a combined effect of likely lower volumes, widespread price increases and the recomposition of consumer choices.


(1) The 2022 forecasts are the result of two surveys conducted in December 2021 by the Coop Study Office and its partners. The first, in a Coop-Nomisma collaboration, “2022 Coming Soon – Consumer” carried out using the Cawi method in December, involved a sample of 1,000 individuals representative of the population 18-65 years old. The second “2022 Coming Soon – Manager,” aimed at the website community, 800 opinion leaders and market makers who were users of past editions of the Report. Among them, 440 individuals with managerial/executive profiles (entrepreneurs, CEOs and directors, freelancers) were selected who can anticipate future trends in the country more than others