In the first nine months, receipts rose by 4%. To cope with rising prices, Italians have adopted saving strategies. These include reducing the most expensive products such as fish and increasing consumption of eggs and pasta.

The cost of living is hitting family consumption and Italians are lightening their shopping trolley to cope with rising prices due to inflation.

According to the Ismea NielsenIQ Observatory on food consumption, in the first nine months of the year, the growth in receipts was +4%, thanks to the savings strategies implemented by families. Many solutions have been adopted to limit the impact of the price increase, which was confirmed in November at 11.8%: from the reduction in the quantity of products purchased, ranging from -1% for milk to -31% for fresh fish, to the shift in preferences towards products with a lower unit value, from the partial abandonment of the digital channel to a greater orientation towards discount stores and private label products.

Basic foods are chosen to save money

The foodstuffs consumers tend to gravitate towards are consumer staples such as pasta and eggs, which are among the few references that have not suffered reductions in the quantities purchased, despite price increases. For pasta, volumes remain stable against a 22% higher outlay, while egg consumption is up 3.3% in quantity and 10.1% in value. On the contrary, ethnic foods, the various types of ‘free from’ (gluten-free, lactose-free, salt-free, etc.) and ready-to-eat foods suffered a setback.

Looking at expenditure at the large-scale retail trade, decreases were only seen for fish (with peaks of -6.9% for fresh fish) and alcohol. More specifically, purchases in value of wine (-4.6%), sparkling wines and champagne (-1.9%) and beer (-0.8%) decreased, also reflecting the return of eating out occasions.

Who suffers most from price rises in food spending

Among the types of families, it is the young ones with very young children who are experiencing the greatest economic difficulties and having to introduce savings strategies to contain spending increases and even to reduce it (-13.7% compared to pre-Covid).