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Noodles, Rice and Pasta - UK - July 2009

This report assesses the performance of the noodles, rice and pasta market. Since 2007, value sales have grown by a significant 22.5% to reach £1.4 billion in 2009.

Global shortages of rice and rising commodity prices have contributed to significant price inflation in this market. In addition, value sales growth has come from product innovation, including rice pouches as well as the introduction of microwaveable and ready-to-cook formats in the rice and noodles market.

Convenience continues to be a big draw for busy consumers, and is driving ready-to-heat sales across all categories.

Key themes

  • The impact of the rise in global commodity prices on the UK rice, noodles and pasta market.

  • Whether tightening household budgets will affect sales of rice, noodles and pasta.

  • How manufacturers are innovating to drive value and volume sales.

  • How significant convenience, health and ‘authenticity’ are in this market.

  • Recreating restaurant and takeaway-style meals in the home.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes
        • Definition
        • Future Opportunities

          • If the consumer can’t go to Asia… Asia will come to the consumer
            • Targeting the elderly
              • Pasta, re-invented (or simply re-explored)
              • Market in Brief

                • Buoyant market…
                  • ... but with recession still a concern
                    • Evolving tastes and health-conscious consumers
                      • Growth categories and NPD
                        • Competition heats up
                          • Consumer findings
                            • The future
                            • Internal Market Environment

                              • Key points
                                • Consumers still paying for 2008 rice shortages
                                  • Basmati market tackles supply limitations
                                    • Bumper wheat crop brings an end to pasta shortages
                                      • Eating in is the new eating out
                                        • Figure 1: Trends in healthy lifestyles and eating habits, 2004-08
                                      • Health concerns focused on elderly
                                        • Potatoes lose out to rice and pasta
                                          • Figure 2: Quantities of household purchases of pasta, rice, noodles and potatoes, 2004-07*
                                      • Broader Market Environment

                                        • Key points
                                          • Opportunities for growth
                                            • Figure 3: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2004-14
                                          • Rising numbers of ABs will boost total and premium sales
                                            • Figure 4: Structure of the UK adult population, by socio-economic group, 2004-14
                                          • Ethnic population growth drives branded rice sales
                                            • Figure 5: UK ethnic population, by ethnic group, April 2001
                                          • Scrutiny of salt and fat content
                                              • Figure 6: Projections of overweight and obesity prevalence among UK adults, by gender, 2003-50
                                          • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                            • Strengths
                                              • Weaknesses
                                              • Competitive Context

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Mainstream appeal for pasta and noodles
                                                    • Figure 7: Trends in usage of selected carbohydrate-based food items and cooking sauces, 2004-08
                                                  • Youth appeal for pizza and savoury snacks
                                                    • Rice leads value sales growth
                                                      • Figure 8: UK retail sales of carbohydrate based meals, cooking sauces and ready meals, 2004-08
                                                    • Cross-promotional potential for pasta
                                                    • Who’s Innovating?

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Pasta leads NPD activity in 2008
                                                          • Figure 9: NPD in noodles, pasta and rice, % by positioning, 2006-09*
                                                        • Range extensions gather momentum
                                                          • Figure 10: NPD in noodles, pasta and rice, % by launch type, 2006-09*
                                                        • Recession boosts own-label activity
                                                          • Figure 11: NPD in noodles, pasta and rice, % by own –label and branded, 2006-09*
                                                        • NPD focuses on health and convenience
                                                          • Figure 12: NPD in noodles, pasta & rice, % by positioning, 2006-08
                                                        • Healthy eating ranges
                                                          • Offering convenience
                                                            • Spicing up instant noodles
                                                              • Embracing organic and wholegrain
                                                                • Premium range activity strong
                                                                  • Children’s market targeted
                                                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Shortages fuel rocketing market
                                                                        • Figure 13: UK retail value sales of noodles, rice and pasta market, 2004-14
                                                                      • Shoppers alter shopping habits in the recession
                                                                        • The future of the market
                                                                          • Factors used in the forecast
                                                                          • Segment Performance

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Pasta and pasta-based meals
                                                                                • Rising prices fail to quell volume growth
                                                                                  • Figure 14: UK retail volume and value sales of pasta, at current and constant prices, 2004-14
                                                                                • Italian focus and health concerns boost ready meals
                                                                                  • NPD and recession lift dry pasta sales
                                                                                      • Figure 15: UK retail value sales of pasta, by type, 2006-09
                                                                                    • Rice
                                                                                      • Adventurous Brits drive rice sales
                                                                                        • Figure 16: UK retail volume and value sales of rice, at current and constant prices, 2004-14
                                                                                      • Recession boosts own-label and speciality rices
                                                                                        • Convenience pulls in the premiums
                                                                                          • Figure 17: UK retail value sales of rice, by type, 2006-09
                                                                                        • Noodles
                                                                                          • Growth despite limited usage
                                                                                            • Figure 18: UK retail volume and value sales of noodles, at current and constant prices, 2004-14
                                                                                          • Mixed performances among shelf-stable noodles
                                                                                              • Figure 19: UK retail value sales of noodles, by type, 2006-09
                                                                                            • Chilled noodle market falters
                                                                                            • Market Share

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Pasta and pasta-based meals
                                                                                                  • Inflation and marketing boost own-label
                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Estimated manufacturer shares of retail value sales of dried pasta, 2006-09*
                                                                                                  • Napolina and De Cecco push ahead
                                                                                                    • Rice
                                                                                                      • Recession boosts own-label sales
                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Estimated manufacturer shares of retail value sales of rice, 2006-09
                                                                                                      • Greatest gains made by Tilda and Veetee
                                                                                                        • Noodles
                                                                                                          • Brands dominate the noodles market
                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Estimated manufacturer shares of retail value sales of noodles, 2006-09
                                                                                                        • Companies and Products

                                                                                                          • Manufacturers and brands
                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Leading companies in the pasta, rice and noodles market and their brands, 2009
                                                                                                          • Major players
                                                                                                            • Associated British Foods
                                                                                                              • Heinz
                                                                                                                • Mars
                                                                                                                  • Napolina
                                                                                                                    • Nestlé
                                                                                                                      • Giovanni Rana
                                                                                                                        • Premier Foods
                                                                                                                          • Riso Gallo
                                                                                                                            • Tilda
                                                                                                                              • Unilever
                                                                                                                              • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Brands defend market share as recession bites
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Main monitored media advertising expenditure on pasta, noodles and rice, 2006-08
                                                                                                                                  • TV activity stepped up
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Percentage of main monitored media advertising expenditure on pasta, noodles and rice, by media type, 2006-08
                                                                                                                                  • Setting out their stalls
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Adspend by seasonality correlated with NPD activity, 2006-08
                                                                                                                                  • Uncle Ben’s leads marketing spend
                                                                                                                                    • ‘Spoof’ campaigns for Pot Noodle and Giovanni Rana
                                                                                                                                      • Tilda evokes premium appeal
                                                                                                                                      • Channels to Market

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Multiple dominance grows
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Retail distribution of the UK market for noodles, rice and pasta, 2006-09
                                                                                                                                          • Convenience store success in pasta and rice sales
                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Pasta and Noodles Usage

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Pasta and noodles: Frequency of usage increases
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Trends in frequency and usage of pasta and noodles, 2004-08**
                                                                                                                                                • Appealing to the affluent young families
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Users vs. non-users of pasta and noodles, by demographic group, 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Over-55s not fans of pasta and noodles
                                                                                                                                                    • Fresh pasta and noodles gain ground
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Trends in usage of pasta and noodles, by type, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                      • Fresh pasta appeals to health-conscious
                                                                                                                                                        • Noodles boost youth appeal
                                                                                                                                                          • Savoury snacks proving an instant hit
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Trends in frequency and usage of instant savoury snacks, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                          • Less affluent young opt for instant savoury snacks
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Users vs. non-users of pasta and noodles, by demographic group, 2008
                                                                                                                                                          • Potential for healthier, upmarket snacks?
                                                                                                                                                            • Dried snack meals losing out
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Trends in usage of instant savoury snacks, by type, 2006-08
                                                                                                                                                              • Chilled salads pose greatest competitive threat
                                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Attitudes and Motivations

                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                  • Increased usage bolsters future prospects
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Frequency of eating noodles, rice and pasta now compared to a year ago, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Universal appeal for rice, noodles a favourite of young consumers
                                                                                                                                                                      • Rice
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Types of rice eaten, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Convenience choices appeal to less affluent
                                                                                                                                                                        • Adventurous women sample multiple rice types
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Repertoire of types of rice eaten, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Frequency of rice consumption
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Frequency of eating rice, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Value is foremost in consumers’ minds
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Agreement with statements about rice, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Seeking health, versatility and convenience
                                                                                                                                                                            • Noodles
                                                                                                                                                                              • Consumer preferences for noodle types
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Types of noodles eaten, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Noodle consumers not sampling across repertoires
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Repertoire of type of noodles eaten, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Noodles meet demand for convenience and variety
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Statements agreed with when it comes to noodles, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Boosting consumption among older consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity for takeaway-style noodle meals?
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Pasta
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Fresh gaining ground on dry pasta
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Types of pasta eaten, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sampling across repertoires is low
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Repertoire of types of pasta eaten, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Positive responses bolster pasta’s position
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Statements agreed with when it comes to pasta dishes, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Dry pasta a store cupboard staple for many
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Affluent young opt for fresh pasta
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Convenience draws in consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Further Analysis – Targeting Groups

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Consumer typologies for rice, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Own-Label Stalwarts
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Brand Loyalists
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Budget Shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Agreement with lifestyle statements, by demographics, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Agreement with lifestyle statements, by demographics, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Competitive Context

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Trends in usage of selected carbohydrate-based food items and cooking sauces, by demographics, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Main monitored media expenditure on rice, noodles and pasta, by brand and manufacturer, 2006-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – The Consumer – Pasta and Noodles Usage

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Frequency and usage of pasta and noodles, by demographics, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Usage of pasta and noodles, by type, by demographics, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Frequency and usage of instant savoury snacks, by demographics, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Trends in usage of instant savoury snacks, by demographics, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – The Consumer – Attitudes and Motivations

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Frequency of eating noodles now compared to a year ago, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Frequency of eating rice now compared to a year ago, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Frequency of eating pasta now compared to a year ago, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 57: Types of rice eaten, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 58: Types of rice eaten, by demographics, May 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 59: Repertoire of types of rice eaten, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Repertoire of types of rice eaten, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 61: Frequency of eating rice, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 62: Frequency of eating rice, by type, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 63: Frequency of eating rice, by types of rice eaten, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 64: Frequency of eating rice, by types of rice eaten, May 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 65: Agreement with statements about rice, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 66: Agreement with statements about rice, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 67: Agreement with statements about rice, by type of rice eaten, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 68: Agreement with statements about rice, by type of rice eaten, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 69: Agreement with statements about rice, by frequency of eating rice, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 70: Types of noodles eaten, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 71: Repertoire of noodles eaten, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 72: Agreement with statements about noodles, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: Repertoire of type of noodles eaten, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 74: Agreement with statements about noodles, by types of noodles eaten, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 75: Types of pasta eaten, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 76: Repertoire of types of pasta eaten, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 77: Agreement with statements about pasta, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 78: Agreement with statements about pasta, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 79: Repertoire of types of pasta eaten, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Further Analysis – Targeting Groups

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 80: Target groups, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 81: Agreement with statements about rice, by target group, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 82: Repertoire of types of rice eaten, by target group, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 83: Frequency of eating rice, by target groups, May 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 84: Types of rice eaten, by target groups, May 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • AB World Foods
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Associated British Foods Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Food Standards Agency
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Guinness
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • HJ Heinz Company UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • McDonald's Restaurants Limited (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Nestlé UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Northern Foods Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • PizzaExpress Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Premier Foods plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Princes Foods
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Riso Gallo
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Somerfield
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • T-Mobile (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Tilda Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Unilever Bestfoods UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Veetee
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Virgin Media Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Virgin Mobile
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Vodafone Group Plc (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Wagamama Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Weight Watchers Ltd. (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • YouTube, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Zizzi

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Noodles, Rice and Pasta - UK - July 2009

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