Pasta, Rice and Grains - US - April 2015
“The pasta, rice, and grains categories face stagnant sales due to perceptions that, in general, they are high in gluten and carbohydrates and the mixes may be too processed. Brands must provide more healthful options to spur sales. Emerging grains can help breathe new life into this category, with additional focus on new flavors and health benefits.”
– Amy Kraushaar, US Category Manager, Food and Drink and Foodservice
This report covers the following areas:
- How can pasta/noodle and pasta meal brands turn around sales losses?
- Can shorter cooking times encourage sales?
- Will emerging pasta, grains, and noodles help grow sales?
Sales of pasta, rice, and grains were flat in 2014, but are forecast to grow by 2019. Slow growth stems from gluten/carbohydrate avoidance. Pasta and pasta-based meals will suffer most from category avoidance and should expand gluten-free alternatives to halt declines. Pasta mixes and rice mixes are hurt by consumer migration away from packaged, processed foods. Millennials, Hispanics, and households with children are most apt to buy. Interest in emerging pasta, rice, and grain varieties can boost sales if brands position themselves to take advantage of expanding consumer palates.
Pasta sales are negatively impacted by consumer avoidance of gluten and carbohydrates. Pasta brands can face these challenges by offering more gluten-free or nonwheat varieties. Pasta mixes also are negatively impacted by consumer migration away from gluten, and avoidance of processed foods like rice mixes Dry rice and grains sales benefit from consumer avoidance of pasta, as well as the health benefits rice and grains provide, such as protein and fiber. Emerging grain types such as quinoa and couscous also can capitalize on health benefits, as well as growing consumer interest in international cuisine. RTS rice sales are growing faster than rice mix sales, underscoring consumer demand for shorter cooking times and the shift away from processed, packaged foods. Consumers also increasingly expect packaged foods to provide added nutritional benefits such as added protein or vitamins. Adding a greater range of ethnic flavors can help spur interest and potentially grow category sales.
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