In 2020, dairy sector enjoyed astronomical sale performances. The data that the international analyst IRI processed for TUTTOFOOD, related to packaged products sales in large-scale retail, confirms this trend. Cheeses showed a 12.4% increase, totalling sales of over three billion euro (3.130 billion), while Dairy Products saw an increase of +10.2%, exceeding one and a half billion (1.539 billion). Good results for the retail segment, while the out-of-home is having less success but is still resilient: after a positive overall 2020, the Dairy sector is preparing to face the new year with customer attention, health consciousness and sustainability.
Across Europe, the data from the EU Commission shows important increases for the first months of 2020, particularly for whole milk powder (+9.5%), skimmed milk powder (+2.6%) and cheese (+2.4%). A trend not to be taken for granted for products that have been the subject of full-fledged pseudo-health campaigns. And the credit here goes to the producers who have been able to focus on innovation, deducing consumer needs and new consumption habits. “Issues of health and sustainability have firmly occupied consumer’s minds, as they are homebound and therefore inclined to pay greater attention — comments Davide Fiori, manager at Luigi Guffanti 1876, the prestigious Italian fromager — With today’s lifestyles, increasingly smaller portions are becoming popular, but with additional high quality. Other fundamental aspects are speed and immediacy in reaching the consumer and providing a continuous post-sales support service to generate greater loyalty”.
The quality and importance of the niche products
Even in the retail channel, consumer habits have changed and quality is winning out over price. Jessica D. Riggi, Marketing Manager for Spinosa, company producer of PDO Campana Buffalo Mozzarella and Buffalo Ricotta, explains: “Dairy consumption in the retail sector didn’t stop, but it has changed, and we’re seeing high-quality comfort foods (a sought-after, niche product) added to baskets to perk up day after day spent at home. In our case, for instance, we noted that a boom in homemade pizza during the first lockdown led to an increase in PDO Campana Buffalo Mozzarella sales, a must-have ingredient for any Margherita pizza!” At the same time, concern for sustainability is growing: “Attention for health and the environment is a key driver of purchasing decisions for a significant percentage of consumers. But the search for sustainability doesn’t end with the product. It carries on to the company and their social responsibility: for years Spinosa has been a member of the Corporate Golden Donor, a programme founded by the FAI, Italy’s National Trust, to protect the country’s natural beauty, in addition to supporting local environmental associations”.
“Vaccination program progress, which suggests recovery in the second half of 2021, will probably boost consumption, given that closing normal trade stores has decreased sales — concludes Giuliano Anselmi, Trade Marketing Manager of Trevalli Cooperlat, agri-food Cooperative company — This year brings with it an even greater awareness of health and sustainability issues and, of course, healthy products are of utmost priority for us agri-food companies. In terms of product innovation and service content, a few months ago we launched new plant-based and organic range with our Hoplà brand which includes drinks, cooking cream and béchamel sauce, all suitable for vegan customers too”.
TUTTOFOOD, the agri-food fair with the most comprehensive product range in Italy, that embraces all sectors of the Food & Beverage, along with HostMilano, already an undisputed leader, will be a unique and unmissable event for all professionals, a strong networking platform with an international level, held at fieramilano from 22 to 26 October. The dairy sector will find space in particular in the TUTTODAIRY area.
For updated information: www.tuttofood.it, @ TuttoFoodMilano.