Data & trends to sell in Italian market

Can you renounce the 3rd European market? With 60.6 million citizens, the Italian market is full of opportunities and occupies the third place after Germany (82, 7 mil.) and France (64.2 mil).

Italian consumers tend to base their purchases on the quality of the item and the after sales service they will receive. Italians prefer packaging with clearly conveyed information. When given the choice, Italians prefer products ‘made in Italy’. Environmental criteria are less influential on decision-making. Novelty is welcomed, especially in the fashion sector.

Italian consumers are demanding of quality products, but are not very concerned with operating hours, frequent special offers, loyalty programmes or credit offers.Consumer Recourse to CreditThe Italian consumer has widespread recourse to consumer credit, with a growth of +14.2% (96.6 billion Euros) up to June 2007.Consumers Associations ACU, The Italian Association of Consumers and Users ADOC, The Italian Association for the Defence and Rights of the Consumer

Population in Figures

Total Population: 60,600,590
– Urban Population: 69.1%
– Rural Population: 30.9%
– Density of Population: 206 Inhab./km²
– Men (in %) 48.6%
– Women (in %) 51.3%
– Natural increase: -0.21%
– Medium Age: 42.0
– Ethnic Origins:According to the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), the majority of the population is of Italian ethnic origin. Of the remainder, many are of German, French, Slovenian, Catalan, Albanian, Greek or Croatian ethnic origin.

Population of main metropolitan areas

Name Population
Milan 4,109,109
Rome 4,077,212
Naples 3,562,170
Turin 1,760,857
Palermo 937,903
Bologna 754,387
Florence 727,903
Genova 711,715
Catania 627,045
Bari 580,804
Venice 543,705

Source: OECD, 2012 – Latest available data.

Life Expectancy in Years

Men: 78.6
Women: 84.6
Source: World Bank, last available data., 2009 – Latest available data.

Distribution of the Population By Age Bracket in %
Under 5:
6 to 14:
16 to 24:
25 to 69:
Over 70:
Over 80:

Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, Prospects 2010 – Latest available data.

Household Composition

Total Number of Households (in million) 23.8
Average Size of the Households 2.7 Persons
Percent of Households of 1 Person 28.0%
Percent of Households of 2 Persons 20.9%
Percent of Households of 3 or 4 Persons 39.3%
Percent of Households of 5 Persons and More 11.3%

Source: Trends in Europe and North America, The statistical yearbook of the Economic Commission for Europe 2008, UNECE., 2008 – Latest available data.

Consumption Expenditure

Consumption Expenditure By Product Category as % of Total Expenditure 2011
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels 22.7%
Food and non-alcoholic beverages 14.4%
Transport 12.9%
Restaurants and hotels 10.3%
Clothing and footwear 7.5%
Recreation and culture 7.4%
Furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house 7.3%
Health 2.9%
Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics 2.8%
Communication 2.4%
Education 1.0%

Source: UN Data, Latest available data

Information Technology and Communication Equipment, per 100 Inhabitants 2012
Telephone Subscribers 151.8
Main Telephone Lines 35.5
Cellular mobile subscribers 151.8
Internet Users 58.0
PCs 36.7

Source: International Telecommunication Union, Latest available data


Main Principles of Advertising Regulations

Advertising alcohol is allowed but not during time slots meant for children.
Tobacco advertising and sponsorship of events is banned. For more information see European Commission
Advertising medicines is allowed but under the control of the Ministry of Health.
Advertising of medical products is possible under market authorisation and if it is not a prescribed drug (link). Distribution of free samples is forbidden. Advertising should include the characteristics of the product and a promote a rational use. For more information visit the European Commission.
Other Rules
Comparative and misleading advertisement regulation in Italy is the same as that of the EU. For more information see the EU Directive about Unfair Commercial Practices and the EU Audiovisual and Media Services.
Use of Foreign Languages in Advertisement
The use of foreign languages is allowed.
Organizations Regulating Advertising
The Italian Government
The European Parliament