Organic food is a dynamic market in Italy with consumers willing to pay a premium for quality. Changing consumer habits towards food plus product expansion and the increased demand for premium products are the key drivers for the growing trend. Consumers in Italy are paying more attention to healthy foods, preferring more premium and natural food. Likewise, Italians consider organic products to be sustainable and environmentally friendly – and are willing to pay 15% more for an organic product according to Anabio, the association that represents farmers of organic products in Italy.
Until recently, consumers found it difficult to find organic dairy products in Italy with most having to be imported. However today there is a growing trend for organic dairy with Italians happy to pay a premium especially for organic milk and yoghurt. Dairy third largest organic sector In 2015 dairy was the third largest organic sector in Italy after cereals, and fruit and vegetables, with a share of 10-11% of the total organic sector. This can be reflected in the increase of dairies investing in organic production and product expansion, especially in regional brands.
The first organic milk products from Parmalat were launched in March 2014 by Centrale del Latte di Roma. The dairy, based in the central Lazio region of Italy, today has its Biologico brand milk packaged in 1 litre and 500ml Pure-Pak® Diamond cartons with the Curve® feature and closure. In March 2015 Parmalat launched organic milk from Berna dairy in the southern Campania region, followed in April with the Latterie Friulane Bio milk from the Friuli region in the north east of the country. Three more regional brands from the Parmalat organic family were launched during 2015 including Carnini brand milk in both full and semi-skimmed milk from the Lombardia region in the north west. Also from the same region was launched the Lactis regional Bio brand, and from the Campania region is the Solac organic milk. Elopak has a strategic packaging partnership with Parmalat for over 20 years, and all the regional brands are packaged in 1 litre Pure-Pak® Diamond cartons with the Curve® feature. Regional brands lead the way “Italian consumers are developing a growing preference for organic dairy driven from the increased consumer awareness of and the desire to take responsibility for the environment,” says Elopak’s sales manager in Italy, Jacopo La Rosa. “The growing trend presents a huge opportunity for dairy in Italy with regional brands leading the way. Consumers increasingly want quality, locally sourced milk rather than imported products.” “This is not a phase, we expect the trend for organic products in Italy to continue strongly,” adds Parmalat. “There have been some solid developments and investments in organic dairy over the last few years and Parmalat plans to grow in this sector to meet market and consumer demand.”