United Kingdom pasta market: 6% value growth in 2012

Press Release   •   Feb 19, 2013 17:00 GMT

Private label continues to dominate the United Kingdom pasta market and in 2012 accounted for 56% of value sales. Private label saw a slight recovery in the second half of the review period, having seen a slump after peaking in 2007. In the first half of the review period brands started to gain space on modern retailers' shelves as they broadened their appeal through more variations and formats. This appealed to growing consumer demand for more sophisticated pasta types and was more profitable for retailers. Retailers, however, began expanding their own ranges to include these newer formats in order to maintain their competitive edge. Thus private label, which is perceived to offer good value, was able to bolster its strong position.

In 2012 dried pasta fuelled growth for the pasta category as a whole, achieving value growth of 11%, while chilled/fresh pasta, which had experienced rapid growth a decade previously as it entered the category, saw weaker value growth of 5%. Chilled/fresh pasta is seen as more expensive and less convenient than dried pasta, which can be stored in cupboards for a longer period. Canned/preserved pasta continued to see sales fall, with a value decline of 3%.

The UK pasta category saw positive growth over the review period and it is expected to grow further in the forecast period, as it is far from being saturated; the UK still consumes less pasta that its European neighbours. According to trade interviews, pasta in the UK is popular among consumers aged under 55 and, as these consumers grow older, the whole spectrum of consumers will come to consume more pasta; it is likely that it will become more of an everyday food for the whole population, as it is in other parts of Europe.

Key Headlines

- The pasta category posts 6% growth in value terms and a rise of 2% in volume terms in 2012
- Pasta, which is considered to offer good value, is favoured by the recession which continues to hit consumers
- Dried pasta is the fastest growing category thanks to increasing British consumer knowledge on the product
- Unit prices increase due to rising commodity prices
- Private label continues to dominate the UK pasta category, although premium brands are making some progress
- The category is expected to see strong growth over the forecast period as consumption of pasta in the UK aligns with the European average

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