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Pasta, Rice and Noodles - UK - March 2012

“Despite the wealth of cookery programmes on the television and internet, the level of knowledge in some of the more basic areas of cuisine is rather lacking in the UK. Just over one in ten (12%) pasta users agree that it is difficult to cook pasta to the correct texture, rising to 16% of men and 22% of 16-24s.

This lack of skill is, however, driving demand for added-value, quick-to-prepare chilled pasta.”

– Alex Beckett, Senior Food Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • What can leading manufacturers learn from smaller entrants in the instant noodles sector?
  • How can manufacturers increase usage of wholewheat pasta?
  • How much potential is there for more premium innovation in pasta?
  • How is the lack of cooking skills affecting the pasta and rice markets?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Pasta
                • Figure 1: UK retail value sales of pasta, by sector, 2011
              • Rice
                • Figure 2: UK retail value sales of rice, by sector, 2011
              • Noodles
                • Figure 3: UK retail value sales of noodles, by sector, 2011
              • Forecast
                • Pasta
                  • Figure 4: UK retail value sales of pasta*, 2006-16
                • Rice
                  • Figure 5: UK retail value sales of rice, 2006-16
                • Noodles and instant hot snacks
                  • Figure 6: UK retail value sales of noodles*, 2006-16
                • Market factors
                  • Commodity inflation hits pasta and rice
                    • Brits have a taste for foreign food
                      • Weak consumer confidence continues to support pasta, rice and noodles
                        • Companies, brands and innovation
                          • Own-label’s share of NPD climbs in 2011
                            • Advertising support continues to grow in 2011
                              • Napolina, Uncle Ben’s and Pot Noodle lead branded sales efforts
                                • Pasta
                                  • Figure 7: Brand shares in value sales of pasta, 2011
                                • Rice
                                  • Figure 8: Brand shares in value sales of rice, 2011
                                • Pot Noodle’s success stands out in noodles
                                  • Figure 9: Brand shares in value sales of noodles (including hot snacks), 2011
                                • The consumer
                                  • Pasta and rice are used by around nine in ten adults while noodles suffer from lack of engagement with over-55s
                                    • Ambient variants are most commonly used
                                      • Attitudes towards pasta
                                        • Figure 10: Attitudes towards pasta, January 2012
                                      • Attitudes towards rice
                                        • Figure 11: Attitudes towards rice, January 2012
                                      • Attitudes towards noodles and instant hot snacks
                                        • Figure 12: Attitudes towards noodles, January 2012
                                      • What we think
                                      • Issues in the Market

                                          • What can leading manufacturers learn from smaller entrants in the instant noodles sector?
                                            • How can manufacturers increase usage of wholewheat pasta?
                                              • How much potential is there for more premium innovation in pasta?
                                                • How is the lack of cooking skills affecting the pasta and rice markets?
                                                • Future Opportunities

                                                    • Trend: Boomerang Generation
                                                      • Trend: Moral Brands
                                                      • Internal Market Environment

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • India’s return to the export market eases global rice inflation...
                                                            • Figure 13: Monthly global average raw prices of Thai white 100% B second-grade rice, January 2010-December 2011
                                                          • …as rising durum wheat costs push up pasta prices
                                                            • Exotic palates: The majority of Brits enjoy eating foreign foods
                                                              • Figure 14: Agreement with the statements ‘I enjoy eating foreign food’, and ‘I like to try out new food products’, 2008-12
                                                            • Fibre is of decreasing, but still major, importance
                                                              • Figure 15: Agreement with the statement ‘I try to include plenty of fibre in my diet these days’, 2008-12
                                                            • Convenience continues to hold sway with two in five adults
                                                              • Figure 16: Agreement with the statements ‘I don't have time to spend preparing and cooking food’, and ‘Convenience often plays a part in my purchase decisions’, 2007-11
                                                          • Broader Market Environment

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Older population set for fastest growth
                                                                • Figure 17: Projected trends in population growth, by age, 2011-16
                                                              • Britain’s ethnic population aids rice sales
                                                                • Figure 18: The UK population, by ethnic group, 2009
                                                              • Consumer confidence remains shaky
                                                                • Figure 19: Monthly Consumer Confidence Index, January 2007-December 2011
                                                            • Competitive Context

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Britain’s love of pizza shows no sign of diminishing
                                                                  • Figure 20: UK retail value sales of pizza, 2006-11
                                                                • Strong performance from soup poses competition to pasta, rice and noodles
                                                                  • Figure 21: UK retail value sales of soup, 2006-11
                                                                • Potatoes
                                                                  • Figure 22: UK retail value sales of potatoes, 2006-11
                                                              • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                • Strengths
                                                                  • Weaknesses
                                                                  • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Definition
                                                                        • Pasta accounts for highest share of overall NPD
                                                                          • Figure 23: Product launches within the UK pasta, rice and instant noodle, pasta and rice market as share of total new products launched in the UK food market, 2007-11
                                                                        • Own-label dominates in rice and pasta NPD
                                                                          • Figure 24: Product launches within the UK rice market, by private label and brands, 2007-11
                                                                          • Figure 25: Product launches within the UK pasta market, by private label and others, 2007-11
                                                                        • Asda leads the charge in pasta NPD
                                                                          • Figure 26: Product launches within the UK pasta market, by brand, 2011
                                                                          • Figure 27: Product launches within the UK pasta market, by ultimate company, 2007 and 2011
                                                                        • Chilled pasta NPD gains in prominence
                                                                          • Figure 28: Product launches within the UK pasta market, by storage, 2007-11
                                                                        • Saclà and PizzaExpress add big brand weight to the chilled pasta market
                                                                          • Stronger branded presence in rice NPD
                                                                            • Figure 29: Product launches within the UK rice market, by brand, 2011
                                                                            • Figure 30: Product launches within the UK rice market, by ultimate company, 2007 and 2011
                                                                          • Asda also leads in instant noodles, pasta and rice NPD
                                                                            • Figure 31: Product launches within the UK instant noodle, pasta and rice market, by brand, 2011
                                                                            • Figure 32: Product launches within the UK instant noodle, pasta and rice market, by ultimate company, 2007 and 2011
                                                                            • Figure 33: Product launches within the UK instant noodle, pasta and rice market, by private label and other, 2007-11
                                                                          • Healthy and upmarket lines hit shelves
                                                                            • Figure 34: Share of selected claims among new launches in the UK instant noodle, pasta and rice market, 2010 and 2011
                                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Steady increases across the board in pasta, rice and noodles
                                                                              • Figure 35: UK retail value sales for pasta, rice and noodles*, 2006-16
                                                                              • Figure 36: UK retail volume sales for pasta, rice and noodles*, 2009-11
                                                                            • Pasta
                                                                              • Rice
                                                                                • Noodles
                                                                                  • The future of the pasta, rice and noodles market
                                                                                    • Market forecasts
                                                                                      • Pasta
                                                                                        • Figure 37: UK retail value sales of pasta*, 2006-16
                                                                                      • Rice
                                                                                        • Figure 38: UK retail value sales of rice, 2006-16
                                                                                      • Noodles and instant hot snacks
                                                                                        • Figure 39: UK retail value sales of noodles*, 2006-16
                                                                                      • Forecast methodology
                                                                                      • Segment Performance

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Ready meals and dry pasta drive growth
                                                                                            • Figure 40: UK retail value and volume sales of pasta, by sector, 2009-11
                                                                                          • Volume sales of ambient rice climb faster than value
                                                                                            • Figure 41: UK retail value and volume sales of rice, by sector, 2009-11
                                                                                            • Figure 42: Value versus volume sales growth in rice, by segment, 2010-11
                                                                                          • Instant pot snacks drive growth in noodles
                                                                                            • Figure 43: UK retail value and volume sales of noodles and instant hot snacks, by sector, 2009-11
                                                                                        • Market Share

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Napolina leads branded pasta efforts but own-label is booming
                                                                                              • Figure 44: Brand shares in value sales of pasta, 2009-11*
                                                                                              • Figure 45: Brand shares in pasta, 2011
                                                                                            • Uncle Ben’s puts the squeeze on own-label
                                                                                              • Figure 46: Brand shares in rice, 2011
                                                                                              • Figure 47: Brand shares in value sales of rice, 2009-11
                                                                                            • Pot Noodle sales soar in 2011, driving overall sector growth
                                                                                              • Figure 48: Brand shares in value sales of noodles and instant hot snacks, 2009-11
                                                                                              • Figure 49: Brand shares in noodles (including instant hot snacks), 2011
                                                                                          • Companies and Products

                                                                                            • De Cecco
                                                                                              • Heinz
                                                                                                • Mars
                                                                                                  • Napolina
                                                                                                    • Premier Foods
                                                                                                      • Tilda
                                                                                                        • Unilever
                                                                                                          • Veetee
                                                                                                          • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Total adspend climbs
                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Main monitored media advertising expenditure in total pasta, rice and noodles (including instant noodles, rice and pasta) market, 2009-11
                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Advertising expenditure in the pasta, rice and noodles (including instant noodles, rice and pasta) market, by highest-spending brands, 2009-11
                                                                                                              • Investment in TV and outdoor advertising leaps in 2011
                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Main monitored media spend on pasta, rice and noodles (including instant noodles, rice and pasta) market, by media type, 2009-11
                                                                                                            • Channels to Market

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Supermarket giants dominate sales
                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Estimated retail distribution of pasta, rice and noodles, 2009-11
                                                                                                                • Independents are squeezed by multiples and discounters
                                                                                                                • Consumer Usage of Pasta, Rice and Noodles

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Pasta is widely used but room for growth among over-65s
                                                                                                                        • Figure 54: Types of pasta, rice and noodles used, January 2012
                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Frequency of usage of pasta, rice and noodles, January 2012
                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Usage of pasta, by gender and age, January 2012
                                                                                                                      • Frequency of usage
                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Frequency of usage of pasta, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                      • Rice enjoys a relatively broad appeal across the age groups
                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Usage of rice, by gender and age, January 2012
                                                                                                                      • Noodle consumption is divided by gender and age
                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Usage of noodles (including fresh/dried and pot formats), by gender and age, January 2012
                                                                                                                      • Types of noodles used
                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Types of noodles used, by gender, January 2012
                                                                                                                    • Consumer – Types of Pasta Used

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Pasta shapes trump spaghetti
                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Types of pasta used, January 2012
                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Usage of other dry pasta and dry spaghetti, by gender, 2012
                                                                                                                        • Less than two fifths of users have eaten fresh pasta in past six months
                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Usage of fresh pasta, by gender and age, January 2012
                                                                                                                        • Instant packet pasta boasts strong female appeal
                                                                                                                          • Figure 64: Usage of instant packet pasta, by gender and age, 2012
                                                                                                                        • Younger users show high use of wholewheat pasta
                                                                                                                        • Types of Rice Used

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Despite its higher price, basmati is Britain’s preferred rice
                                                                                                                              • Figure 65: Types of rice used, January 2012
                                                                                                                              • Figure 66: Usage of basmati rice, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                            • Usage of microwaveable rice peaks among the less confident cooks
                                                                                                                            • Consumer – Attitudes Towards Pasta

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • In these austere times, pasta benefits from being perceived as a good value option
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Attitudes towards eating pasta, January 2012
                                                                                                                                  • However, three in ten are prepared to pay out for better quality
                                                                                                                                    • Pasta has health appeal for eight in ten
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Agreement with the statement ‘Pasta makes a healthy and nutritious meal’, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Own-label is deemed good quality
                                                                                                                                      • Opinions are divided over which is better – fresh or dry
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 69: Agreement with the statement ‘Fresh pasta is better quality than dry pasta’, by gender and age, January 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Men and 16-24s appreciate convenience and quality of fresh pasta
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 70: Agreement with the statements ‘Fresh pasta is easier to prepare than dry pasta’, and ‘It is difficult to cook pasta to the correct texture’, by gender and age, January 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Demand for functional pasta peaks among 16-24s
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 71: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like to see pasta with functional benefits (eg omega-3, added fibre)’, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Consumer – Attitudes towards Rice

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Rice has strong appeal as an emergency food supply
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Attitudes towards eating rice, January 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Rice is a good value food, but price hikes have been noted
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Agreement with the statements ‘The price of rice has become noticeably more expensive over the past year’, and ‘Rice is a cheap meal accompaniment’, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                                          • There’s a question mark over rice’s health superiority to potatoes and pasta but it boasts a strong overall health image
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Agreement with the statements ‘Rice makes for a healthy and nutritious meal’, and ‘Rice is healthier than potatoes and pasta’, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Younger users show interest in healthier lines
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like to see a bigger variety of healthy, wholegrain rice’, by age and gender, January 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Rice is difficult to cook for nearly one in four, taste image holds back convenience variants
                                                                                                                                          • Consumer – Attitudes towards Noodles

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Noodles boast convenience and health appeal – especially among women
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 76: Attitudes towards noodles, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                • 16-24s regard instant noodles as unhealthy and want more nutritious alternatives
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 77: Agreement with the statements ‘Instant packet noodles and pot noodles are unhealthy’ and ‘I would like to see a wider variety of healthy pot and instant noodles’, by age, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Healthy NPD opportunities in instant noodles
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 78: Agreement with the statement ‘I would buy noodles with added vegetable bits inside to make them healthier’, by age and presence of own children, January 2012
                                                                                                                                              • Consumer – Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Four target groups
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 79: Target groups, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Undecideds (15%)
                                                                                                                                                    • Fresh Fans (26%)
                                                                                                                                                      • The Health Aware (32%)
                                                                                                                                                        • Microwavers (27%)
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 80: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, by demographics, 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Broader Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 81: Trends and projections in the UK population, by age, 2006-16
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Competitive Context

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 82: UK retail value sales of potatoes, 2006-16
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 83: Best- and worst-case forecasts for UK retail value sales of pasta, by value, 2011-16
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 84: Best- and worst-case forecasts for UK retail value sales of rice, by value, 2011-16
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 85: Best- and worst-case forecasts for UK retail value sales of noodles*, by value, 2011-16
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Usage of Pasta, Rice and Noodles

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 86: Types of pasta, rice and noodles used, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 87: Usage of pasta and noodles (fresh or dried), by demographics, 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Frequency of Usage of Pasta, Rice and Noodles

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 88: Frequency of usage of pasta, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 89: Frequency of usage of rice, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 90: Frequency of usage of noodles, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Types of Pasta Used

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 91: Types of pasta used, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Types of Rice Used

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 92: Most popular types of rice used, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 93: Next most popular types of rice used, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Types of Noodles Used

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 94: Types of noodles used, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Attitudes towards Eating Pasta

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 95: Agreement with the statements ‘Pasta is a cheap meal solution’ and ‘Fresh pasta is better quality than dry pasta’, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 96: Agreement with the statements ‘Fresh pasta is easier to prepare than dry pasta’ and ‘Pasta makes a healthy and nutritious meal’, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 97: Agreement with the statements ‘Own-label pasta is just as good as branded pasta’ and ‘It is difficult to cook pasta to the correct texture’, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 98: Agreement with the statements ‘I would like to see pasta with functional benefits’ and ‘Regular pasta is tastier than wholewheat pasta’, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 99: Agreement with the statement ‘It's worth paying more for high-quality pasta’, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Attitudes towards Eating Rice

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 100: Agreement with the statements ‘I find it hard to cook rice properly’ and ‘Rice is a cheap meal accompaniment’, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 101: Agreement with the statements ‘I feel I should always keep a stock of dry rice in my kitchen cupboard’ and ‘Microwave rice is more convenient than dry rice’, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 102: Agreement with the statements ‘The price of rice has become noticeably more expensive over the past year’ and ‘Rice makes for a healthy and nutritious meal’, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 103: Agreement with the statements ‘Rice is healthier than potatoes and pasta’ and ‘Dry rice cooked properly tastes better than microwaveable or frozen rice’, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 104: Agreement with the statements ‘I would like to see a bigger variety of healthy, wholegrain rice’ and ‘I would like to see a wider variety of heritage grains, such as quinoa and couscous’, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Attitudes towards Eating Noodles

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 105: Most popular types of noodles used, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 106: Next most popular types of noodles used, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 107: Target groups, by demographics, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 108: Attitudes towards eating pasta, by target groups, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 109: Attitudes towards eating rice, by target groups, January 2012

                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                        • Albert Bartlett & Sons Ltd
                                                                                                                                                        • Amazon.co.uk
                                                                                                                                                        • HJ Heinz Company UK
                                                                                                                                                        • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                        • Mars Incorporated
                                                                                                                                                        • Napolina
                                                                                                                                                        • Premier Foods plc
                                                                                                                                                        • Princes Ltd
                                                                                                                                                        • Seeds of Change
                                                                                                                                                        • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                        • Tilda Ltd
                                                                                                                                                        • Unilever Bestfoods UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                        • Veetee
                                                                                                                                                        • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                        • Weight Watchers Ltd. (UK)
                                                                                                                                                        • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                                                                        Pasta, Rice and Noodles - UK - March 2012

                                                                                                                                                        £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)