Established World Cuisines - UK - February 2015
“The improving consumer confidence suggests both the need and opportunities for premiumisation in the retail channel. The strong interest in a wider offering of chilled cooking sauces among ethnic food buyers highlights this as a potential key area. The ingredients segment should also justify further attention as people in higher-income households are the most likely to buy scratch cook ingredients.”
– Douglas Faughnan, Senior Food and Drink Analyst
This report looks at the following issues:
- Improving household finances drive the need for premiumisation
- Meal kits and pastes can help Chinese cuisine combat scratch cooking
- Emerging world cuisines pose a credible threat to established ones
A period of sustained growth between 2009 and 2013 in the market ended in 2014. Scratch cooking has been one of the key contributors to slowing growth. Slowing food inflation also dampened value growth, while falling ad spend has eroded the visibility of the market.
The market also faces a considerable threat from emerging cuisines, with strong consumer interest in for example South American, Vietnamese and Korean foods. However, there also remains robust interest for example in Chinese cooking pastes and bases as well as meal kits, signalling potential for growth for the established cuisines in new product segments.
Meanwhile, consumer spending is expected to gather momentum. As the more affordable option to ethnic restaurants and takeaways, world cuisine sales through retail have benefited from the pressure on consumer incomes over several years. However, this selling point is likely to lose its appeal with growing ‘recession fatigue’, with consumers expected to start to eat out more.
This report focuses on major world foods beyond European and North American foods that have become an established part of the UK retail market.
The most popular types of ethnic cuisine eaten in the UK, Chinese and Indian, are firmly embedded on British menus, eaten by 78% and 73% of Brits respectively. These are currently enduring a difficult period with falling prices and increased competition from less established ethnic cuisines. However, consumer interest in a wider range of products, such as chilled cooking sauces and ingredients, suggests further growth potential.
Interest in scratch cooking poses a challenge to brands operating in the market, highlighting the need to innovate and provide consumers with the products they need to prepare their favourite ethnic cuisines from scratch at home. More than a quarter of Brits are buying raw ingredients to prepare ethnic sauces and marinades from scratch, with 27% of those that do buying more than they were a year ago.
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