6th February 2020
Protein Trends in Italy
As with much of the rest of the world, there is an increasing drive to move away from meat as a protein source in Italy. FMCG Gurus consumer research from the Italy Meat and Plant-Based Protein Survey (2018 – 1,000 respondents) shows that, while only 13% of consumers state that they do not eat meat regularly, 36% of those have reduced their consumption or have made attempts to do so. Only 24% of consumers have not considered reducing their meat intake at all. Consumer insights show that 28% of those who have at least thought about reducing their meat intake say that they would like to cut out meat completely, but 60% say that they would like to reduce the amount they eat, suggesting that – as with many other countries globally – there is a strong link with the flexitarian market trend. Dairy has also been strongly affected, with 32% of consumers saying that they do not eat or drink products as a source of protein.
FMCG Gurus research also shows that Italian consumers are also motivated to track their protein intake, with almost half knowing how much protein they consumed in the last twenty-four hours. 65% of these use fitness or diet apps to track their daily protein intake, showing a high level of technology adoption to support their health regimens. 42% of consumers would like to increase the amount of protein in their diet, with another 28% indicating that they are unsure, which reinforces consumer research suggesting a strong appeal for high-protein products.
Consumer insights from the FMCG Gurus research suggest that there are a variety of reasons behind the demand for high-protein food and drinks. At 35%, an improvement in general health and wellness is the most common reason to increase intake, followed closely by the 32% that would like to increase muscle mass. 26% of consumers say that they believe it will help improve energy levels, and 22% say it will aid them in staying active as they age. Although a desire to build muscle is a high motivator, it is important to recognize that many of these motivators are related more to general health than to more targeted specific goals, reflecting a global market trend that shows consumers shifting away from the more targeted aspects of sports nutrition to the wider appeal of active nutrition.
FMCG Gurus research shows that Italian market trends do not occur in a vacuum, and these consumer insights are similar in many ways to other parts of the world. Understanding the similarities and differences in consumer research between countries is vital to best position products in this market.