The living standards of Italian families are being negatively affected by the rising prices of food products in supermarkets, according to a warning issued by the national consumer union Altroconsumo. Over the past year, supermarket prices have increased by more than 12%, forcing Italians to change their grocery-shopping habits and turn to discounters for cheaper alternatives. As a result, many consumers are either buying lower-cost food or removing certain products from their shopping lists.
Altroconsumo highlighted that people are constantly facing price hikes, which they notice every week when they have to pay for goods at supermarket checkouts. Despite this, advertisements on various platforms are still promoting low prices, promotions, and special discounts to save money.
The organization conducted an analysis of prices in 1,203 stores and found that the cost of food products rose by 12.6% between March 2022 and March 2023. In comparison, prices had only increased by 2.6% during the previous year.
A recent report by the General Confederation of Italian Industry revealed that most Italian families are cutting back on groceries and opting for cheaper supermarket brands or sticking to essential products. In the fourth quarter of last year, households reduced their food expenses by 8.7% compared to the first quarter of 2021.
Massimiliano Donna, the president of the National Consumer Union (UNC), stated that Italians are being forced to adopt a restrictive diet due to soaring inflation, which has mainly impacted food products after energy products. In August, food prices surged by 11% year-on-year, while the cost of a “consumer basket” rose by 10.2%, according to the UNC.
These rising food prices are having a significant impact on the daily lives and budgets of Italian families, forcing them to make difficult choices when it comes to grocery shopping. The increase in costs is contributing to the decline in living standards, as families have to allocate a larger portion of their income to meet essential food needs.
The situation calls for attention and action from both the government and supermarkets. Efforts should be made to address the underlying factors contributing to the rising prices and ensure that food remains affordable for all. Additionally, alternative measures such as promoting local and sustainable food options can help mitigate the impact of increasing prices on consumers.
It is crucial to recognize the importance of maintaining access to affordable and nutritious food for the well-being and overall quality of life for Italian families. By addressing the challenges associated with rising food prices, the country can work towards improving the living standards of its citizens and creating a more equitable society.