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Eating habits in Italy - statistics & facts

Italian cuisine is a favorite of many consumers around the globe. Italians themselves, almost universally, would never give up their regional Italian cuisine. For some, food is even a way to express their regional and national Italian culture. However, 2020 and 2021 have seen changes in Italian eating habits in the wake of COVID-19. In a pattern similar to other countries, Italy has seen increased consumer spending on fresh and frozen food products due to an increase in at-home consumption.

Meal habits

Even before COVID-19 became a relevant factor Italians would commonly eat lunch at home. This could be observed across all age groups including the working population of 18 to 64 year-olds. For two-thirds of Italians, lunch is the main meal of the day. If they do bring food to work to eat, it is made at home by two-thirds of employees. Half of employed Italians that eat lunch at work bring ready-to-eat meals or food to be warmed up. Italians enjoy their breakfast with hot beverages and food. Only 14 percent go without any food in the morning and two percent forgo beverages of any kind.

Italian consumer preferences

While eating at home remains popular in Italy, the share of Italians who do eat away from home has slowly but steadily increased in the past decade. Between 2009 and 2019 it grew by 2.8 percent. For Italians who cook, the most cherished ingredients are extra virgin olive oil and fresh seasonable vegetables. Two-thirds would never give up the former and slightly over half of Italians would never give up the latter. With their apparent popularity and short storage time before spoiling, it is not surprising that fresh vegetables are among the most wasted food products in Italy.

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Eating habits & preferences

Consumer spending

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Eating habits in Italy

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Eating habits in Italy - statistics & facts

Italian cuisine is a favorite of many consumers around the globe. Italians themselves, almost universally, would never give up their regional Italian cuisine. For some, food is even a way to express their regional and national Italian culture. However, 2020 and 2021 have seen changes in Italian eating habits in the wake of COVID-19. In a pattern similar to other countries, Italy has seen increased consumer spending on fresh and frozen food products due to an increase in at-home consumption.

Meal habits

Even before COVID-19 became a relevant factor Italians would commonly eat lunch at home. This could be observed across all age groups including the working population of 18 to 64 year-olds. For two-thirds of Italians, lunch is the main meal of the day. If they do bring food to work to eat, it is made at home by two-thirds of employees. Half of employed Italians that eat lunch at work bring ready-to-eat meals or food to be warmed up. Italians enjoy their breakfast with hot beverages and food. Only 14 percent go without any food in the morning and two percent forgo beverages of any kind.

Italian consumer preferences

While eating at home remains popular in Italy, the share of Italians who do eat away from home has slowly but steadily increased in the past decade. Between 2009 and 2019 it grew by 2.8 percent. For Italians who cook, the most cherished ingredients are extra virgin olive oil and fresh seasonable vegetables. Two-thirds would never give up the former and slightly over half of Italians would never give up the latter. With their apparent popularity and short storage time before spoiling, it is not surprising that fresh vegetables are among the most wasted food products in Italy.

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