15 Feb 2024

Currant crisis continues in Italy with consumption down 4%

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The red currant is losing market share in Italy, and the total household spending has dropped below 5 million Euros for the first time in the last three years. The 4% decline in spending on red currants is one of the consumption data points for Italian families collected by Italian Berry - GfK, updated as of 31/12/2023.

The aftermath of Covid-19

Red currant consumption had seen a surge of 21% in 2021 due to new purchasing habits recorded during the Covid-19 period. The overall spending had surpassed 7.7 million Euros, but since then, it has consistently decreased, reaching 4.9 million Euros in 2023.

The decline in consumption is even more pronounced when analyzing the volume, which dropped from 414 tonnes in 2022 to 367 tonnes in 2023 (-11.5%), equivalent to 2.9 million packages of 125g each.

Not a pricing issue

The 8.4% increase in the average price of red currants (from 12.52 to 13.58 Eur/kg) was lower than the average increases recorded for fruit (+11.4%) and the small fruits category (+15.6%).

There is a general disenchantment with the product, only partially explained by a price increase. In fact, red currants are the only product among small fruits to have recorded a decrease in penetration, i.e., the percentage of households purchasing it at least once a year, dropping from 3.2% to 2.9%. This has also led to a decrease in the number of purchasing families, going from 813 thousand to 751 thousand (-7.6%).

Negative signals in purchasing behavior

In addition to this, the buying behavior also shows signs of weakness: average quantities purchased decrease to 490g (-4.2%), quantities per purchase act drop to 260g (-19.2%), and spending per purchase occasion decreases by 12.4%. Red currants have gone from representing 5% of small fruit spending to 3% in just a few years (2021-2023).

The profile of the Italian consumer most interested in red currants remains stable compared to 2022. They are of high socioeconomic status (with purchases +32% above the national average), part of family units with two members (+29% compared to the average), and are aged 65 or older (+40% compared to the national average).


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