Navigating the Aperitivo occasion with key insights from the Aperitivo Festival

Matteo Fortarezza, NIQ's Insight Consultant Manager-Beverage, recently shared fascinating insights about the Aperitif opportunity in the Italian On Premise, during the Aperitivo Festival in Milan.

Click here to read the blog in Italian/ Clicca qui per leggere il blog in italiano.


Matteo Fortarezza provided a deep dive into the evolving landscape of aperitif culture. He highlighted the enduring popularity and cultural significance of aperitifs in Italy, shedding light on consumer preferences, spending habits, and emerging trends.  


Here are the five key takeaways from the presentation: 


1. Rising Popularity of Aperitivo 

The aperitif culture continues to thrive, with 48% of Italian consumers going out for an aperitif, a 3 percentage point (pp) increase from last year. With 43% enjoying aperitifs weekly and an impressive 85% indulging monthly, beverage brands must leverage the occasion to increase engagement and recruit new consumer segments.

2. Generational Preferences and Spending Trends  

Younger Millennials are leading the charge in frequenting aperitivo events more often and spending more per visit (€12.02 per head for drinks). While the classic Aperol spritz remains the favourite (53%), younger consumers are increasingly opting for cocktails like gin and tonic and Hugo. This age group also shows a significant preference for cocktails over sparkling wine, highlighting a shift in drink choices.

3. Influence of Recommendations and Price Sensitivity  

The decision-making process for aperitif drinks is significantly influenced by price, with 44% of consumers citing it as a key factor, and this number rises by 12 pp for Gen Z. Bar staff recommendations (31%) and menu suggestions (27%) also play a crucial role, especially among younger consumers. Social interactions and peer influence further impact their choices, presenting opportunities for targeted marketing.

4. No/Low Alcohol Alternatives on the Rise  

There is a growing trend towards no/low alcohol alternatives, particularly among younger consumers (+5pp) when out for the aperitivo occasion. Interestingly, the 45-54 age group has seen the most significant growth (+6pp) in this segment over the past year, indicating a broader acceptance and demand for these options across different age groups.

5. Social Media Engagement and Post-Aperitivo Activities  

Younger aperitif drinkers are more likely to share their experiences on social media, with 45% of 18-24-year-olds agreeing that they post pictures of their drinks. This behaviour provides a unique opportunity to engage these consumers with visually appealing drinks and experiences. Additionally, 58% of the 18-34 age group stay out after aperitifs, often heading to discos or restaurants, showcasing the potential for extended engagement beyond the aperitivo event itself. 


CGA by NIQ’s On Premise User Survey (OPUS) offers comprehensive insights into the Aperitivo occasion, highlighting the category, brand and channel preferences of consumers, factors influencing their path to purchase, trends impacting the buying decisions of different demographics and even the post-Aperitivo consumer behaviour. 


Dive deeper into the Aperitivo occasion and enhance your offerings by accessing CGAs valuable On Premise solutions. Contact Us today! 

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