The United Kingdom pasta market is showing signs of maturity, having grown at a steady pace over the past six years with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4%. The main factors affecting the market's development remain fluctuating prices of the supply goods.
Pasta has grown from being an Italian staple to a global favourite that is available in many varieties, shapes, sizes and colours. Despite minor impediments caused by low-carbohydrate fad diets such as the Atkins diet, pasta remains a staple grocery in the majority of UK households.
Value sales within the UK pasta market have grown by 9% and 2.9% in 2009 and 2010 respectively, with market value reaching £1.47 billion in 2010.
Global shortages of wheat - the result of extreme weather conditions in key supply countries and rising demand from emerging economies - have led to rising commodity prices of wheat-based products.
Pasta brands need to focus on premiumisation in order to raise awareness as currently only 30% of pasta consumers prefer to buy well-known brands and just 28% are prepared to pay more for premium products.
Consumers remain largely unconvinced as to the merits of fresh pasta, with only just over a third of consumers (34%) believing that fresh pasta tastes better than dry pasta, which poses a challenge for the premium segment within the pasta market.
Over a third of consumers who have increased their consumption of pasta over the past year believe that that are not enough healthy options available, and two out of five of those who already eat wholewheat pasta share that opinion.
In the UK, the latest diet trend to receive a high level of media attention is the GI Diet, which is largely based on the consumption of whole grains.
As a result, dieters and healthy-eaters are once again being advised that pasta, in its whole grain form, can be a part of their healthy diet. As over 50% of the UK adult population are on a diet, this has provided a key target market for pasta manufacturers.
For more information on the UK pasta market, see the latest research: UK Pasta Market
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