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Pasta, Rice and Noodles - UK - February 2017

“Health concerns over carbohydrate intake continue to plague the category. However, NPD centred on ‘positive nutrition’ and tapping into the ongoing interest in gluten-free food should help to polish its image. Demand for convenient mealtime solutions should continue to benefit the category even as the rising costs of imports threaten to put upward pressure on prices.”

Alyson Parkes, Food & Drink Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • "Positive nutrition" could add value to the market
  • Opportunities for noodles to forge new associations
  • Speed is of the essence to pasta and rice choice

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • 2016 sees second year of value decline
              • Figure 1: UK retail value sales of pasta, rice, instant snacks and noodles, 2011-21
            • Pasta falls victim to health concerns and love of world foods
              • Updated Eatwell Guide promotes starchy carbohydrates
                • Weaker Pound will push up import prices
                  • Companies and brands
                    • Own-brand extends dominance in pasta
                      • Figure 2: Leading brands’ shares in the UK pasta market, by value, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                    • Tilda’s strong growth continues in rice
                      • Figure 3: Leading brands’ shares in the UK rice market, by value, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                    • Batchelors retains top position in noodle market
                      • Pot Noodle extends its lead in pot snacks
                        • Activity in RTH sees rice gain share of launches
                          • Instant pasta, rice and noodles launches leap ahead in 2015
                            • Health and free-from are key drivers in product innovation
                              • Adspend falls by more than half in 2016
                                • The consumer
                                  • Pasta, rice, noodles enjoy near-universal usage
                                    • Figure 4: Frequency of usage of pasta, rice, noodle and other grains, by type, November 2016
                                  • Being easy to cook is the most important choice factor
                                    • Figure 5: Factors important when purchasing pasta, rice and noodles, November 2016
                                  • Single-meal pasta packs, instant rice and microwave pasta appeal
                                    • Figure 6: Interest in selected pasta, rice and noodle enticements, by segment, November 2016
                                  • Confidence in experimenting with noodles offers scope to bolster usage
                                    • Figure 7: Pasta, rice and noodles usage behaviour, November 2016
                                  • Whole wheat and wholegrain seen as healthy but high demand for nutritional guidance
                                    • Figure 9: Attitudes towards pasta, rice and noodles, November 2016
                                  • What we think
                                  • Issues and Insights

                                    • “Positive nutrition” could add value to the market
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • Opportunities for noodles to forge new associations
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                                • Speed is of the essence to pasta and rice choice
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                      • Overall value sales fall despite growth of rice and noodles
                                                        • Value increase forecast for the market over 2016-21
                                                          • Pasta falls victim to health concerns and love of world foods
                                                            • Updated Eatwell Guide promotes starchy carbohydrates
                                                              • Weaker Pound will push up import prices
                                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                • Overall value sales fall despite growth of rice and noodles
                                                                  • Figure 10: Total UK retail volume and value sales of pasta, rice, instant hot snacks and noodles, 2011-21
                                                                  • Figure 11: UK retail value sales of pasta, rice, instant hot snacks and noodles, by segment, 2011-21
                                                                • Value growth forecast for the market over 2016-21
                                                                  • Figure 12: UK retail value sales of pasta, rice, instant snacks and noodles, 2011-21
                                                                • Inflation to prop up pasta sales
                                                                    • Figure 13: UK retail value sales of pasta, 2011-21
                                                                  • Growing demand for convenience should favour the rice segment
                                                                    • Figure 14: UK retail value sales of rice, 2011-21
                                                                  • Steady volumes predicted for instant hot snacks and noodles
                                                                    • Figure 15: UK retail value sales of instant hot snacks and noodles, 2011-21
                                                                  • Forecast methodology
                                                                  • Market Segmentation

                                                                    • Fall in overall pasta sales
                                                                      • Figure 16: UK retail value and volume sales of pasta, by segment, 2014-16
                                                                    • RTH formats help ambient rice retain dominance
                                                                      • Figure 17: UK retail value and volume sales of rice, by segment, 2014-16
                                                                    • Value growth for pot snacks
                                                                      • Figure 18: UK retail value and volume sales of instant hot snacks and noodles, by segment, 2014-16
                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                    • Updated Eatwell Guide includes more starchy carbohydrates
                                                                      • Contrasting carbohydrate recommendations could dampen demand
                                                                        • Rise of the ‘faux carb’ poses a challenge to the pasta segment
                                                                          • The protein trend is not out of bounds for pasta, rice and noodles
                                                                            • Gluten-free boom continues
                                                                              • Demand for convenience could bolster sales
                                                                                • Weaker Pound will push up inflation
                                                                                • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                  • Own-brand extends dominance in pasta
                                                                                    • Tilda’s strong growth continues in rice
                                                                                      • Batchelors retains top position in noodle market
                                                                                        • Pot Noodle extends its lead in pot snacks
                                                                                          • RTH sees rice gain share of launches
                                                                                            • Instant pasta, rice and noodles launches leap ahead in 2015
                                                                                              • Health and free-from are key drivers in product innovation
                                                                                                • Adspend falls by more than half in 2016
                                                                                                • Market Share

                                                                                                  • Own-label gains share in pasta
                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK pasta market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                  • Tilda’s strong growth continues
                                                                                                    • Own-label sales overtake Uncle Ben’s
                                                                                                      • Figure 20: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK rice market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                    • Batchelors retains top position in noodles market
                                                                                                      • Figure 21: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK noodles market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                    • Pot Noodle and Naked Noodle buck downward trend in pot snacks
                                                                                                      • Figure 22: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK pot snacks market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                  • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                    • Pasta has the most new launches
                                                                                                      • RTH sees rice gain share of launches
                                                                                                        • Instant pasta, rice and noodles launches leap ahead in 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 23: New product launches in the pasta, rice and noodles market, by segment, 2013-16
                                                                                                        • Retailers overshadow brands in product launches
                                                                                                          • Symington’s revamps Mug Shot
                                                                                                            • Premier Foods updates and expands Batchelors
                                                                                                              • Heinz adds quick meal solutions
                                                                                                                • Rebranding and repackaging prop up retailers’ activity
                                                                                                                  • Figure 24: New product launches in the pasta, rice and noodles market, by top 10 companies, 2013-16
                                                                                                                • Health and free-from are key drivers in product innovation
                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: New product launches in the pasta, rice and noodles market with gluten-free, high-protein and high/added-fibre claim, 2013-16
                                                                                                                • Napolina adopts ‘stealth health’ with new 50%/50% pasta, Batchelors adds veg to noodles
                                                                                                                  • ‘World’s first’ fish protein noodle
                                                                                                                    • Healthy ‘fast food’ from NutriPot
                                                                                                                      • Tilda looks to pulses for ‘positive nutrition’
                                                                                                                        • Waitrose’s pulse-based pastas embrace food waste packaging innovation
                                                                                                                        • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                          • Adspend falls by more than half in 2016
                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on pasta, rice and noodles, 2013-16
                                                                                                                          • Uncle Ben’s is the most heavily advertised brand
                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on pasta, rice and noodles, by top 10 brands, 2013-16
                                                                                                                          • Pot Noodle continues “aspiration” campaign
                                                                                                                            • Kabuto Noodles tackle work lunches
                                                                                                                              • Barilla looks to spark imaginations with pasta tour
                                                                                                                                • Tilda brand launch doubles 2015 adspend
                                                                                                                                  • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                    • Pasta, rice, noodles enjoy near-universal usage
                                                                                                                                      • Dry pasta, rice and noodles most commonly used
                                                                                                                                        • Being easy to cook is the most important choice factor
                                                                                                                                          • Single-meal pasta packs chime
                                                                                                                                            • Instant rice appeals to two fifths, microwave pasta to 31%
                                                                                                                                              • Positive nutrition could add value to the market
                                                                                                                                                • Confidence in experimenting with noodles offers scope to bolster usage
                                                                                                                                                  • Parents keen to see more instant noodles suitable for children
                                                                                                                                                    • Whole wheat and wholegrain seen as healthy but high demand for nutritional guidance
                                                                                                                                                      • Pasta, rice and noodles that are a good source of protein appeal to women under 35
                                                                                                                                                      • Usage of Pasta, Rice, Noodles and Other Grains

                                                                                                                                                        • Pasta, rice, noodles enjoy near-universal usage
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Usage of pasta, rice, noodles and other grains, November 2016
                                                                                                                                                        • Dry pasta, rice and noodles most commonly used
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Frequency of usage of pasta, rice, noodle and other grains, by type, November 2016
                                                                                                                                                        • Three fifths have eaten microwaveable rice
                                                                                                                                                          • Affluent consumers are key grain users
                                                                                                                                                          • Factors Influencing Purchasing of Pasta, Rice and Noodles

                                                                                                                                                            • Being easy to cook is the most important choice factor
                                                                                                                                                              • Over-45s are most drawn to convenience aspects
                                                                                                                                                                • Ease and speed enjoy a lead over low price
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Factors important when purchasing pasta, rice and noodles, November 2016
                                                                                                                                                                • Low price deemed more important for pasta and rice than noodles
                                                                                                                                                                  • ‘Better for you’ variants could increase usage frequency
                                                                                                                                                                  • Pasta, Rice and Noodles Enticements

                                                                                                                                                                    • Convenience leads in enticements across the market
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Interest in selected pasta, rice and noodle enticements, by segment, November 2016
                                                                                                                                                                    • Single-meal pasta packs appeal
                                                                                                                                                                      • Younger generations want one-minute meals
                                                                                                                                                                        • Instant rice appeals to two fifths
                                                                                                                                                                          • Positive nutrition could add value to the market
                                                                                                                                                                            • Ancient grains show potential in rice and pasta
                                                                                                                                                                              • Use of vegetables in pasta could bolster appeal
                                                                                                                                                                                • Nutritionally balanced instant noodles interest a third
                                                                                                                                                                                • Behaviours Related to Usage of Pasta, Rice and Noodles

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Confidence in experimenting with noodles offers scope to bolster usage
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunities for noodles to forge new associations
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Pasta, rice and noodles usage behaviour, November 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Parents keen to see more instant noodles suitable for children
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes towards Pasta, Rice and Noodles

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Health benefits of whole wheat and wholegrain not mirrored by demand for nutritional guidance
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Pasta, rice and noodles that are a good source of protein appeal to women under 35
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Attitudes towards pasta, rice and noodles, November 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Strong interest in suggestions for using noodles in soups and stews
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Pasta, rice and noodles – CHAID – Tree output, November 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Pasta, rice and noodles – CHAID – Table output, November 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Methodology – CHAID
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: UK retail volume sales of pasta, rice, instant hot snacks and noodles, by segment, 2011-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the total pasta, rice, and instant hot snacks and noodles market, by value, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the pasta, rice, and instant hot snacks and noodles market, by volume, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the pasta market, by value, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the pasta market, by volume, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the rice market, by value, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the rice market, by volume, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the instant hot snacks and noodles market, by value, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the instant hot snacks and noodles market, by volume, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: UK retail volume sales of pasta, rice, instant hot snacks and noodles, 2011-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: UK retail volume sales of pasta, 2011-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: UK retail volume sales of rice, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: UK retail volume sales of instant hot snacks and noodles, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Market Share

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK pasta market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK rice market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK noodles market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK pot snacks market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: New product launches in the UK pasta, rice and noodles market, by own-label and brands, 2013-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: New product launches in the pasta market, by own-label and brands, 2013-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: New product launches in the rice market, by own-label and brands, 2013-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: New product launches in the noodles market, by own-label and brands, 2013-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: New product launches in the instant pasta, rice and noodles market, by own-label and brands, 2013-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: New product launches in the pasta, rice and noodles market, by top 10 claims, 2013-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on pasta, rice and noodles, by top 10 companies (sorted by 2016), 2013-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Share of above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on pasta, rice and noodles, by top 10 companies (sorted by 2016), 2013-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Share of above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on pasta, rice and noodles, by top 10 brands, 2013-26

                                                                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Pasta, Rice and Noodles - UK - February 2017

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