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Organic and free-from foods in Italy - Statistics & facts

Following an established global trend, Italian consumers aim at eating more nutritious and sustainable food, produced with less pesticides and possibly safer. Although with fluctuations, revenue from organic food sales grew more than the conventional food sector did. Large-scale retail benefits the most, while Italian discount stores seem to be at first rather marginal in the mass consumption of organic food products. However, latest data showed that they are catching up, reporting the highest growth in organic food sales revenue among all other retail channels. Which food products perform best in the organic market? Eggs and fruit products reported the biggest sales value in large-scale retail, while extra-virgin olive oil was the bestselling product in online marketplaces.

The wave of healthy eating pushed the market of free-from food products, too. This umbrella term defines food and beverages produced by excluding one or more specific ingredients. Once consumed mostly among allergic or intolerant eaters (also on the rise), free-from foods are now becoming mainstream. They include gluten-free foods, from bakery products to a vast range of pasta types, as well as lactose-free cheese. In this latest market segment, mozzarella had the highest revenues with almost 40 million euros as of 2018.

As far as eating habits are concerned, gluten-free products are consumed more often by Italians between 45 and 54 years old and by women. The same age pattern was indicated by consumers of lactose-free products, which seemed to be more popular in the central regions of the country.


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