Eating out: our grocery shopping habits twenty years on

12 May 2017
Italian grocery shopping habits have changed dramatically and profoundly over the last twenty years. The FIPE (Italian Federation of Commercial Concerns) recently presented the findings of its latest study at TuttoFood, the international B2B trade fair dedicated to food & beverages. Various new and often contradictory trends in the way we consume food & beverages are emerging, and these naturally have a significant impact on retail policies. A minority of Italians are increasingly health-conscious, while the majority see no correlation between the concepts of nutrition and well-being. The FIPE finds evidence of these opposing behaviours partly in the reduction in spending on bread and cereals (-7.5% at constant prices from 2000-2015), meat, primarily red (-8.1%), vegetables (-11%), and fruit (-11.4%). The number of people who are overweight or even obese is also on the rise - it currently stands at 5 million. Italy's "Mediterranean model" is hanging on, with food bills making up 14% of the population's total expenditure, but the amount of bread and cereal in the nation's shopping trolleys has fallen (-7.5% in the period from 2000 -2015), with the same applying to meat (-8.1%). The amount of pasta and dessert consumed at home has also dropped, but the same does not apply when it comes to eating out. In fact, the latter trend is beginning to dominate the picture: one of the most noteworthy phenomena to emerge from the study is the increasing amount being spent on eating out. Today, 35% of the money spent on food is spent in bars and restaurants. As for eating out as a percentage of total spending, Italy (7.6%) comes out ahead of the Eurozone (7.1%) and in second place after Spain (14.6%), beating France, Germany and the United Kingdom.