Italians lowering food standards as recession bites

Over one-third shopping at discount grocery stores

Italians lowering food standards as recession bites

Rome, January 4 - More and more Italians are shopping at discount food stores, lowering traditionally high quality standards as a recession drags on, a report said Friday. According to national farmers' group CIA, 34% of Italian families say they shop at low-cost grocery stores, while 28% say they do so exclusively. CIA said that six out of 10 families had to adjust their food-consumption habits in 2012, and 50% significantly cut down on grocery expenses. The group was responding to data Friday from statistics agency Istat, which showed Italy's annual inflation rate for 2012 was 3.0%, the highest since 2008, on the basis of preliminary estimates. The so-called 'trolley' of most frequently bought goods like groceries and petrol also hit a post-2008 high, of 4.3%, Istat said.

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