Coop Report. Pandemic, climate crisis, war, inflation: the perfect storm
Food poverty is growing, international trade is decreasing and the climate emergency is now a dramatic everyday occurrence.
09, Sep 2022
Covid survivors, but astonished and circumspect Italians do not minimise economic and social tensions at all, but place the emergency generated by the climate crisis at the top of their concerns.
The simultaneous addition of a series of terrible and unexpected events triggered a perfect storm in the first months of 2022. A dangerous new world is on the horizon in which democracy is increasingly at risk (40 of global GDP comes from non-free countries), food poverty is growing, international trade is decreasing and the climate emergency is now a dramatic everyday occurrence. This is the photograph that emerges from the Rapporto Coop presented yesterday morning in Milan.
The perfect storm could not spare the food chain where inflation hits even harder, albeit less so than in other European countries (with us + 10% compared to + 13.7% in Germany). In the same countries there are already the first drops in sales volumes that the hot and long Italian summer has slowed down for the moment, thanks to temperatures and tourism. Yet even surprisingly, the Italian spending review already in place focuses on other sectors, but for the moment it does not touch on food; 24 and a half million Italians are unwilling to compromise in their food choices despite rising prices and plan to decrease the quantity but not the quality of their food in the coming months.
The cooking time experienced in lockdown also returns; you spend more time preparing meals, you are committed to experimenting with new dishes. The trolley is no longer the mine from which to draw from to finance other consumption, but a fort to be protected by postponing the downgrading of purchases used in other times of crisis. At the same time, the food that we do not intend to give up seems to be above all the more sober and basic, without frills and superstructures; Italian character and sustainability are the essential elements that erode the market from other characteristics that were most considered in the past. Gourmet food, ready to eat, organic and ethnic food are down. While a future full of unknowns is looming for the Italian large-scale retail trade, crushed on the one hand by the increase in prices and expensive energy and on the other by the need to cushion the impact of prices on household portfolios.