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3 Reasons Why Young Italians Are The Biggest Foodies in WE

When it comes to food, young Italians are different from their European peers. Find out how and why…


  • Nearly nine in ten Italian Gen Z and Millennials consider themselves foodies
  • Young Italians are much more likely than their other Western European peers to buy natural and organic food
  • Young Italians also post more food content on social media than young people in other countries in WE

YPulse’s research from our recent WE Food Shopping & Trends Report shows that 55% of young Europeans consider themselves foodies. But in Italy, this figure is very different, with the vast majority of Italian Gen Z and Millennials considering themselves foodies. This chart shows you how Gen Z and Millennials among the five countries YPulse surveys in the region (U.K., France, Germany, Spain, and Italy) answered the question:

Italy has the highest percentage of Gen Z and Millennials who identify as food enthusiasts compared to the four other Western European countries, with nearly nine in ten young Italians considering themselves foodies (86%). In Spain and in France, less than two in five do, underscoring that these consumers don’t have the same relationship with food. YPulse’s WE Food Shopping & Trends Report provides data supporting why young Italians consider themselves the biggest foodies among all five countries surveyed by YPulse in the region.

#1 – Young Italians like to share food content online

Social media plays a huge role in foodie culture among Gen Z and Millennials, who like to consume, share, and create food content online. And the fact that young Italians are such foodies can be understood because of their enthusiasm for food and social media. YPulse’s data shows that 52% of young Italians say they post photos of food or drinks on social media, which is +10pts more than the average in the four other countries in the region (42%). YPulse recently told you about the Italian chef @donatodecaprio, who has gained millions of followers by sharing videos of himself on TikTok making sandwiches with thick slices of bread, lots of meat, mozzarella, and oil. The sandwiches are imperfectly perfect, and the account shows the chef taking orders from customers and preparing the meals generously—it’s one of the many trends young consumers like to share on social media.

#2 – Young Italians are adventurous eaters

In YPulse’s WE Food Shopping & Trends Report, we also asked young Europeans the following question: “How adventurous of an eater are you?” Here again, young Italians’ answers look quite different from their Western European friends: 84% of Italian Gen Z and Millennials say they are adventurous eaters compared to 72% among the rest of Western Europe. And when young consumers are given the choice between “eating something familiar” and “eating something different,” Italy is the only country in the entire region where the majority of Gen Z and Millennials choose the second option, “something different” (55%). It’s no coincidence Starbucks recently chose Italy to launch the prototype of a new olive oil-infused coffee, Starbucks Oleato: young consumers there are more open to trying different types of food than their counterparts in Western Europe.

#3 – They have high regard for the quality of their food

The fact that so many young consumers in Italy see themselves as foodies is also a reflection of the culinary tradition in the country. Italians take great pride in the quality of their ingredients, and Gen Z and Millennials in the country have inherited this passion for natural food. YPulse’s research shows that 42% of young Italians only consume organic or all-natural food, the highest number among all Western European countries. Moreover, a staggering 46% of young Italians also report being more likely to buy an item with the label “all-natural” when grocery shopping, +20pts more than the average of the U.K., France, Germany, and Spain (26%). YPulse recently informed you how the Italian government is considering ways to uphold this high standard with a potential ban on artificially made food. If approved, the law would prohibit synthetic food and synthetic meat and further safeguard the country’s culinary heritage, making Italy the first nation to implement such measures.