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Italy: Lower retail sales of fresh-cut produce

In cooperation with IRI, FreshPlaza has been analysing the retail sale trend of fresh-cut products. Below is the data concerning October 2014, compared with those of the same month last year. 

Vegetables vs fruit
Before we start, we must say that Italy is not Northern Europe, where fresh-cut fruit is popular. In Italy, when you say fresh-cut, you are talking mostly about vegetables - 90 packets of vegetables are sold for each packet of fruit.

The difference is not so big when talking about value, though it is still quite significant: €14.3 million against 721.7, for a total of almost €736 million between November 2013 and October 2014.

The value of fresh-cut fruit and vegetable sales.

Fresh-cut vegetables

There has been a 1.9% drop with respect to the previous year and volumes have also decreased - 98,262,329 kg sold, -0.8%.

Despite the drop in volumes, there has been an increase of packets sold: almost 498 million packets were sold between November 2012 and October 2013 against the 502 million+ of the latest period, a 0.9% increase.

The majority of fresh-cut vegetables sold is salad (70,757,006 kg), followed by vegetables to be cooked (16,478,261 kg), crudités (10,315,447 kg) and finally herbs and snacks (354,092 and 357,520 kg respectively). 

In terms of volumes, salad represents the majority of fresh-cut vegetables sold. 

As regards salad, the crunchy varieties are the only ones doing well both in terms of value (+0.1%, up to €335,797,188) and volumes (up to 47,658,308 kilos, +1.5%). The number of packets sold is up by 3.2%.
Almost 400 million packets were bags and over 94 million were trays.

But what happens if we analyse the same data according to geographical areas and type of retail? In this case, the South of the country is the one doing worst, representing only 12% of the total €721 million mentioned above.

The North West is the one spending the most, followed by Central Italy, where a quarter of the trade occurs (26.4%, almost €191 million).

Fresh-cut vegetables sales per area.

69% of the sales happen in supermarkets, followed by superettes (i.e. convenience stores), where the trade volume was of almost €99 million during the period analysed, though it must be said that these are also the ones where the drop in terms of value, volumes and units sold has been the highest (-6%, -4.7% and -4% respectively).

Retail sales of fresh-cut vegetables (in terms of value) per retailer.

Fresh-cut fruit
The fresh-cut fruit sector has also been going down, reaching only little more than €14 million (-8%) and 1,410,444 kilos (-14.1%).

Just like for vegetables, the positive data comes from the number of packets sold: 5,534,739, i.e. +0.3%. There was in fact an increase of the trays (+11.7%) and plastic trays (+4%) sold.

Talking about geographical areas, the South is still at the bottom, whereas the North-West is at the top, where 60% of the sales are carried out.

Fresh-cut fruit retail sales per geographical area.

Supermarkets still have the lion share of the sales, followed by superettes and hypermarkets. Sales are actually increasing in superettes, both in terms of value (+9.1%) and packets sold (+1.9%) and only the volumes have been showing a slight drop (-0.2%).

Fresh-cut fruit retail sales per retailer.
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