The health crisis redefined the habits of Italian consumers. It will be interesting to see how things will evolve in the fall, when people tend to buy more dried fruit.
"Looking at market developments, in the future, people will focus more on products with a higher added value linked to both the nutritional aspect of products as well as on the concept of sustainability and security. If 2020 started with an increasing trend in the consumption of mixes and shelled fruits - almonds and nuts in particular - consumers preferred family-sized traditional products from March onward," report Ventura marketing managers.
Ventura reports an interesting recovery for nuts: +13.6% in volume and +21% in value (Source: Iri, Retail Iper + Super + LSP. Trimester ending in June 2020). The segment had been relatively stable or slowly suffering over the past few years.
During the pandemic, many found the time and desire to cook, leading to a recovery for many cooking products, shelled dried fruit in particular. Shelled nuts registered +9.6% in volume and +6.3% in value. Shelled almonds grew by 15,6% in volume and 12.7% in value (Source: Iri, Retail Iper + Super + LSP. Quarter ending in June 2020). Pine nuts did particularly well with +34% in volume and +45.7% in value.
Roasted nuts have also been appreciated lately, from classic salted roasted peanuts to more prestigious fruits such as almonds, macadamia nuts and mixes.
"Dried fruit also held up well, just consider the increase in sales of dates and plums, which had not been really growing in the past few years. Sunsweet plums registered an overall growth of 5.3% in volume and a 9.6% in value, with a distinct preference for pitted ones."
The segment that was mostly affected was that of shelled mixes, especially the pocket formats developed for out-of-home consumption. But there are some exceptions, such as the BBshot range with dried fruit or dark chocolate with less than 100 calories.
The nut bar segment was also affected during the lockdown, obviously due to the fact people had to stay home and physical activity was restricted.
"The nut bar segment somewhat recovered with the end of the lockdown. Now we have to hope in a significant recovery of consumption. Ventura BBMIX and BBEXTRA bars have been doing better lately thanks to the greater distribution started last year."