Dry Pasta, Rice, Noodles and Ancient Grains - US - February 2013
“Manufacturers and retailers alike need to have a clear grasp on positioning, and a clear understanding of their consumers. Price still remains a smart strategy to take in this category, but consumers’ value proposition goes beyond price, involving quality, indulgence, and health as well.”
– John N. Frank, Category Manager CPG Food and Drink
Some questions answered in this report include:
- How can brands better differentiate themselves in a fragmented market?
- How can manufacturers increase awareness, encourage greater consumption of ancient grains?
The dry pasta, rice, and noodles category stands at an estimated $6.7 billion in 2012 after a relatively strong performance seen at the start of the recession and a mixed one post-recession. It is indeed likely that consumers have turned to well-known household staples, such as pasta and rice, when the economy took a turn for the worse; however, a relatively more stable economic climate has likely made more people comfortable eating out.
Additionally, while ancient grains dollar sales are not tracked in this report, ancient grains have grown in popularity and could benefit the category overall; furthermore, the gluten-free attribute that many ancient grains possess, coupled with a generally lower carbohydrate and caloric content, are all characteristics that fit with consumers’ increased interest in healthier eating. Therefore, whole grains, shorter ingredient lists, and an overall wholesome message are likely things that will resonate with consumers. While making a healthier profile (such as reducing the sodium, fat, and caloric contents) remains important, emphasizing such things could interfere with taste perception and decrease consumer appeal.
Consequently, while price and convenience remain key for the category, a stealth health appeal also is likely to contribute to the expected positive performance.
Mintel defines dry pasta, rice, noodles, and ancient grains as: dry rice, instant rice mix/flavored rice, dry pasta, dry pasta packaged with a sauce, dry egg noodles, and dry Asian noodles such as soba noodles or rice noodles, and grains, such as quinoa, millet, buckwheat, couscous, and barley.
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