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Pasta Sauces - US - November 2011

Despite a struggling economy, the pasta sauces category has continued to grow virtually every year since 2006. This report examines factors behind this growth and future opportunities for pasta sauce manufacturers, including:

  • What trends are driving sales and what marketers need to do to remain relevant with consumers
  • New advertising and branding messages likely to resonate with consumers’ current desires and needs
  • Understanding key pasta sauce consumers, as well as how to best reach them
  • Consumers perceptions, attitudes and behaviors relating to pasta sauces, and how manufacturers can leverage these to increase sales
  • Perceptions of organic pasta sauce and challenges this sub-category faces, as well as recommendations for overcoming them

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

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

                      • Sales of pasta sauce stay healthy during the recession
                        • Redefining value beyond price—premium sauces do well despite recession
                          • Shelf-stable pasta sauce owns the category
                            • Private label steps up competition—still small with growth opportunity
                              • Supermarkets lead, but other channels becoming more competitive
                                • Natural products dominate—organic products do not appeal to most
                                  • Low sugar/no sugar product introductions had the largest increase
                                    • Despite high overall consumption, opportunities still exist
                                      • The presence of children drives purchase of pasta sauces
                                        • Figure 1: Personal usage of pasta sauces by type of pasta sauce, by presence and number of children, August 2011
                                      • Opportunity exists with smaller households without children
                                        • Traditional flavors stay on top
                                          • Many consumers want to eat healthy—fewer follow with behavior
                                            • Consumers prefer saving strategies to making pasta sauces from scratch
                                              • More blacks use pasta sauce relative to the other ethnicities/races
                                                • More Asians interested in healthier and organic pasta sauces
                                                • Insights and Opportunities

                                                  • Cause marketing—a potential way to reach moms
                                                    • Figure 2: Personal usage of pasta sauce by type of pasta sauce, by presence and number of children, August 2011
                                                  • Pasta with sauce a healthier choice for kids compared to other choices
                                                    • Figure 3: Calorie and fat count of popular children’s foods
                                                  • Functional pasta sauce—an opportunity not currently fully explored
                                                    • Figure 4: Eating habits, attitudes and behaviors, by age, August 2011
                                                  • Sauce sizes for smaller households
                                                    • Figure 5: Households, by presence of children younger than age 18, 2000-10
                                                  • Households with children remain important
                                                    • Figure 6: Population, by age, 2006-16
                                                • Inspire Insights

                                                    • Inspire Trend—The Power of One
                                                      • Consider This
                                                        • Bottom line
                                                          • Figure 7: Healthy eating habits, attitudes and behaviors, by age, August 2011
                                                        • Inspire Trend—Influentials
                                                          • Consider This
                                                            • Figure 8: Factors that influence decisions to purchase items/services for child (ren), November 2010
                                                          • Bottom line
                                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Pasta sauce proves to be an affordable comfort food in tough times
                                                                • Pasta sauces market size and forecast
                                                                  • Figure 9: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of pasta sauces channels, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                  • Figure 10: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of pasta sauces, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2006-16
                                                                • Wal-Mart sales
                                                                  • Fan chart forecast
                                                                      • Figure 11: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of pasta sauces, 2006-16
                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Households with children see the value of organic pasta sauces
                                                                        • Figure 12: Attitudes toward organic pasta sauces, by presence of children, August 2011
                                                                      • Cooking more at home likely helped pasta sauces during recession
                                                                        • Figure 13: University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, January 2006-March 2011
                                                                        • Figure 14: Incidence of cooking more at home this year compared to last, October 2008-10
                                                                    • Competitive Context

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Private label pasta sauces step up competition
                                                                          • Figure 15: Interest and perception of private label pasta sauces quality, by age, August 2011
                                                                        • As the economy recovers, some restaurants may pose a threat
                                                                          • Figure 16: Pizza hut systemwide same-store sales growth, percentage increase, 2006-10
                                                                      • Segment Performance

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Shelf-stable pasta sauces dominate
                                                                            • Sales of market, by segment
                                                                              • Figure 17: Total U.S. retail sales of pasta sauces, by segment, 2010 and 2011
                                                                              • Figure 18: Total U.S. retail sales of pasta sauces, by segment, 2006-16
                                                                          • Segment Performance—Shelf-stable Pasta Sauce

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Pasta sauces stayed afloat during recession
                                                                                • Sales and forecast of shelf-stable pasta sauce
                                                                                  • Figure 19: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of shelf-stable pasta sauce, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                              • Segment Performance—Refrigerated Pasta Sauces

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Minimal annual growth, as Buitoni holds steady
                                                                                    • A taste for fresh foods may help the segment (and Buitoni)
                                                                                      • Sales and forecast of refrigerated pasta sauce
                                                                                        • Figure 20: Total U.S. retail sales of refrigerated pasta sauces, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                                    • Retail Channels

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Supermarkets are still the key channel for category success
                                                                                          • Other channels do their best to appeal to consumers and some succeed
                                                                                            • Sales of pasta sauces, by channel
                                                                                              • Figure 21: U.S. retail sales of pasta sauces, by channel, 2010-11
                                                                                          • Retail Channels—Supermarkets

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Supermarkets remain the channel of choice—key to category growth
                                                                                                • Supermarket sales of pasta sauces
                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Total U.S. sales of pasta sauces through supermarkets, 2006-11
                                                                                              • Retail Channels—Mass Merchandisers and Warehouse Clubs

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Emphasis on quality, wider selection and affordable pricing
                                                                                                    • Mass and warehouse club sales of pasta sauces
                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Total U.S. sales of pasta sauces through mass merchandisers and warehouse clubs, 2006-11
                                                                                                  • Retail Channels—Other Retail Channels

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Cost-conscious consumers opting for one-stop shopping
                                                                                                        • Dollar stores—a possible threat to FDMx channels beyond recession
                                                                                                          • Other retail channel sales of pasta sauces
                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Total U.S. sales of pasta sauces through other channels, 2006-11
                                                                                                        • Retail Channels—Natural Supermarkets

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Insights
                                                                                                              • Sales of pasta sauce in the natural channel
                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Natural supermarket sales of pasta sauce, at current prices, 2009-11
                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Natural supermarket sales of pasta sauce, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-11
                                                                                                              • Natural channel sales by segment
                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Natural supermarket sales of pasta sauce, by segment, 2008 and 2010
                                                                                                              • Brands of note
                                                                                                                • Natural channel sales by organic content
                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Natural supermarket sales of pasta sauce, by organic content, 2009 and 2011
                                                                                                              • Leading Companies

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • A dichotomy of sales success—private label vs. premium products
                                                                                                                    • Pasta sauce manufacturers FDMx sales
                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Manufacturer FDMx sales of pasta sauce in the U.S., 2010* and 2011*
                                                                                                                  • Brand Share—Shelf-Stable Pasta Sauce

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Bertolli is the big winner
                                                                                                                        • Classico helps Heinz
                                                                                                                          • Private label posts strong sales—but still pretty small in size
                                                                                                                            • “Middle-of-the-road” brands struggle
                                                                                                                              • Manufacturer and brand sales of shelf-stable pasta sauce
                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Manufacturer brand FDMx sales of shelf-stable pasta sauce in the U.S., 2010* and 2011**
                                                                                                                            • Brand Share—Refrigerated Pasta Sauce

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Buitoni owns the category
                                                                                                                                  • Manufacturer and brand sales of refrigerated pasta sauce
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Manufacturer brand FDMx sales of refrigerated pasta sauce in the U.S., 2010 and 2011
                                                                                                                                • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                                                                  • Natural products dominate innovation
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Top 10 claims in pasta sauce new product launches, 2005-2010
                                                                                                                                  • Pasta sauces with exotic ingredients
                                                                                                                                    • Exotic flavors
                                                                                                                                      • Brand extensions
                                                                                                                                        • Private label goes premium
                                                                                                                                        • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Barilla sponsors upscale events
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Barilla, Brand analysis, 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Barilla, Together, TV ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Bertolli is about taste
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Bertolli, Brand analysis, 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Franceso Rinaldi is your friend
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Francesco Rinaldi, Brand analysis, 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Franceso Rinaldi The Healthy Choice, TV ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Ragú
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Ragú, Veggie Packed, TV ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Ragú, Brand analysis, 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Frequency and Usage of Pasta Sauces

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Overall pasta sauces near saturation—opportunities exist by segment
                                                                                                                                                  • Twice as many consumers purchase and use jarred sauce as canned
                                                                                                                                                    • More women buy and purchase pasta sauces
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Personal usage of pasta sauce by type of pasta sauce, by gender and age, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Presence of children drives purchase of pasta sauces
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 41: Personal usage of pasta sauce by type of pasta sauce, by presence of children, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Households with children use the most jars of pasta sauces in a month
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Amount of pasta sauce used in the household in the last 30 days, by presence of children, February 2010—March 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Flavor Preferences of Pasta Sauces

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Marinara, meat, and mushroom are top three flavors
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Pasta sauce purchased, by type of ingredient/flavor, by gender, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Consumers aged 25-34 buy a diverse range of pasta sauces
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Pasta sauce purchased, by type of ingredient/flavor, by age, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Brand Usage of Pasta Sauces

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Income affects brand purchased
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Household usage of pasta sauce by brand, by household income, February 2010—March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Parents buy Ragú and Prego
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Household usage of pasta sauce by brand, by presence of children, February 2010—March 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Attitudes and Behaviors toward Organic Pasta Sauces

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Organic pasta sauce not worth the price for most people
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Are organic pasta sauces better/healthier, and worth paying more for than conventional? by gender and age, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Less affluent consumers—not sold on organic quality difference
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Are organic pasta sauces better/healthier, and worth paying more for than conventional? by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Parents with three or more children—more favorable toward organic
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Are organic pasta sauces better/healthier, and worth paying more for than conventional? by presence of children, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Eating Habits, Attitudes and Behaviors

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • More women and affluent and older consumers claim to be health-conscious
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Eating habits, attitudes and behaviors, by gender, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Eating habits, attitudes and behaviors, by age, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Eating habits, attitudes and behaviors, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Healthier attitudes correlate with behavior to some extent
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Eating habits, attitudes and behaviors, by attitudes and behaviors toward pasta sauces, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Eating habits, attitudes and behaviors, by whether organic pasta sauces better/healthier, and worth paying more for than conventional, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Impact of the Recession on Pasta Sauces Purchasing Habits

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Consumers prefer saving strategies to making pasta sauces from scratch
                                                                                                                                                                • More women are clipping coupons compared to men
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Recession’s impact on pasta sauces purchasing habits, by gender, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                • More consumers with $25K-74.9K household income use wider savings measures
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Recession’s impact on pasta sauces purchasing habits, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Impact of Race/Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                  • More blacks use pasta sauce relative to the other ethnicities/races
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Household usage of pasta sauce, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2010—March 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • More Asians interested in healthier and organic pasta sauces
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Attitudes and behaviors toward pasta sauces, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Are organic pasta sauces better/healthier, and worth paying more for than conventional? by race/ Hispanic origin, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Women seem more health-conscious
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Eating habits, attitudes and behaviors, by gender, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Attitudes and behaviors toward pasta sauces and cooking, by gender, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                      • More men 18-34 think organic pasta sauces are worth the money
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Are organic pasta sauces better/healthier, and worth paying more for than conventional? by gender and age, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                    • SymphonyIRI/Builders—Key Household Purchase Measures: Spaghetti/Italian Sauce

                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer insights on key purchase measures—spaghetti/Italian sauce
                                                                                                                                                                          • Brand map
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Brand map, selected brands of spaghetti/Italian sauce buying rate by household penetration, 2010*
                                                                                                                                                                          • Brand leader characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                            • Key purchase measures
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 64: Key purchase measures for the top brands of spaghetti/Italian sauce, by household penetration, 2010*
                                                                                                                                                                          • Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 65: Personal usage of pasta sauce by type of pasta sauce, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 66: Household usage of pasta sauce, by geographical region, February 2010—March 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 67: Brands of pasta sauces purchase behaviors, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 68: Pasta sauce purchased, by type of ingredient/flavor, by income, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 69: Attitudes toward pasta sauces and cooking, by geographical region, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 70: Eating habits, attitudes and behaviors, by geographical region, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 71: Eating habits, attitudes and behaviors, by presence of children, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 72: Attitudes and behaviors toward pasta sauces and cooking, by gender, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: Recession impact on pasta sauces purchasing habits, by geographical region, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 74: Personal usage of pasta sauce by type of pasta sauce, by race/ethnicity, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix—SymphonyIRI/Builders Panel Data Definitions

                                                                                                                                                                              • Symphony IRI Consumer Network Metrics
                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix—Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                • American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
                                                                                                                                                                                • American Frozen Food Institute
                                                                                                                                                                                • American Heart Association, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                • American Institute of Food Distribution
                                                                                                                                                                                • Amy's Kitchen Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                • Campbell Soup Company
                                                                                                                                                                                • ConAgra Foods, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                • Dave's Gourmet Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                • Del Monte Foods
                                                                                                                                                                                • Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                • Food Marketing Institute
                                                                                                                                                                                • Giant Eagle
                                                                                                                                                                                • Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)
                                                                                                                                                                                • HJ Heinz Company
                                                                                                                                                                                • National Frozen and Refrigerated Food Association
                                                                                                                                                                                • National Pasta Association
                                                                                                                                                                                • National Restaurant Association (NRA)
                                                                                                                                                                                • Nestlé USA
                                                                                                                                                                                • Organic Trade Association
                                                                                                                                                                                • Pepsi-Cola North America
                                                                                                                                                                                • Pizza Hut Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                • Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA)
                                                                                                                                                                                • Safeway Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                • The Vegetarian Resource Group
                                                                                                                                                                                • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                                                                • U.S. Department of Agriculture
                                                                                                                                                                                • Unilever USA
                                                                                                                                                                                • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                • Wegmans Food Markets, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                • Whole Foods Market Inc

                                                                                                                                                                                Pasta Sauces - US - November 2011

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