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Dry Pasta, Rice and Noodles - US - February 2014

“While respondents are very likely to say low price is an important factor in their selection of pasta and rice products, brands should do more to show that their products provide value beyond price. They can do this by offering more natural, whole grain, low sodium or some other healthful version of their products and explain that the nutritional content is as important as price. Moreover, brands can do more to show that their products provide users with a healthier, more filling snack than other types of snack foods, which will help drive on-the-go consumption.”

– Marla Commons, Vice President of Research

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • Can brands make health a value proposition?
  • Can brands show value without lowering prices?
  • Can brands encourage more on-the-go pasta eating?

The US market for dry pasta, rice, and noodles faces steep challenges in a saturated market, which has led to stagnant sales and a sense among consumers that the market offers little in terms of innovation. Efforts to provide healthier and more convenient products have helped penetrate this barrier to a degree, but brands need to do more to show that extra nutrition or ease of preparation offer value and that they are worth spending on, and using more frequently. Introducing new and creative flavors and varieties should aid in encouraging more sales, as will the introduction of more gluten-free pasta alternatives, which are likely to capitalize on growing interest in gluten-free diets.

 

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                • Executive Summary

                    • Flatling sales and little change for the future
                      • Figure 1: Total U.S. retail sales and fan chart forecast of dry pasta, rice, and noodles, at current prices, 2008-18
                    • Key players
                      • The consumer
                        • High penetration, but near saturation
                          • Figure 2: Household consumption of dry packaged pasta and rice/rice dishes, July 2012-September 2013
                        • Most consume pasta at home; opportunity for more on-the-go eating
                          • Figure 3: Where packaged pasta or noodles are eaten, December 2013
                        • Most respondents are looking for versatility
                            • Figure 4: Desired product attributes for packaged pasta, rice or noodles, December 2013
                          • Buying more in the last year due to more home cooking
                            • Figure 5: Reasons for buying more packaged pasta, rice, or noodles, December 2013
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                              • Can brands make health a value proposition?
                                • Issues
                                  • Insight: Focus on natural, low sodium, and explain benefits
                                    • Can brands show value without lowering prices?
                                      • Issues
                                        • Insight: Show value through ease of use, versatility, new flavors
                                          • Can brands encourage more on-the-go pasta eating?
                                            • Issues
                                              • Insight: On-the-go versions will increase occasions for use
                                              • Trend Applications

                                                  • Trend: Nouveau Poor
                                                    • Trend: Help Me Help Myself
                                                      • Mintel Futures: Human
                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Sales expected to rebound somewhat in 2014-18
                                                            • Brands should look to demographics to pinpoint key users
                                                              • Slow economic recovery, health concerns will drive future sales
                                                                • Sales and forecast of dry pasta, rice, and noodles
                                                                  • Figure 6: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of dry pasta, rice, and noodles, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                                  • Figure 7: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of dry pasta, rice, and noodles, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2008-18
                                                                • Fan chart forecast
                                                                    • Figure 8: Total U.S. retail sales and fan chart forecast of dry pasta, rice, and noodles, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                                • Market Drivers

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Use of dry packaged pasta, rice/rice dishes highest among 18-54
                                                                        • Figure 9: Household consumption of dry packaged pasta and rice/rice dishes, by age, July 2012-September 2013
                                                                      • Presence of children indicates higher usage of rice/rice dishes, increased usage of pasta/pasta mixes in the past year
                                                                        • Figure 10: Household consumption of dry packaged pasta and rice/rice dishes, by presence of children in household, July 2012-September 2013
                                                                        • Figure 11: Changes in purchase habits for packaged pasta, rice, or noodles purchases – Dry pasta/noodles from a package that doesn’t require a sauce, by presence of children in household, December 2013
                                                                        • Figure 12: Changes in purchase habits for packaged pasta, rice, or noodles purchases – Dry rice or rice mixes, by presence of children in household, December 2013
                                                                        • Figure 13: Changes in purchase habits for packaged pasta, rice, or noodles purchases – Dry pasta-based meal or side dish mixes, by presence of children in household, December 2013
                                                                      • Birth rate in decline
                                                                        • Kids in the household means more frequent usage/consumption
                                                                          • Figure 14: Number of packages of dry packaged pasta used in household in last 30 days, by presence of children in household, July 2012-September 2013
                                                                          • Figure 15: Number of individual servings of rice/rice dishes eaten in the household last 7 days, by presence of children in household, July 2012-September 2013
                                                                        • Blacks, Hispanics most apt to eat rice/rice dishes
                                                                          • Figure 16: Household consumption of dry packaged pasta and rice/rice dishes, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2012-September 2013
                                                                        • Economic recovery too slow for many consumers, pasta/rice represent affordable food
                                                                          • Figure 17: Changes in purchase habits for packaged pasta, rice, or noodles purchases, December 2013
                                                                          • Figure 18: Changes in purchase habits for packaged pasta, rice, or noodles – Dry pasta/noodles from a package that doesn’t require a sauce, by household income, December 2013
                                                                          • Figure 19: Changes in purchase habits for packaged pasta, rice, or noodles purchases – Dry pasta-based meal or side dish mixes, by household income, December 2013
                                                                        • Health considerations likely to factor into sales, but some avoid carbohydrates and gluten
                                                                          • Figure 20: Desired nutritional attributes for packaged pasta, rice, or noodles, December 2013
                                                                        • Most respondents eat white rice in the household; brown rice said to be most healthy
                                                                          • Figure 21: Kinds of rice/rice dishes eaten in the household, July 2012-September 2013
                                                                      • Competitive Context

                                                                        • Other convenient meal items compete with pasta and rice
                                                                          • Figure 22: Types of rice/rice dishes eaten in the household, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2012-September 2013
                                                                        • Low-cost menu items may draw pasta and rice users
                                                                        • Segment Performance

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Dry pasta/noodles and rice/rice mixes comprise 67% of the market
                                                                              • Sales of dry pasta, rice, and noodles, by segment
                                                                                • Figure 23: Total US retail sales of dry pasta, rice, and noodles, segmented by type, at current prices, 2011 and 2013
                                                                            • Segment Performance – Dry Pasta and Noodles

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Pasta is a staple, but needs more innovation to grow
                                                                                  • Sales and forecast of dry pasta and noodles
                                                                                    • Figure 24: Total US retail sales and forecast of dry pasta and noodles, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                                                • Segment Performance – Dry Rice and Rice Mixes

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Rice is also a staple; new grains and healthier rice mixes to boost sales
                                                                                      • Sales and forecast of dry rice and rice mixes
                                                                                        • Figure 25: Total U.S. sales and forecast of dry rice and rice mixes, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                                                    • Segment Performance – Dry Macaroni and Cheese Mixes

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Dry mac and cheese benefits from comfort food popularity
                                                                                          • Sales and forecast of dry macaroni and cheese mixes
                                                                                            • Figure 26: Total U.S. sales and forecast of dry macaroni and cheese mixes, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                                                        • Segment Performance – Dry Pasta-based Meals and Side Dishes

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Further losses expected as segment lacks innovation
                                                                                              • Sales and forecast of dry pasta-based meals and side dishes
                                                                                                • Figure 27: Total U.S. sales and forecast of dry pasta-based meals and side dishes, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                                                            • Retail Channels

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Supermarkets dominate the retail landscape
                                                                                                  • Other channels, including club/warehouse and mass chains, grow 7.6%
                                                                                                    • Sales of dry pasta, rice, and noodles, by channel
                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Total US retail sales of dry pasta, rice, and noodles, by channel, 2011 and 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 29: US supermarket sales of dry pasta, rice, and noodles, 2008-13
                                                                                                      • Figure 30: US other channel sales of dry pasta, rice, and noodles, 2008-13
                                                                                                  • Leading Companies

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Kraft leads based on macaroni and cheese sales
                                                                                                        • Private label makes up 17.1% but drops 0.7%
                                                                                                          • Manufacturer sales of dry pasta, rice, and noodles
                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Manufacturer sales of dry pasta, rice, and noodles, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                        • Brand Share – Dry Pasta

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Barilla America leads dry pasta segment, gains 3%
                                                                                                              • Ebro Puleva declines despite growth from Skinner
                                                                                                                • ConAgra drops 6.4% as all its top brands decline
                                                                                                                  • Private label comprises 27.5% share
                                                                                                                    • Manufacturer sales of dry pasta
                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Manufacturer sales of dry pasta, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                                  • Brand Share – Dry Rice and Rice Mixes

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Ebro Puleva brands grow, account for 22.7% share
                                                                                                                        • PepsiCo increases sales most
                                                                                                                          • Unilever’s Knorr Rice Sides grows as Knorr Lipton is phased out
                                                                                                                            • Uncle Ben’s brands decline, but new brands could reverse the trend
                                                                                                                              • Other brands drop sales or manage small growth; need for innovation
                                                                                                                                • Private label a major presence in dry rice/rice mixes
                                                                                                                                  • Manufacturer sales of dry rice and rice mixes
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Manufacturer sales of dry rice and rice mixes, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                                                • Brand Share – Dry Macaroni and Cheese Mixes

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • Kraft emblemizes mac and cheese
                                                                                                                                      • Annie’s Inc. occupies the natural niche
                                                                                                                                        • Manufacturer sales of dry macaroni and cheese mixes
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Manufacturer sales of dry macaroni and cheese mixes, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                                                      • Brand Share – Dry Pasta-based Meals/Side Dish Mixes

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Betty Crocker declines as most of its leading brands drop sales
                                                                                                                                            • Knorr Pasta Sides prevent losses for Unilever
                                                                                                                                              • Pasta Roni’s poor performance leads to PepsiCo decline
                                                                                                                                                • Kraft Velveeta Cheesy Skillets drop, Cheesy Casseroles climb
                                                                                                                                                  • Manufacturer sales of dry pasta-based meals/side dish mixes
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Manufacturer sales of dry pasta-based meals/side dish mixes, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                                                                  • Whole-grain brands leverage consumer demand for healthful fare
                                                                                                                                                    • Microwaveable products strive to make preparation easier
                                                                                                                                                      • Flavor varieties spice up the category
                                                                                                                                                        • Organic claims
                                                                                                                                                        • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                                                          • Overview of the brand landscape
                                                                                                                                                            • Theme: Healthy positioning
                                                                                                                                                              • Brand example: Barilla
                                                                                                                                                                • Brand example: Mahatama
                                                                                                                                                                  • Brand example: Annie’s Homegrown
                                                                                                                                                                    • Annie’s Homegrown YouTube spot
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Annie’s Homegrown YouTube ad, 2013
                                                                                                                                                                    • Theme: Families eating together
                                                                                                                                                                      • Brand example: Uncle Ben’s
                                                                                                                                                                        • Brand example: Ronzoni
                                                                                                                                                                          • Ronzoni TV spot
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Ronzoni television ad, 2013
                                                                                                                                                                        • Household Purchases of Dry Packaged Pasta, Rice, Noodles

                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                            • Dry pasta and rice account for the most household purchases
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Household purchases of packaged pasta, rice, or noodles, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Household purchases generally decline with age
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Household purchases of packaged pasta, rice, or noodles – Any household purchases, by age, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Presence of children indicates higher household purchases
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Household purchases of packaged pasta, rice, or noodles – Any household purchases, by presence of children in household, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                          • Ways Packaged Pasta and Noodles Are Eaten

                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                              • Most pasta-based meals are eaten as entrées
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: Ways packaged pasta or noodles are eaten, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                              • Younger respondents most apt to use past products for any occasion
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: Ways packaged pasta or noodles are eaten, by age, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                              • Households with kids most apt to use pasta/noodles for any meal occasion
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Ways packaged pasta or noodles are eaten, by presence of children in household, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Usage Frequency

                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                • More than a third use rice/rice dishes four or more times per week
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Number of individual servings of rice/rice dishes eaten in the household last 7 days, July 2012-September 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                • Nearly three in 10 use four or more packages of pasta per month
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Number of packages of dry packaged pasta used in household in last 30 days, by household income, July 2012-September 2013
                                                                                                                                                                              • Where Packaged Pasta or Noodles Are Eaten

                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Most eat pasta products at home; potential for on-the-go pasta products
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Where packaged pasta or noodles are eaten, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                  • 18-34 most likely to eat on the go
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Where packaged pasta or noodles are eaten, by age, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Households with kids most apt to eat pasta products on the go
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Where packaged pasta or noodles are, by presence of children in household, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                • Brands Used/Eaten

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Uncle Ben’s tops rice brands eaten in the household
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Brands of rice/rice dishes eaten in the household, July 2012-September 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Household use of Barilla far outweighs use of all other brands
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Brands of dry packaged pasta used in the household, July 2012-September 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Desired Product Attributes for Packaged Pasta, Rice, or Noodles

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Versatility, short preparation time most desired
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Desired product attributes for packaged pasta, rice or noodles, by age, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Desired Nutritional Attributes for Packaged Pasta, Rice, or Noodles

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Whole grain tops desired product attributes
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Desired nutritional attributes for packaged pasta, rice, or noodles, by age, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Households with kids most likely to look for nutrients, protein
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Desired nutritional attributes for packaged pasta, rice, or noodles, by presence of children in household, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Important Factors in Product Purchases

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Low price is still the most important factor in product selection
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Important factors in packaged pasta, rice, or noodles purchases, by age, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Reasons for Purchasing More Packaged Pasta, Rice, or Noodles

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • 45% are cooking at home more compared to a year ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Reasons for buying more packaged pasta, rice, or noodles, by age, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Half of households with kids are cooking at home more than a year ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Reasons for buying more packaged pasta, rice, or noodles, by presence of children in household, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Black, Asian, Hispanic respondents most apt to buy regular dry rice
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Household purchases of packaged pasta, rice, or noodles – Any household purchases, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Asian respondents most likely to not buy pasta products
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Ways packaged pasta or noodles are eaten, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Blacks, Hispanics most apt to look for a range of nutritional attributes
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Desired nutritional attributes for packaged pasta, rice, or noodles, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Hispanics most likely to say natural, healthy-looking products are important
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Important factors in packaged pasta, rice, or noodles purchases, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Hispanics report buying more due to better affordability, health, flavor
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Reasons for buying more packaged pasta, rice, or noodles, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Market Drivers

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Health and lifestyle
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 62: American adults, by weight category as determined by body mass index (BMI), 2008-Oct. 28, 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Childhood and teen obesity – Highest in decades
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 63: Prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents aged 2-19, 1971-2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer confidence
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 64: University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment (ICS), 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Unemployment
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 65: US unemployment rate, by month, 2002-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 66: US unemployment and underemployment rates, 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 67: Number of employed civilians in US, 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Retail channels
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 68: Distribution of expenditures on food for off-premise consumption, by channel, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Racial, ethnic population growth
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 69: US population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2009, 2014, and 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 70: Households with children, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Shifting US demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 71: US population, by age, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 72: US households, by presence of own children, 2003-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Household purchases of dry packaged pasta, rice, and noodles
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 73: Household purchases of packaged pasta, rice, or noodles – Any household purchases, by gender, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 74: Household purchases of packaged pasta, rice, or noodles – Any household purchases, by household income, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ways packaged pasta and noodles are eaten
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 75: Ways packaged pasta or noodles are eaten, by household income, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Desired nutritional attributes for packaged pasta, rice, and noodles
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Desired nutritional attributes for packaged pasta, rice, or noodles, by household income, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Important factors in product purchases
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 77: Important factors in packaged pasta, rice, or noodles purchases, by household income, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Race and Hispanic origin
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 78: Where packaged pasta or noodles are eaten, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 79: Desired product attributes for packaged pasta, rice or noodles, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Reasons for purchasing more packaged pasta, rice, or noodles
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 80: Reasons for buying more packaged pasta, rice, or noodles, by household income, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Changes in purchase habits
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 81: Changes in purchase habits for packaged pasta, rice, or noodles purchases – Dry pasta/noodles from a package that doesn’t require a sauce, by age, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 82: Changes in purchase habits for packaged pasta, rice, or noodles purchases – Dry pasta-based meal or side dish mixes, by age, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 83: Changes in purchase habits for packaged pasta, rice, or noodles purchases – Dry pasta-based meal or side dish mixes, by household income, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 84: Changes in purchase habits for packaged pasta, rice, or noodles purchases – Dry rice or rice mixes, by age, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 85: Changes in purchase habits for packaged pasta, rice, or noodles purchases – Dry rice or rice mixes, by household income, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ebro Puleva S.A.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Kraft Foods Inc. (U.S.A.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dry Pasta, Rice and Noodles - US - February 2014

                                                                                                                                                                                                        £3,174.67 (Excl.Tax)