Italians on standby. Coop Italia’s consumption forecasts for 2024


Resigned, holed up at home with consumption reduced to the bone and the fear of further increases in a context marked by wars and inflation, after the shock of the pandemic. Italians – and their consumption – are on standby. The scenario that emerges from the surveys of the Coop Italia Research Office, conducted in December 2023, confirms the ‘mood’ already noted in the Coop 2023 Report

1) The fears of Italians

Veterans from a difficult year and dramatic – between the war in Ukraine and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the climate emergency, the economic crisis and the concrete loss of purchasing power – Italians fear above all in 2024;

– potential new conflicts (45% of interviewees),

– extreme climatic phenomena (23%),

– worsening of the international economy (22%).

The elections scheduled for 2024 in numerous key countries on the geopolitical scene (Taiwan, Russia, Iran, India, EU, United States) raise concerns in 44% of the sample.

2) Holed up and without prospects, Italians on stand-by

The restlessness generates a collective mood of resigned positivity. We seek shelter in the intimate dimension, in the family, but we do not dare to look further nor do we see any hope of improving our condition.

On the four areas crucial in changing one’s life, almost one in three Italians ‘would like to but thinks it won’t happen’:

– move house (29%),

– change country (28%),

– change jobs (30%).

Becoming parents this does not affect half (51%) of the 20-40 year olds interviewed. In the same age group, a further 28% would like a child, but already predict that it will not be possible.

3) We will only spend more on health and food

in 2024 only for two expenditure items is the intention to invest more declared:

– health and well-being it is predicted as an area of ​​increasing expenditure by 24% of the sample. 26% of those interviewed say they want to spend more on prevention and checks, 23% on routine analyses. It goes without saying that a large part of this consumption will flow into private healthcare, given the conditions faced by public healthcare. (3) Among the good resolutions for the new year, 17% of those interviewed include spa, meditation and relaxation techniques,

– food consumption domestic is the second area where 16% of Italians intend to spend more.

4) Healthy and modest food shopping

The food it will mainly be the one cooked at home. Almost a third of Italians (31%) declare that they will dedicate more time to cooking at home, to combine quality and savings.

The need to save it is also recurring on food expenditure. The main purchase drivers are:

– value for money, in first place (66% of consumers interviewed in Italy),

– convenience and savings (50%),

– health and well-being (41%).

The first five adjectives chosen by interviewees to define the food of 2024 are:

– healthy (45%),

– inexpensive (44%),

– sustainable (27%),

– simple/authentic (26%)

– essential (25%).

5) Fruit and vegetables return to the table

On the table for 2024 Fruit and vegetables also return, which in the summer of 2023 seemed to have been the subject of great sacrifices by Italians. Fruit and vegetables lead the Top 5 of increasing products in 2024, followed by fish (whose consumption has also fallen in recent years).

Consumption forecasts falling instead, for less healthy foods:

– sweets (41% of the sample will reduce them),

– red meats (34%),

– cured meats and cold cuts (37%),

– spirits (33%).

6) GDO and macroeconomic forecasts

On the macroeconomic front, the managers interviewed by the Coop Research Office consider the recession now averted. And yet, the GDP growth estimate in Italy is moderate (0,5%, for the next 12 months), lower than the European average. 83% of the same sample is convinced that pockets of poverty and phenomena of social and economic vulnerability will increase in Italy.

This approach of food spending that combines convenience and quality, leads Italians to believe the continuity of the growth of ‘private labels’ (or MDD, distributor’s brand).

The trend of sales for brands in 2024, according to the managers interviewed, will follow these trends:

– growth of private labels (according to 81% of interviewees), as well as of the fancy brands of discount stores and local ones (both, according to 57% of managers),

– reduction of industrial brands. The most drastic decline is expected for smaller and ‘follower’ brands (for 51% and 48% of respondents respectively). Even for leading brands, a loss of share is expected (according to 36% of experts).

Marta Strinati


(1) Consumption forecast 2024. Coop Italia. 5.1.24

(2) Marta Strinati. Italy is sad. Consumption and mood of Italians in the 2023 Coop Report. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade).

(3) Marta Strinati. 45 years of the National Health System. GIMBE’s initiatives to relaunch itEquality. 23.12.23

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Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".