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Covered in this report

The Italian grocery market is under considerable pressure at the moment and 2018 was the first year since the recession-influenced 2014 when spending on groceries contracted in real terms, driven by the poor performance of the economy and the manifestation of this in the form of squeezed incomes.


Additionally, competition within the sector is fierce and Italy continues to be a tough nut to crack for foreign operators, with Carrefour, the largest of these, being ranked only eighth in terms of turnover, while rival Auchan gave up the struggle and sold the majority of its Italian interests in 2019 to market leader, Conad. Meanwhile, discounters are eating into the business of many of the mainstream grocers and the pressure from this area has been exacerbated by the relatively recent market entry of Aldi.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Michael Oliver, a leading analyst in the Retail sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

As in many other European markets, discounters are growing their sales much faster than the market average and, as a result, are rapidly increasing their share of the Italian grocery market. In the context of a market where consumers’ incomes have been squeezed by low economic growth and spending on groceries declined in real terms in 2018, they are ideally positioned to further boost their presence. Mainstream grocery brands are struggling to counter this threat and very few of them have additional service options, such as an online grocery shopping offer, which they could use as a point of differentiation Michael Oliver
Senior European Retail Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Areas covered in this report
      • Executive summary

          • The market
            • Consumer spending
              • Figure 1: Italy: annual percentage change in consumer spending on food and beverages, 2014-18
            • Sector size and forecast
              • Figure 2: Italy: food retailers, sales (ex VAT), 2014-19
            • Channels of distribution
              • Figure 3: Italy: estimated distribution of spending on food and beverages by channel, 2018
            • Companies and brands
              • Key metrics
                • Market shares
                  • Figure 4: Italy: top 10 grocers’ shares of all food retailers’ sales, 2018
                • Online
                  • Figure 5: Italy: Online purchasing in the last 12 months, 2009-18
                • The consumer
                  • Who shops for groceries
                    • How they shop for groceries
                      • Figure 6: Italy: How they shop for groceries, June 2019
                    • Where they shop for groceries
                      • Figure 7: Italy: Where they shop for groceries, June 2019
                    • Attributes associated with different types of grocery retailer
                      • Figure 8: Italy: Attributes associated with different types of grocery retailers, June 2019
                    • What we think
                    • Issues and insights

                      • Discounters set to capitalise on continued focus on value
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Can retailers unlock the online opportunity?
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                • The market – What you need to know

                                  • Spending on groceries falls as percentage of total
                                    • Food retailers hold their share of retail sales
                                      • Grocery retailers retain dominant share of spending on food and drink
                                      • Consumer spending

                                            • Figure 9: Italy: Consumer spending on food, drink and tobacco (incl. VAT), 2014-19
                                        • Sector size and forecast

                                            • Figure 10: Italy: Food retailers, sales (excl. VAT), 2014-19
                                            • Figure 11: Italy: Food retailers, forecast sales (excl. VAT), 2019-24
                                        • Inflation

                                            • Figure 12: Italy: Consumer prices * of food and drink, Annual % change, 2014-18
                                            • Figure 13: Italy: Consumer prices* of food and drink, Annual % change, January 2018-September 2019
                                        • Channels of distribution

                                            • Figure 14: Italy: Italy: estimated distribution of spending on food and beverages by channel, 2018
                                            • Figure 15: Italy: Italy: estimated distribution of spending on food and beverages, 2014-18
                                        • Companies and brands – What you need to know

                                          • Conad and Coop neck-and-neck but Conad set to forge ahead
                                            • Leading players tighten their hold on the market
                                              • Italy lags behind rest of Europe in terms of online grocery shopping
                                              • Leading players

                                                  • Conad neck and neck with Coop but set to push ahead with Auchan deal
                                                    • Coop Italia struggles
                                                      • Selex growth continues apace
                                                        • Esselunga growing but rate of growth is slowing
                                                          • Other operators
                                                            • Figure 16: Italy: Leading grocers, sales (excl. VAT), 2014-18
                                                            • Figure 17: Italy: Leading grocers, outlets, 2014-18
                                                          • Sales per outlet
                                                            • Figure 18: Italy: Leading grocers, Sales per outlet, 2015-18
                                                        • Market shares

                                                            • Figure 19: Italy: Leading grocers’ shares of all food retailers’ sales, 2014-18
                                                        • Online

                                                          • Online activity
                                                            • Figure 20: Italy: Household penetration of broadband internet, 2009-18
                                                          • Shopping online for food
                                                            • Figure 21: Italy: Online purchasing in the last 12 months, 2009-18
                                                          • Online grocery market size
                                                            • Leading online players
                                                              • Esselunga
                                                                • Conad
                                                                  • Coop Italia
                                                                    • Carrefour
                                                                      • Amazon
                                                                      • The consumer – What you need to know

                                                                        • Grocery shopping still done primarily by women
                                                                          • Two-thirds of grocery shoppers always shop in-store
                                                                            • Conad and Coop lead Esselunga for main shops
                                                                              • Discounters score highly for secondary shopping
                                                                                • Reality is better than perception for discounters
                                                                                • Who shops for groceries

                                                                                    • Figure 22: Italy: Who shops for groceries, June 2019
                                                                                    • Figure 23: Italy: Who shops for groceries, by gender, June 2019
                                                                                • How they shop for groceries

                                                                                    • Figure 24: Italy: How they shop for groceries, June 2019
                                                                                    • Figure 25: Italy: How they shop for groceries, by gender, June 2019
                                                                                    • Figure 26: Italy: How they shop for groceries, by age, June 2019
                                                                                • Where they shop for groceries

                                                                                    • Figure 27: Italy: Where they shop for groceries, net of responses, June 2019
                                                                                    • Figure 28: Italy: Where they shop for groceries, June 2019
                                                                                  • Customer profile
                                                                                    • Figure 29: Italy: where they shop for groceries, net of responses, by age and income, June 2019
                                                                                    • Figure 30: Italy: repertoire of grocery retailers used, June 2019
                                                                                    • Figure 31: Italy: repertoire of grocery retailers used, by grocery retailers shopped at, June 2019
                                                                                    • Figure 32: Italy: how they shop for groceries by grocery retailers where the most money is spent, June 2019
                                                                                • Attributes associated with different types of grocery retailer

                                                                                    • Figure 33: Italy: Attributes associated with different types of grocery retailer, June 2019
                                                                                    • Figure 34: Italy: Attributes associated with discounters, by grocery retailer where most money is spent, June 2019
                                                                                • Appendix – Data sources, abbreviations and supporting information

                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                    • Data sources
                                                                                    • Aldi

                                                                                        • What we think
                                                                                          • Aldi to buy ‘Leader Price’ discounter from Casino
                                                                                            • Increasing transparency with a focus on sustainability
                                                                                              • Nord and Süd collaborate on own-brand sourcing
                                                                                                • Meeting individual market needs
                                                                                                  • Aldi Nord evolving faster than ever
                                                                                                    • Company background
                                                                                                      • Company performance
                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Aldi: estimated group sales performance, 2014-18
                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Aldi: outlet data: 2014-18
                                                                                                      • Retail offering
                                                                                                      • Auchan

                                                                                                          • What we think
                                                                                                            • Single brand transformation
                                                                                                              • Auchan eyes €1.1 billion in savings by 2022
                                                                                                                • New strategy involves concessions in hypermarkets
                                                                                                                  • Partnership with OMV for MyAuchan banner in Romania
                                                                                                                    • Where next?
                                                                                                                      • Company background
                                                                                                                        • Company performance
                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Auchan: Group financial performance, 2014-18
                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Auchan: Group outlet data, 2014-18
                                                                                                                        • Retail offering
                                                                                                                        • Carrefour

                                                                                                                            • What we think
                                                                                                                              • Investing in the ‘Next’ concept to improve consumer experience
                                                                                                                                • Omnichannel strategy
                                                                                                                                  • Local focus
                                                                                                                                    • Sustainability is a focus
                                                                                                                                      • Greater transparency from suppliers
                                                                                                                                        • What next?
                                                                                                                                          • Company background
                                                                                                                                            • Company performance
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Carrefour: Group financial performance, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Carrefour: Group outlet data, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Carrefour: Number of stores by country, December 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Carrefour (Europe): Outlet data, by format, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                            • Retail offering
                                                                                                                                            • Rewe

                                                                                                                                                • What we think
                                                                                                                                                  • Rewe looks to convenience segment
                                                                                                                                                    • Technology investments in product scanning, payments and traceability
                                                                                                                                                      • War on plastic continues
                                                                                                                                                        • eCommerce developments
                                                                                                                                                          • Company background
                                                                                                                                                            • Company performance
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Rewe: Group financial performance, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Rewe: Outlet data, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                            • Retail offering
                                                                                                                                                            • Schwarz Group (Lidl)

                                                                                                                                                                • What we think
                                                                                                                                                                  • Lidl pushing online growth in more markets
                                                                                                                                                                    • UK anticipates online launch
                                                                                                                                                                      • Kaufland seeking a road to recovery
                                                                                                                                                                        • Lidl opens smallest store
                                                                                                                                                                          • Adapting to shopper trends
                                                                                                                                                                            • Company background
                                                                                                                                                                              • Company performance
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Schwarz Group: Group sales performance, 2014/15-2018/19
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Schwarz Group: Outlet data, 2014/15-2018/19
                                                                                                                                                                              • Retail offering
                                                                                                                                                                              • Spar International

                                                                                                                                                                                  • What we think
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Maximising foodservice opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Positioned to capitalise on shopping locally and food provenance
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Checkout-free shopping with scan, pay and go
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Rollout of healthy food product ranges across European markets
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Tackling food waste and saving consumers money at the same time
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Company background
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Company performance
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Spar International: Selected Western Europe and Central & Eastern Europe retail sales, by country, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Spar International: Selected Western Europe and Central & Eastern Europe stores, by country, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Spar International: Selected Western Europe and Central & Eastern Europe retail sales area, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Retail offering

                                                                                                                                                                                                About the report

                                                                                                                                                                                                This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Consumer

                                                                                                                                                                                                  What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Competitors

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Market

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Innovations

                                                                                                                                                                                                  New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Trends

                                                                                                                                                                                                  What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Description