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World Cuisines - UK - January 2014

“Some ethnic food brands may benefit from positioning their products specifically as child- or family-friendly. Cooking pastes, for instance, could more actively promote how they are a suitable option for the whole family, allowing for heat levels tailored to taste.”

– Heidi Lanschützer, Food & Drink Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • Is there further scope for reduced-fat options of world foods?
  • How can operators harness the strong interest in ethnic desserts?
  • Is there greater scope for a family-friendly positioning for world food brands?
  • How can ethnic sauces capitalise on consumer concerns about food waste?

The world cuisines market has posted strong growth in recent years, with retail value sales having grown by 32% over 2008-13. The market has benefited from a greater availability of a wider variety of ethnic cuisines in the retail channel (following foodservice trends), an increasingly diverse ethnic population in the UK, growth in international travel as well as Brits’ enthusiasm for trying novel foods – some 70% of consumers say they are interested in trying ethnic dishes they haven’t tried before.

However, growth slowed considerably in 2013, likely stemming from an improving consumer confidence encouraging people to eat our more often. The popularity of scratch cooking also poses strong competition to the market, particularly ethnic ready meals and cooking sauces.

For the purpose of this report, world foods are defined as beyond European and North American foods, and cover the following types of cuisines: 

  • Chinese food – includes Peking, Cantonese and other Chinese variations. 
  • Indian food. 
  • Mexican and Tex-Mex food – this broader definition covers a variety of Mexican, Native American and Texan influences while the entire category also has some historical Spanish influences. 
  • Thai and other Oriental cuisines – including a variety of Thai products referred to as ‘Thai’, but excluding rice and noodles. Also includes any products that include Japanese in their name. Also foods known to be from Japan, such as teriyaki sauce, sushi, wasabi, rice crackers and pickled ginger. 
  • Other ethnic cuisines covered in the report include – Korean, Vietnamese, Malaysian, African, Middle Eastern and South American.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: Value share of world foods in the UK retail market, by type, 2011-13
            • Forecast
              • Figure 2: Total UK retail value sales of world foods, 2008-18
            • Market factors
              • The UK’s population is getting more diverse
                • Brits demonstrate a more adventurous palate
                  • Growing availability of world foods should drive demand
                    • Companies, brands and innovation
                      • Own-label plays major role in the world foods market
                        • Own-label is most active in terms of NPD
                          • Advertising support continues to tumble in 2012 and 2013
                            • The consumer
                              • Chinese and Indian are by far the most popular cuisines
                                • Figure 3: Frequency of eating world foods at home in the last three months, by cuisine type, October 2013
                              • Majority of Brits demonstrate openness towards new cuisines
                                • Figure 4: Attitudes towards world foods, October 2013
                              • Concerns over spiciness of ethnic dishes are the top deterrent
                                • Figure 5: Lapsed and non-users' attitudes towards world foods, October 2013
                              • The foodservice market plays a key role in encouraging trial of new cuisines
                                • Figure 6: Motives for trying new cuisines, October 2013
                              • What we think
                              • Issues in the Market

                                  • Is there further scope for reduced-fat options of world foods?
                                    • How can operators harness the strong interest in ethnic desserts?
                                      • Is there greater scope for a family-friendly positioning for world food brands?
                                        • How can ethnic sauces capitalise on consumer concerns about food waste?
                                        • Trend Application

                                            • Trend: Edutainment
                                              • Trend: Minimize Me
                                                • Mintel Futures: Generation Next
                                                • Market Drivers

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Ethnic diversity grows in the UK
                                                      • Figure 7: UK population, by ethnicity, 2001 and 2011
                                                    • Brits are becoming more enthusiastic about world foods
                                                      • Growing availability of world foods in mainstream channels should bolster demand
                                                        • Ageing population poses a threat to world foods
                                                          • Figure 8: Projected trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2013-18
                                                      • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                        • Strengths
                                                          • Weaknesses
                                                          • Who’s Innovating?

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Own-label dominates NPD activity
                                                                • Asda
                                                                  • Tesco
                                                                    • Meal kits see high levels of NPD in 2012/13
                                                                      • Brands look beyond Indian and Chinese
                                                                        • Other NPD trends
                                                                          • Sushi goes veggie
                                                                            • Variety packs are a focus within ethnic dips
                                                                              • Ready meals see active NPD in the pots format
                                                                                • Pouches are increasingly used in cooking sauces
                                                                                • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Growth of world foods slows down considerably in 2013
                                                                                      • Figure 9: Total UK retail value sales of world foods, 2008-18
                                                                                      • Figure 10: UK retail value sales of world foods, by format, 2008-18
                                                                                    • Forecast
                                                                                        • Figure 11: Total UK retail value sales of world foods, 2008-18
                                                                                        • Figure 12: UK retail value sales of ethnic ready meals, 2008-18
                                                                                        • Figure 13: UK retail value sales of ethnic accompaniments, 2008-18
                                                                                        • Figure 14: UK retail value sales of ethnic cooking sauces, 2008-18
                                                                                      • Forecast methodology
                                                                                      • Segment Performance by Cuisine

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Indian cuisine loses share to Tex-Mex
                                                                                            • Figure 15: Value share of world foods in the UK retail market, by type, 2011-13
                                                                                          • Tex-Mex was the strongest-performing cuisine in 2013
                                                                                            • Figure 16: UK retail value sales of world foods, by cuisine type and format, 2011-13
                                                                                          • Chinese accompaniments boost overall category
                                                                                            • Indian feels the impact of people’s interest in trying novel cuisines
                                                                                              • Thai and other Oriental is the biggest loser in 2013
                                                                                              • Market Share

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Own-label invests in NPD
                                                                                                    • Patak’s and Sharwood’s show a strong performance in the declining Indian segment
                                                                                                      • Figure 17: Leading brands in the Indian ready meals and accompaniments market, by value, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                    • Blue Dragon grows sales and share in the Chinese category
                                                                                                      • Figure 18: Leading brands in the Chinese foods market, by value, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                    • Old El Paso leads the Tex-Mex market and sees 15% growth
                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Leading brands in the Tex-Mex foods market, by value, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                    • Own-label sees growth in Thai segment, while brands falter
                                                                                                      • Figure 20: Leading brands in the Thai & other Oriental foods market, by value, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                  • Companies and Products

                                                                                                    • AB World Foods
                                                                                                      • Company background
                                                                                                        • Product range and innovation
                                                                                                          • Recent activity and promotion
                                                                                                            • Premier Foods
                                                                                                              • Company background
                                                                                                                • Product range and innovation
                                                                                                                  • Recent activity and promotion
                                                                                                                    • General Mills
                                                                                                                      • Company background
                                                                                                                        • Product range and innovation
                                                                                                                          • Recent activity and promotion
                                                                                                                            • Grace Foods
                                                                                                                              • Company background
                                                                                                                                • Product range and innovation
                                                                                                                                  • Recent activity and promotion
                                                                                                                                    • Mars Foods
                                                                                                                                      • Company background
                                                                                                                                        • Product range and innovation
                                                                                                                                          • Recent activity and promotion
                                                                                                                                            • Paulig Group
                                                                                                                                              • Company background
                                                                                                                                                • Product range and innovation
                                                                                                                                                  • Recent activity and promotion
                                                                                                                                                  • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Above-the-line adspend continues to tumble in 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Total above-the-line advertising expenditure in the UK’s world foods market, 2009-13
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Total above-the-line advertising expenditure in the UK’s world foods market, by category, 2009-13
                                                                                                                                                      • AB World Foods and Premier Foods account for more than half of adspend
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Total above-the-line advertising expenditure in the UK’s world foods market, by top five advertisers, 2009-13
                                                                                                                                                      • AB World Foods
                                                                                                                                                        • Premier Foods
                                                                                                                                                          • Kikkoman
                                                                                                                                                            • Brands look to social media to drive consumer engagement
                                                                                                                                                            • Channels to Market

                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                • Multiple grocers dominate the world foods market
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Retail distribution of world foods* in the UK, 2009-13
                                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Usage and Purchase of World Foods

                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                  • Chinese and Indian are by far the most popular cuisines
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 25: Frequency of eating world foods at home in the last three months, by cuisine type, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                    • Cooking sauces and ready meals are most popular
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Types of world foods bought in the last three months, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – Attitudes Towards World Foods

                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                      • Majority are open to trying new types of ethnic dishes
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Attitudes towards world foods, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Interest in selected ethnic cuisines, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Increasing brand engagement by offering educational elements
                                                                                                                                                                        • Customising the spiciness of ethnic dishes appeals to more than half
                                                                                                                                                                          • Large minority of people prioritise health over authenticity
                                                                                                                                                                            • Smaller pack sizes of sauces and spices could help to avoid waste
                                                                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – Non-Users’ and Lapsed Users’ Attitudes Towards World Foods

                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                • Concerns about the spiciness of ethnic dishes are the most common deterrent
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Lapsed and non-users' attitudes towards world foods, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                • Unfamiliarity with dishes/ingredients is particularly off-putting for over-55s
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ethnic cooking ingredients may appeal to those preferring to cook from scratch
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Absence of artificial preservatives/flavourings should be leveraged as a USP
                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Motives for Trying New Cuisines

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Restaurants play a key role in encouraging trial of new cuisines
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Motives for trying new cuisines at home, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Peer recommendations are of particular importance to under-35s
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Tie-ups between ethnic food brands and travel agencies to encourage trial of new cuisines
                                                                                                                                                                                            • TV cookery shows drive trial among three in 10
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Supermarkets act as gatekeepers
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Retail value sales of ethnic ready meals*, 2008-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Retail value sales of ethnic accompaniments**, 2008-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Retail value sales of ethnic cooking sauces***, 2008-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Best- and worst-case forecast for the total UK world foods market, by value, 2013-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Best- and worst-case forecast for the ethnic ready meals market, by value, 2013-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Best- and worst-case forecast for the ethnic accompaniments market, by value, 2013-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Best- and worst-case forecast for the ethnic cooking sauces market, by value, 2013-18
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Above-the-line advertising expenditure in the UK’s world foods market, by top 10 advertisers, 2009-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Above-the-line advertising expenditure in the UK’s world foods market, by top 10 brands, 2009-13
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Usage and Purchase of World Foods

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Frequency of eating world foods in the last three months, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Types of world foods bought in the last three months, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Frequency of eating world foods in the last three months – Chinese, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Frequency of eating world foods in the last three months – Indian, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Frequency of eating world foods in the last three months – Thai, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Frequency of eating world foods in the last three months – Vietnamese, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Frequency of eating world foods in the last three months – Korean, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Frequency of eating world foods in the last three months – Japanese, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Frequency of eating world foods in the last three months – Middle Eastern (including Lebanese, Moroccan, Turkish)), by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Frequency of eating world foods in the last three months – African, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Frequency of eating world foods in the last three months – Mexican/Tex-Mex, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Frequency of eating world foods in the last three months – Caribbean, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Frequency of eating world foods in the last three months – South American, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Frequency of eating world foods in the last three months – Other world foods, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Most popular types of world foods bought in the last three months, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Next most popular types of world foods bought in the last three months, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Other types of world foods bought in the last three months, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Agreement with the statement ‘I enjoy spicy food’, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Attitudes Towards World Foods

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Attitudes towards world foods, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Agreement with the statement ’I am interested in trying new ethnic dishes that I haven’t tried before’, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Agreement with the statement ’I would like to know more about the ingredients used in ethnic dishes’, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Agreement with the statement ’More information on different ethnic dishes should be available’, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Agreement with the statement ’I would like more advice on how to use ethnic ingredients when cooking from scratch’, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Agreement with the statement ’I would like to control the level of spiciness in ethnic dishes’, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Agreement with the statement ’I am concerned about the quality of meat/poultry used in ethnic dishes’, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: Agreement with the statement ’I am interested in trying more ethnic desserts’, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 66: Agreement with the statement ’I’m put off by how much oil some ethnic foods contain’, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Agreement with the statement ’I would prefer to eat a healthier version of an ethnic dish even if it was less authentic’, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 68: Agreement with the statement ’It is hard to use up ethnic cooking ingredients before their expiry date’, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 69: Agreement with the statement ’I am interested in trying more ethnic foods for breakfast’, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Non-Users’ and Lapsed Users’ Attitudes Towards World Foods

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 70: Lapsed and non-users' attitudes towards world foods, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 71: Most popular lapsed and non-users' attitudes towards world foods, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 72: Next most popular lapsed and non-users' attitudes towards world foods, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Selected attitudes towards health and healthy lifestyles, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Motives for Trying New Cuisines

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 74: Motives to try new cuisines, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 75: Most popular motives to try new cuisines, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 76: Next most popular motives to try new cuisines, by demographics, October 2013

                                                                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                              • AB World Foods
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Associated British Foods Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Blue Dragon Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Discovery Foods Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • G. Costa & Co Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • General Mills Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Grace Foods UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Homepride Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Levi Roots Reggae Reggae Foods Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lyons Seafoods Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Mars Incorporated
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Patak's Foods Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Paulig Group
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Premier Foods plc
                                                                                                                                                                                              • RHM Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Seeds of Change
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Waitrose

                                                                                                                                                                                              World Cuisines - UK - January 2014

                                                                                                                                                                                              £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)