In 2012, Italians spent 35 percent of their entire food budget at cafés and restaurants, higher than the 32 percent average for the European Union.
Forget Facebook and Twitter: this face-to-face social network is alive and kicking, and somewhat twitchy, given its caffeine intake. But unlike the virtual world, it does not come free of charge: to take part Italians are willing to spend 1,200 euro per year, 32 percent more than the French and 53 percent more than Germans.
According to a report presented this month in Milan by the Italian federation of commercial businesses, Italians are continuing to frequent their local coffee shops. It is a surprising finding in a country that is for ever tightening its belts. Only Spain and the United Kingdom are spending more on café life.
Nonetheless, the coffee sector in Italy has fallen by 1.2 billion euro in the past 12 months and its numbers are expected to drop by an additional percentage point in 2013.
According to FIPE’s report, breakfast is the meal that Italians prefer to eat fuori casa, spending an average of 2.60 euro each visit. The coffee-and-pastry combination remains high on the list of Italian food favourites, generating a yearly turnover of 3.9 billion euro. Young adults aged between 25 and 44 with full-time jobs are the most likely to breakfast at a café, where the average price for an espresso is 0.94 euro (1.26 for a cappuccino)—a small price to pay for socializing.