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Health and Wellness in Italy

Italy health and wellness market reported increased revenues despite poor economic conditions

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2014-01-31 01:45:01 - Health and Wellness in Italy - a new market research report on

All main health and wellness categories continue to grow in Italy. Health and wellness-related food and beverage products, which had been able to increase sales even during the global economic and financial crisis and Italy´s subsequent recession in 2011, continued to grow in value and volume terms in 2012. The best-performing products in overall retail value growth were organic products followed food intolerance products and better for you products. On the other hand, fortified/functional products saw a complete flat performance in Italy in 2012; however, it is already the biggest category in terms of absolute sales within health and wellness packaged food.

Taste continues to be one of the key drivers. Healthy food is increasingly present on Italians´ tables, but a



healthy image is not the only important factor driving food sales. It is clear that Italians are very reluctant to sacrifice taste, and tend to choose products that, whilst healthy, do not compromise on flavour. Regarding food in fact, consumers are increasingly opting for organic food that, together with ensuring the ingredients´ origin, maintains easily a good and genuine taste. Manufacturers need to ensure health and wellness food and beverages are appetising and appealing to consumers to help encourage continued growth.

New target audiences. In the recent past, women, especially young-to-middle-aged women with particular health conditions, were the only target audience for health and wellness products, or more particularly, the main target for marketing campaigns. This trend has changed and new target groups have emerged for the industry to tap into. Older people are increasingly aware of their eating habits and many are more open to trying better for you or naturally healthy products to improve their health and to prevent age-related conditions. Obesity rates, especially amongst children, are increasing year by year and children have become a potential audience for health and wellness manufacturers, which as a result of recent legislation are already reducing sugar, salt and fat content in many products. Young and middle-aged men are another important and growing group due to increasing body image and appearance concerns.

Private label versus branded references in grocery retailers. Due to the financial crisis, a shift in purchasing behaviour has occurred in the Italian food and beverages market which also affects health and wellness. Many consumers have changed their purchasing habits and now look to private label instead of regular brands. Private label products offer increasingly high quality but with lower unit prices, and the financial crisis has encouraged this type of approach as price remains a key purchasing factor for many consumers in Italy. This new purchasing behaviour has prompted traditional brand owners to modify their strategies, offering lower prices, introducing marketing and advertising campaigns and reducing their margins to at the very least maintain market share. It is expected that this trend will reverse after the financial crisis ends, but all the main players in the market expect that brands are unlikely to regain their previous shares.

Further growth predicted over the forecast period. Over the forecast period until 2017, retail value sales of health and wellness packaged food and beverages are expected to further increase in Italy in constant value terms. Constant value growth is expected to be higher over the forecast period than it was over the review period thanks to the healthy trend that drives consumers spending. Most of the categories will be able to contribute to the growth, except naturally healthy and fortified/functional products, which are expected to see a static trend, given the high maturity they have already reached amongst Italians.

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