13 Aug 2022

RASPBERRIES: CONSUMPTION INCREASES DESPITE 1 IN 6 HOUSEHOLDS...

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Italian household consumption of raspberries in July 2021 to June 2021 showed growth in both value and volume despite a severe decline in penetration that eroded the buyer base.

Summary

INCREASING QUANTITY AND VALUE

In fact, the total estimated turnover turned out to be €30.4 million, which represents a 4.6 percent increase over the previous 12 months (€29.1 million in the period July 2020 to June 2021). In fact, quantities increased by 0.9% during the same period.

THE COMPONENTS OF EXPENDITURE GROWTH

The growth in spending is composed of a 3.7 percent increase in average prices and a 0.9 percent increase in quantities purchased.

While average prices increased from €14.96/kg to €15.52/kg, quantities increased slightly from 1944 to 1961 tons in the 12 months under review.

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Premium raspberries on sale at Esselunga on 2/11/2021 at €15.84/kg, a price 2% higher than the average price paid by Italian households in the period July 2021 to June 2022.

QUANTITY +0.9%, HERE ARE THE REASONS

The components of volume growth showed sharply contrasting trends: the number of purchasing households dropped sharply from 3.3 million to 2.8 million in 12 months, while the quantity purchased per household increased by 20.5 percent from 0.59 kg to 0.71 kg annually.

The main factor that caused the sharp decline in buying households was a severe drop in penetration (the % of households that bought raspberries at least once during the period), which dropped from 12.7% to 10.7%, a drop of 2 percentage points corresponding to 15.7%. This means that 1 in 6 households stopped buying raspberries in the past 12 months.

GOOD INDICATORS OF PURCHASING HOUSEHOLDS

Households that purchased during the period under review had a decidedly positive behavior; in fact, they were found to be on the rise:

  • the volume per act of purchase, which increased from 0.18 kg to 0.20 kg (+8.3%)
  • purchase frequency (number of purchase deeds in 12 months), increased by 11.3 percent from 3.2 to 3.6.
Raspberries in 250g on sale at Aldi
The volume per act of purchase of Italian households is 0.2 kg: pictured is raspberries in 250g sold by Aldi on 16/11/2021

Consequently, derivative indicators are also positive:

  • Expenditure per purchasing household increased by 25.0% from €8.81 to €11.02 over the 12-month period
  • expense per deed, increased from €2.73 to €3.06, an increase of 12.3 percent.

RASPBERRIES: THE CONSUMPTION INDICATORS OF ITALIAN HOUSEHOLDS (JULY 21 - JUNE 22)

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PENETRATION CRITICAL FACTOR

The collapse in penetration caused more than half a million household buyers to disappear. This means that the increase in value purchases could have been much better than the 4.3 percent recorded: in fact, at the same penetration, this value would have skyrocketed to over 36 million, an increase of 24 percent, almost 6 times the actual increase.

Declining penetration means a net disaffection of households: more households have written off raspberry consumption for an entire year than new entrants. The increase in prices (+3.7 percent) is similar to that experienced by blueberries (+3.6 percent) , which, however, did not experience a decline in penetration.

IT'S NOT THE PRICE, IT'S THE QUALITY

If reasonably it is not the price, the most likely hypothesis to be put forward could be the quality. Indeed, data collected in Italian retail outlets by the Piccoli Frutti Observatory record that for raspberries about 30 percent of the merchandise on display has some kind of defect, while that percentage for blueberries is about 20 percent.

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Pack of raspberries with serious defects for sale in an Italian retail outlet on May 25, 2022

Italian households have shown that while satisfied shoppers have positive and decidedly growing purchasing behaviors, purchasing disaffection caused by quality problems has had major consequences on consumption, probably sending at least €6 million in sales up in smoke.

Recovering the penetration index becomes even more crucial considering the positive behaviors of buying households, which indicate significant potential if the consumer can be satisfied by avoiding the exodus recorded in the past 12 months.

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