12 Aug 2023

The typical consumer of small fruits is from the upper class and lives in Northern Italy


The typical Italian consumer of small fruits has a profile primarily characterized by two factors: the geographic area of residence and socioeconomic class. This is evident from the Italian Berry - GfK data updated as of June 30, 2023.

Geographic Area 

The geographic area has a significant influence on purchasing processes in Italy, as it is the main distinguishing factor both in terms of penetration (percentage of buying households out of total households) and volume per buyer.

Small fruits are of decreasing interest to Italian families as one moves from the north to the south and the islands, with significant differences: there are differences of 3.6 times in blueberry penetration rates between Northwest and South + Sicily, and for raspberries, the difference increases to almost 6 times between the two areas. The difference for red currants is less pronounced (2.2 times).

The quantities purchased per household also vary mainly based on geographical location: in the Northwest, buying households purchase more than double the amount compared to those in the South + Sicily, with a peak of 2.8 times for blueberries. Only for red currants does the South + Sicily significantly outperform purchases per household compared to the rest of Italy, achieving twice the quantity.

Socioeconomic Class 

The second factor that significantly determines the characteristics of Italian household consumption is socioeconomic class. For the category of small fruits, socioeconomic class shows very relevant differences in penetration, which is double for the upper class compared to the lower class.

The greatest differences in penetration are observed for red currants, where differences of 3 orders of magnitude are noted between the penetration in the upper class and the penetration in the lower class. For other products in the category, middle-class households fall within +/-10% of the national average penetration, while lower-class households show negative differences of -40%.

The upper class has above-average penetration, especially for red currants (+70%), while for other products, it falls between +16% (blackberries) and +44% (raspberries).

Socioeconomic class has a less definite effect on quantities purchased per household; only for red currants is there a high incidence of consumption in the lower class.

Consumption of red currants is above average in the lower class (+81% compared to the national average), while blackberries and raspberries are more commonly purchased by the upper class (+21% and +23%).

Other Characteristics 

The consumption of small fruits in Italy is inversely correlated with the size of the household and increases with the age of the purchasing head.

The typical blueberry consumer in Italy buys more than usual if they are single, live in metropolitan or suburban areas, and are over 65 years old. While age does not appear to have a specific correlation with penetration, it decisively characterizes the quantity purchased, which steadily increases with the age of the household's purchasing head.

Raspberries are purchased more than the average by families with 3 or 4 members, where the purchasing head is over 65 years old, and they reside in small towns in the Northeast.

Families with a purchasing head over 65 years old purchase 22% more blackberries than the average; households residing in metropolitan or suburban areas have 26% higher penetration than the rest of the population.

For red currants, higher penetration is achieved in larger families (+58% compared to the average for families with 5 or more members), with a purchasing head over 65 years old, and residing in metropolitan and suburban areas.

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