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World Cuisines - UK - February 2016

“Core product categories in established cuisines are struggling. The robust consumer interest in ethnic spice kits suggests that more deconstructed formats can allow operators to tap into the scratch cooking trend. With a broad interest in trying new ethnic food, emerging cuisines will be key areas for new product development.”
– Anita Winther, Food and Drink Analyst

This report examines the following areas:

  • High interest in emerging cuisines presents opportunities
  • Kits warrant further attention in ethnic foods
  • In-store visibility can drive interest

Retail sales of Chinese, Indian and Mexican food enjoyed sustained growth over 2009-12, but this halted in 2013. The strong performance of the accompaniments segment was not enough to offset the drop experienced by ready meals and cooking sauces.

The long-established cuisines already enjoy broad usage, leaving little scope to convert new users or secure new occasions. They are also under pressure from the less well-established cuisines, while dining out and scratch cooking are also putting pressure on the market.

While growth potential remains limited for Chinese and Indian food, there is strong interest in emerging cuisines. Not knowing what to expect remains a barrier for consumers to explore new ethnic cuisines, putting the onus on operators to provide guidance and increase familiarity. Consumer interest in ethnic spice and meal kits points to a means for brands to tap into the current scratch cooking trend, while addressing uncertainty about how to prepare ethnic foods.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Sales continue to fall in 2015
              • Figure 1: Total UK retail value sales of Indian, Chinese and Mexican foods, 2010-20
            • Indian and Chinese food see decline continue
              • Scratch cooking trend continues
                • Growth of 25-34s is good news for ethnic
                  • Rising spend to facilitate trading up
                    • Companies and brands
                      • Leading Indian and Chinese brands see sales fall
                        • Increased focus on authenticity
                          • New products look to leverage interest in scratch cooking
                            • Adspend rises as Premier Foods steps up spend
                              • The consumer
                                • World cuisines hold wide appeal
                                  • Figure 2: Usage of and interest in ethnic foods in the last three months, by cuisine type, November 2015
                                • Chinese and Indian food is eaten near universally
                                  • Interest in ethnic food not translating into specific occasions
                                    • High interest in kits
                                      • Figure 3: Interest in types of ethnic food product, November 2015
                                    • All-natural ethnic products appeal
                                      • Consumers are hungry for guidance
                                        • Figure 4: Attitudes towards ethnic foods, November 2015
                                      • Authentic ingredients appeal
                                        • Familiar cuisines enjoy strong flavour image
                                          • Ethnic cuisines struggle on fun and value
                                            • What we think
                                            • Issues and Insights

                                              • High interest in emerging cuisines presents opportunities
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                    • Kits warrant further attention in ethnic foods
                                                      • The facts
                                                        • The implications
                                                          • In-store visibility can drive interest
                                                            • The facts
                                                              • The implications
                                                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                                • Sales continue to fall in 2015
                                                                  • Near-stagnant sales predicted over 2015-20
                                                                    • Indian and Chinese food see decline continue
                                                                      • Scratch cooking trend continues
                                                                        • Growth of 25-34s is good news for ethnic
                                                                          • Rising spend to facilitate trading up
                                                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                            • Sales continue to fall in 2015
                                                                              • Figure 5: Total UK retail value sales of Indian, Chinese and Mexican foods, 2010-20
                                                                            • Forecast
                                                                                • Figure 6: Total UK retail value sales of Indian, Chinese and Mexican foods, 2010-20
                                                                                • Figure 7: Total UK retail value sales of Indian, Chinese and Mexican foods, by format, 2010-20
                                                                              • Forecast methodology
                                                                              • Segment Performance

                                                                                • Indian and Chinese food see decline continue
                                                                                  • Ready meals and cooking sauces hit by competition
                                                                                    • Figure 8: UK retail value sales of Indian, Chinese and Mexican foods, by cuisine type and format, 2013-15
                                                                                • Market Drivers

                                                                                  • Scratch cooking is still gaining momentum
                                                                                    • Scratch-cooking benefits ingredients
                                                                                      • More opportunities for meal kits…
                                                                                        • …and for sauce kits
                                                                                          • ‘Hidden’ ingredients in cooking sauces and ready meals a concern
                                                                                            • The changing demographic composition
                                                                                              • Growth of 25-34s is good news for ethnic food
                                                                                                • Figure 9: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2010-15 and 2015-20
                                                                                              • Average household size shrinking
                                                                                                • Consumer confidence is increasing
                                                                                                  • Rising spend should facilitate trading up to premium…
                                                                                                    • …but also to foodservice
                                                                                                    • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                      • Leading Indian and Chinese brands see sales fall
                                                                                                        • Increased focus on authenticity
                                                                                                          • New products look to leverage interest in scratch cooking
                                                                                                            • Adspend rises as Premier Foods steps up spend
                                                                                                            • Market Share

                                                                                                              • Leading Indian brands see sales fall
                                                                                                                • Figure 10: Leading brands in the Indian ready meals, cooking sauces and accompaniments market, by value, 2013/14 and 2014/15
                                                                                                              • Blue Dragon maintains its lead in Chinese food
                                                                                                                • Figure 11: Leading brands in the Chinese ready meals, cooking sauces and accompaniments market, by value, 2013/14 and 2014/15
                                                                                                              • Old El Paso see sales growth
                                                                                                                • Old El Paso retains its lead
                                                                                                                  • Santa Maria loses momentum
                                                                                                                    • Figure 12: Leading brands in the Mexican ready meals, cooking sauces and accompaniments market, by value, 2013/14 and 2014/15
                                                                                                                • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                  • Increased focus on authenticity
                                                                                                                    • Referencing regions
                                                                                                                      • Drawing on local ingredients
                                                                                                                        • Retail products take cues from street food
                                                                                                                          • Noodle snack pots see a flurry of new ‘authentic’ products
                                                                                                                            • Emerging cuisines continue to gain attention
                                                                                                                              • Marks & Spencer explores Middle Eastern tastes
                                                                                                                                • Soups take inspiration from emerging cuisines
                                                                                                                                  • New products look to leverage interest in scratch cooking
                                                                                                                                    • Online services provide a guiding hand for scratch cooks
                                                                                                                                      • Birds Eye’s Stir Your Senses hopes to tap into scratch cooking
                                                                                                                                        • Colman’s launches meal kits
                                                                                                                                          • Sharwood’s targets stir fry-occasions with Stir Fry Melts
                                                                                                                                          • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                            • Adspend rise as Premier Foods step up spend
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 13: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on world cuisines*, 2011-15
                                                                                                                                            • Cooking sauces reclaim throne as biggest adspend category
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 14: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on world cuisines, by category, 2011-15
                                                                                                                                            • Premier Foods brings colour to the kitchen with Sharwood's Stir Fry Melts
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 15: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on world cuisines, by top 10 advertisers (sorted by 2015), 2011-15
                                                                                                                                            • AB World Foods relaunch TV ads
                                                                                                                                              • General Mills steps up adspend for Old El Paso
                                                                                                                                                • Marks & Spencer continues ‘Adventures In’ campaign
                                                                                                                                                  • Nielsen Media Research coverage
                                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                    • World cuisines hold wide appeal
                                                                                                                                                      • Chinese and Indian food is eaten near universally
                                                                                                                                                        • Interest in ethnic food not translating into specific occasions
                                                                                                                                                          • High interest in kits
                                                                                                                                                            • All-natural ethnic products appeal
                                                                                                                                                              • Consumers are hungry for guidance
                                                                                                                                                                • Authentic ingredients appeal
                                                                                                                                                                  • Familiar cuisines enjoy strong flavour image
                                                                                                                                                                    • Ethnic cuisines struggle on fun and value
                                                                                                                                                                    • Usage of Ethnic Foods

                                                                                                                                                                      • World cuisines hold wide appeal
                                                                                                                                                                        • Millennials have the widest repertoires
                                                                                                                                                                          • A wide range of cuisines for urban dwellers
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 16: Repertoire of usage of ethnic foods in the last three months, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                                          • Chinese and Indian food is eaten near universally
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 17: Frequency of eating ethnic foods in the last three months, by cuisine type, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                                          • Half of Brits eat Mexican, two in five eat Thai
                                                                                                                                                                            • Broad interest in trying emerging cuisines
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 18: Usage of and interest in ethnic foods in the last three months, by cuisine type, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                                            • Lack of familiarity is a key barrier to trial
                                                                                                                                                                            • Ethnic Food Occasions

                                                                                                                                                                              • Interest in trying ethnic food not translating into specific occasions
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 19: Occasions for which cooking ethnic cuisines would be considered for, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 20: Further occasions for which cooking ethnic cuisines would be considered for, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                                              • Chinese and Indian do better on weekends than weekdays
                                                                                                                                                                                • Sharing meals with friends
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ethnic foods struggle despite heritage of sharing
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Low ease of preparation a barrier
                                                                                                                                                                                      • More potential for ethnic food in family meals
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Share of parents who would consider ethnic cuisines as a family meal, by cuisine, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Scope for customisation should support Mexican
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Interest in Ethnic Food Products

                                                                                                                                                                                        • High interest in kits
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Spice kits for cooking sauces spark interest…
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Interest in types of ethnic food product, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                          • …as do spice kits for dips
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Interest in a wider variety of meal kits
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Side dish kits can tap into growth of meal accompaniments
                                                                                                                                                                                                • All-natural ethnic products appeal
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • ‘Factory fear’ drives interest in all-natural ethnic products
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • All-natural claims adopted by many brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Two in five Londoners are interested in ethnic breakfast foods
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Attitudes towards Ethnic Foods

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumers are hungry for more guidance
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Familiarity is key to cooking new ethnic foods
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Attitudes towards ethnic foods, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Ready meals well placed to overcome lack of familiarity
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Retailers can support experimentation
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • In-store advice resonates
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Co-locating ingredients shows wide appeal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cultural and religious celebrations have marketing potential
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Festivals prompt uptake of ethnic foods
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Scope beyond Chinese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • The Olympic effect
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Table sauces see use as ingredient
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Local ingredients and brands inspire authentic image
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Perceptions of Selected World Cuisines

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Familiar cuisines enjoy strong flavour image
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Perceptions of selected world cuisines, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Weak associations with fun
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Most cuisines struggle on value image
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Middle Eastern is unknown to many
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Perceptions of selected world cuisines, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Further perceptions of selected world cuisines, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Total UK retail value sales of Indian, Chinese and Mexican foods, 2010-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Best- and worst-case forecast for UK retail value sales of Indian, Chinese and Mexican foods, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: UK retail value sales of Indian, Chinese and Mexican ready meals, 2010-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Best- and worst-case forecast for UK retail value sales of UK retail value sales of Indian, Chinese and Mexican ready meals, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: UK retail value sales of Indian, Chinese and Mexican cooking sauces, 2010-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Best- and worst-case forecast for UK retail value sales of UK retail value sales of Indian, Chinese and Mexican cooking sauces, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: UK retail value sales of Indian, Chinese and Mexican accompaniments, 2010-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Best- and worst-case forecast for UK retail value sales of UK retail value sales of Indian, Chinese and Mexican accompaniments, 2015-20

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        World Cuisines - UK - February 2016

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)