07 Feb 2023

RASPBERRIES: MORE THAN 1 IN 5 FAMILIES NO LONGER BUY THEM

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The year 2022 saw a real collapse in raspberry consumption in Italy: in both value and volume, the declines were more than 20 percent and were caused by a deterioration in all parameters that describe the purchasing behavior of Italian families. This is a product that had generated almost 35 million in sales in 2021. Nearly 8 million in sales were burned in 2022, equivalent at average prices to nearly one million 125g baskets.

But let's look in detail at the reasons for this disastrous situation. In terms of purchasing behavior, let's start with frequency: while in 2021 Italian households bought raspberries 3.7 times a year, in 2022 purchases dropped to only 3.4 times a year, a decrease of 6.9 percent.


This resulted in that, on an annual basis, the total quantity purchased by each household dropped from 0.70 kg to 0.68 kg (-3.6%). This negative result was achieved despite a 3.5 percent increase in quantities per act of purchase, which rose from 0.19 to 0.20 kg (+3.5 percent).

On the other hand, as households buy less, the number of purchasing households also declines. In fact, penetration, i.e., the percentage of households that purchased raspberries at least once during 2022, dropped from 12.9 percent to 10.3 percent. This 2.6 percentage point drop translates into 733,000 fewer Italian households having purchased raspberries. In fact, the number of households that bought raspberries in the various retail channels in 2022 dropped from 3.4 million to 2.6 million.

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The combined effect of the decline in quantities per household (-3.6 percent) and the reduction in the number of buying households (-21.8 percent) produced a collapse in total quantities, which plummeted from 2371 tons (2021) to 1788 tons (2022), a 24.6 percent jump. Practically one in four raspberry baskets disappeared from shopping carts.

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From a value perspective, 2022 saw an increase in the average retail price of raspberries from €14.68 to €15.14 per kilogram, an increase of 3.1 percent, bucking the trend of blueberry (-2.2 percent) and the entire berries category (-4.0 percent). This is against a general backdrop of consumer price growth (net of energy) of +4.1 percent in 2022 (Istat).

Spending per act of purchase thus increased by 6.7 percent partly due to the 3.5 percent increase in the average quantity purchased per buying occasion. While in 2021 an Italian family spent an average of €2.83 each time on raspberries, 2022 saw an increase to €3.02.

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Thus, total raspberry spending by Italian households decreased overall by 22.3 percent, from nearly €35 million to about €27 million.

Comparison with consumption data from the United Kingdom, where berries is the largest category as fruit and vegetable department sales, are merciless:


On the other hand, this difference also signals a potential that is still unexplored.

Six months ago, the analysis of the Italian raspberry consumption scenario had led us to hypothesize that the cause of the crisis of this product "Itis not the price, it is the quality." This is our hypothesis: surely the causes must be carefully explored and resolved with decisive measures, lest in a few years raspberries disappear from the horizon of interest of Italian families.

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