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Italy retail packaging market: 1.2% CAGR growth forecast between 2012-17
Latest Trends and Key Issues in the Italian Retail Packaging Market - The outlook for primary packaging containers, closures and outers to 2017 - a new market research report on 2014-03-28 23:56:04
The Italian Retail Packaging market has been strongly affected by economic weakness, fiscal debt, the Eurozone crisis, and aging populations that have impacted consumer markets across Europe. Changing consumer preferences are also expected to affect the packaging industry in varied ways, driving the need for further innovation.

The Italian packaging industry is expected to grow at a moderate pace during 2012–2017 with the total number of packs increasing at a forecast Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 1.18%.

The economic challenges across the entire EU have increased the unemployment rate in Italy. According to ISTAT, the unemployment rate in the second quarter of 2013 stood at 11.9%, which is the highest figure ever recorded in the country. Specifically, the unemployment rate of the youth in the age bracket of 15–24 is 41.9%, one of the highest in the European economy.

The uncertain macroeconomic conditions and the resulting declining purchasing power, have increased price sensitivity among Italian consumers. Italian consumers look to buy cheaper alternatives, albeit of a good or reasonable quality, rather than not buy the product at all. Goods worth approximately EUR27, 969 million, or around 19.6% of the total consumer market, were chosen in 2012 because consumers believed they offered better value for money than competing products.

The average Italian consumer purchaser is however, very discerning and the packaging of the product must be able to convey product quality as well as the attribute of being good value for money. For producers and packaging manufacturers, this holds particular importance as packaging provides an alternative to reducing the cost of the product but not at the expense of its quality.

As a consequence of these trends many Italian product and packaging manufacturers have started to deploy strategies that were previously limited to developing economies such as India, China and Malaysia. For instance smaller pack sizes, which was earlier a strategy used only in emerging economies, has been introduced. These smaller pack sizes have been seen to be a profit generating strategy in times of economic difficulty. As a result of this, the concept of the Euro-store is appearing to gain popularity in Italy. Similar to the Dollar Stores in the US, the trend began in the UK and has spread to other EU member states, including Italy. Euro stores and stands, where anything can be bought for the price of 1 Euro, are rapidly gaining popularity among Italian consumers. Although the pack size has reduced, the quality of the product remains unchanged.

Retailers and major businesses are catching up with this trend. For instance, Unilever has introduced a range of 1 Euro Cornetto ice creams in Italy. Though large pack sizes may be more economical, products in smaller packs at a set price enable weekly budgeting.

Another strategy being adopted is to make the product packaging much simpler, stripping it of all its features to the basic packaging format in a bid to reduce cost. Simpler packaging will help reduce costs without compromising with the product quality.

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