Content of the study:
The catering market - Italy

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1.1 Definition and presentation

The term "catering" refers to someone who prepares dishes or meals for delivery or take-out. The market for catering services of this type is composed of different aspects and actors working closely together to provide the end result: fresh or packaged meals for a large number of people at the same time. The players in the market operate not only in food procurement, main cooking and final delivery, but also in refreshment and ice machine supply, storage and processing facilities, service equipment, dishwashing and sanitation. Market segmentation could be summarized into two broad categories depending on the end customers and the type of contract, which are: Contract Catering Service and Concession Catering Service.

Catering Service originated in the US to solve the problem of having to feed a large number of workers within the same company. Catering services as a phenomenon originated in Italy in the 1900s, peaking in the 1970s, and were initially used by the middle class and upper class, and then spread to the entire population as a mass phenomenon. In Italy, there are 2,000 companies working in the catering food service market with 100,000 employees; this market accounts for 3 percent of the entire Italian food-restaurant sector.

Before the covid-19 crisis, the market was expanding in both directions: more organized and digitized services for public facilities, such as schools, public companies, and universities, and high-quality catering services for private events (banqueting), with an average expense of 60 euros per person. In 2021 the market is slowly recovering, but it will take much of 2022 to return to pre-covid numbers.

1.2 World market

The world catering market is expected to be valued at $***.* billion in **** and to reach $***.* billion by ****.

World Catering Market World, ****-****, billion USD Source: ****

Catering and food service companies are forming alliances to serve food to schools, colleges and universities. They are also involved in developing mobile apps that provide ...

1.3 Domestic market grows

We analyze the numbers of two ATECO headings below:

**.**"Canteens and continuous catering on a contract basis," which includes the operation of canteens (***) under concession and the provision of prepared meals for transportation companies, hospitals, schools, etc **.**"Provision of prepared meals (***)," which includes the catering service for events such as: ...


2.1 Demand sectors: events and fairs, wedding planning, residential care facilities

Events and trade shows

The organization of events and fairs is a sector that leads that of catering services, because for every reception it is necessary to provide food for guests, especially when it is a corporate event (***).we can therefore analyze the evolution of the sector registered under ATECO code ...

2.2 Demand trend: the increasing focus on sustainable food in catering

For ecological reasons, the attention of restaurant customers is increasingly turning to food waste. In the chart below, it can be seen that throughout the supply chain, the restaurant sector is by far the one that produces the most food waste in value, often due to a mismatch between restaurant supply ...

2.3 An interest in this service that diminishes over the years

If you pay attention to Google Trends data, you can see that interest in catering services has decreased dramatically since ****.

It is assumed that the search for this term is not for mass catering, but rather for buffet and event catering services.

Search interest "Catering" Italy, ****-****, Google Trends Index Source: ...


3.1 The structure of Italian enterprises in the industry

We can see in the following two graphs that the structure of the sectors we analyze has not changed much since ****. The number of enterprises in event catering increased by +*% and that of contract canteens decreased by -**%. Employment in the former increased by +**% and employment in the latter by +*%.

Number ...

3.2 The companies that lead the Italian market

The following data are excerpts from the ReportAziende website and are not exhaustive. They aim as being representative of the market for which they are used.

Listed below are the most important firms in the Continued Catering on a contract basis sector, with corresponding market shares.

Market shares of companies in ...


4.1 Analysis of prices charged in the market

We analyze below the idice of consumer prices for Italians of"Restaurants, bars and the like," "Business canteens," and "School canteens."

We clearly note that all three prices have been gradually rising since ****.

Price index for restaurants and canteens Italy, ****-****, base ****=*** Source: ****

The data presented in the following graph serves ...

4.2 The catering categories of mass catering

Mass catering includes * main categories of catering:

School catering: daycare, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school, university; Medical and social catering: hospitals, nursing homes; Corporate catering: administrative and corporate restaurants; Other: vacation centers, military, prisons, etc.

In the following table, we list the different categories of the catering of mass ...

4.3 Type of services and average prices

Restaurateurs are aware that demand is relatively dominated by corporations and event organizers. As a result, the offerings are usually relatively high-end, with products that can be adapted to customers' needs (***). The goal is usually to offer foods that are healthy, easy to eat, tasty, and aesthetically pleasing.

A number of ...


5.1 Regulations

A highly regulated industry

The sector is subject to various regulations at both the national and European levels.

There are regulations applicable to food hygiene and food safety .

The European Union has adopted several pieces of legislation aimed at establishing a single and transparent policy on food hygiene :

Regulation ***/**** establishes the ...


6.1 Segmentation of actors

The following is a non-exhaustive list of players in the Italian catering market.

  • CIRFood (Cooperativa Italiana di Ristorazione)
  • CAMST (Cooperativa Albergo Mensa Spettacolo e Turismo)
  • Compass Group Italia

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Reviews (3)

Reviews (3)

The catering market - France

Publicado en 28/04/2022 by Thomas Camajou - METRO

The study addresses all the topics in a clear and synthetic manner, the sources are well indicated and it includes sheets and information on the main players in the sector.

The catering market - France

Publicado en 17/02/2022 by Yvonne Dibakeu

It was very complete and current so nothing to say!

The catering market - France

Publicado en 07/09/2020 by Sarah Kerzerho - Ruffault traiteur

Very qualitative study

Businesscoot Response:

Hello Sarah, Thank you for your feedback. We are glad that this study lived up to your expectations.

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