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Ethnic Cuisine - UK - March 2009

While the market may be viewed as relatively mature it remains dynamic with a wide variety of different cuisines on offer. Of these, Mexican and Thai are the most established although with many other styles at the margins. So-called Ethnic Purists, who eat ethnic cuisine several times a week, are doing much to grow sales of these other cuisines and remain a focus of activity for manufacturers and retailers.

This report profiles the market for ethnic cuisine sold through retail channels and primarily consumed at home. It is a new report merging four separate reports that Mintel produced on individual segments of this market back in 2007.

Key report themes

  • What is the nation’s favourite ethnic food and how can mature and emerging cuisines improve their performance?

  • How to overcome competition from restaurants, takeaways and other styles of food and how to use consumers’ taste in out-of-home outlets to the advantage of the in-home ethnic food market.

  • Key opportunities that will help ethnic food become the nation’s favourite meal solution.

  • Influence of latest food trends, ie health, and their importance on different ethnic styles and how these will influence consumers’ choices in the world food aisle.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes
        • Definitions
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Travelling with food
              • Trend from Inspire: I Travel Therefore I Am
                • Insight
                  • Healthier ethnic food
                    • Trend from Inspire: The Fresh Factor
                      • Insight
                        • How can emerging cuisines target families?
                        • Market in Brief

                          • “Friday night is curry night!”
                            • “I like Chinese and Indian, usually have at least two a week.”
                              • Large manufacturers lead with smaller suppliers in niche sectors
                                • Market opportunities exist in raising consumption levels
                                  • The future of the market
                                  • Internal Market Environment

                                    • Key points
                                      • Ethnic food remains popular with consumers
                                        • Figure 1: Trends for statements about eating, 2004-08
                                      • Revival in cooking from scratch is driving market in new directions
                                        • Figure 2: Trends for statements about food/cooking, 2004-08
                                      • Concerns over health sound mixed messages for the market
                                        • Figure 3: Agreement with lifestyle statements about diet and health, 2004-08
                                      • Long-haul travel should broaden interest
                                        • Figure 4: Holiday destinations by UK residents, by estimated number of visits, 2005 and 2007
                                      • Stimulation of established segments within the market is helpful
                                        • The economic downturn brings mixed blessings
                                          • Figure 5: Price and calorie comparison between supermarket offerings and takeaways among Indian and Chinese ethnic foods, 2008
                                      • Broader Market Environment

                                        • Key points
                                          • Increasingly affluent consumers are helpful to the market
                                            • Figure 6: Percentage change in adult population, by socio-economic group, 2003-08 and 2008-13
                                          • Growth in one-person households continues to change market demands
                                            • Figure 7: UK household sizes, 2003, 2008 and 2013
                                          • Rising female employment drives demand for time-saving meal solutions
                                            • Figure 8: Working population, by gender, 2003, 2008 and 2013
                                          • Growth in 20-34s expected to favour ethnic food market
                                            • Figure 9: Trends and projections in UK population (000s), by age, 2003, 2008 and 2013
                                        • Competitive Context

                                          • Key points
                                            • Restaurant eaters are similar in profile to ethnic cuisine lovers
                                              • Figure 10: Frequency of eating out at restaurants, 2006-08
                                            • Popularity of ethnic restaurants
                                              • Figure 11: Types of restaurants visited, 2006-08
                                            • Takeaway market
                                              • Figure 12: Frequency of eating takeaways, 2006-08
                                            • Demand for ethnic takeaways is performing well
                                              • Figure 13: Types of takeaways chosen, 2004-08
                                            • Ethnic food market remains smaller than restaurants and takeaways
                                              • Figure 14: Value sales for ethnic food, restaurants and takeaways, 2003-08
                                            • European dishes are continuing to prove popular with consumers
                                              • Figure 15: Performance of key ready meal markets, by cuisine, 2003-08
                                          • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                            • Strengths
                                              • Weaknesses
                                              • Who’s Innovating?

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Focus on quality, health and convenience
                                                    • Figure 16: Top positionings for cooking sauces, seasonings, prepared meals, meal kits and table sauces, 2006-08
                                                  • Interest in seasonings grows
                                                    • Figure 17: Percentage change in number of new launches for selected food categories, 2007-08
                                                  • Ready meals get a makeover
                                                    • Authentic meal preparation proves popular
                                                      • Accompaniments add value to in-home dining
                                                        • Retailers getting saucy
                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Ethnic cuisine represents a mature market
                                                              • Figure 18: UK retail value sales of ethnic foods, 2003-13
                                                            • Broadening of tastes allows other ethnic styles to emerge
                                                              • Figure 19: UK retail value sales of ethnic foods, by origin of cuisine, 2003-13
                                                            • Ready meals fall out of favour as consumers opt for a DIY approach
                                                              • Figure 20: UK retail value sales of ethnic foods, by type, 2003-13
                                                            • The future of the market
                                                              • Factors used in the forecast
                                                              • Segment Performance

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Indian cuisine continues to dominate the sector
                                                                    • Figure 21: UK retail value sales of Indian foods, by type, 2006-08
                                                                  • Chinese cuisine suffers from increased competition
                                                                    • Figure 22: UK retail value sales of Chinese food, by type, 2006-08
                                                                  • Dinner kits continue to drive the Mexican market
                                                                    • Figure 23: UK retail value sales of Mexican foods, by type, 2006-08
                                                                  • Demand for other ethnic cuisines is on the increase
                                                                    • Figure 24: UK retail value sales of Thai and other ethnic foods, by cuisine, 2006-08
                                                                  • Accompaniments and seasonings proving popular for other ethnic cuisine
                                                                    • Figure 25: UK retail value sales of other ethnic foods, by type, 2006-08
                                                                • Market Share

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Big brands dominate cooking sauces market...
                                                                      • Figure 26: Manufacturers’ value shares in ethnic cooking sauces sector*, 2006 and 2008
                                                                    • ...whereas retail own-label leads the ready meals market
                                                                      • Figure 27: Manufacturers’ value shares in the ethnic ready meals sector, 2006 and 2008
                                                                    • Specialists are widespread in emerging ethnic markets
                                                                    • Companies and Products

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • AB World Foods Ltd
                                                                          • Discovery Foods
                                                                            • General Mills
                                                                              • HJ Heinz
                                                                                • Kerry Foods
                                                                                  • Mars UK Ltd
                                                                                    • Premier Foods
                                                                                      • S&A Foods
                                                                                      • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Chinese and Mexican dominate the market
                                                                                            • Figure 28: Main monitored media advertising expenditure on ethnic foods, 2006-08
                                                                                            • Figure 29: Advertising/sales ratio, by type of ethnic cuisine, 2006-08
                                                                                          • Big brands dominate promotional spend
                                                                                            • Television is the preferred channel for mass communication
                                                                                              • Figure 30: Main monitored media spend on ethnic foods, by medium, 2006-08
                                                                                            • Sauces prove most popular products for promotion
                                                                                              • Advertising activity aims to educate
                                                                                              • Channels to Market

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Grocery multiples reign supreme in the market
                                                                                                    • Figure 31: UK retail value sales of ethnic foods, by outlet type, 2006-08
                                                                                                  • Available aisle space proves helpful
                                                                                                    • Specialist independents and the internet have potential to grow
                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Usage

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Chinese and Indian cuisines are key favourites amongst consumers
                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Types of ethnic cuisines eaten at home or out of home, January 2009
                                                                                                          • Preferred cuisines based on demographic groups
                                                                                                            • Interest in ethnic ready meals appears in decline...
                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Types of ready meals used, 2006-08
                                                                                                            • ...with cooking sauces a beneficiary?
                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Types of dishes for which cooking sauces (excluding pasta sauces) are used, 2006-08
                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Attitudes and Motivations

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Heavier consumers of ethnic cuisine remain a minority
                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Frequency of eating ethnic foods in the last six months, January 2009
                                                                                                                • Frequent eaters are men, families and ABs
                                                                                                                  • How to target the older generation?
                                                                                                                    • Cost and authenticity dominate consumer thinking
                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Attitudes towards ethnic foods, January 2009
                                                                                                                      • Cooking ethnic food from scratch
                                                                                                                        • “For me, travel is about eating!”
                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Further Analysis

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • The majority of those eating ethnic cuisine have broad tastes
                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Number of ethnic foods people enjoy eating either in home or out of home, January 2009
                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Number of ethnic foods eaten, by type, January 2009
                                                                                                                            • ...yet Indian cuisine is eaten most frequently
                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Frequency of eating ethnic foods, by type, January 2009
                                                                                                                            • Target groups
                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Attitudinal groups within the ethnic cuisine market, January 2009
                                                                                                                              • Social divide characterises different views towards ethnic cuisine
                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: Summary of attitudes and features of attitudinal groups, January 2009
                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: How attitudinal groups differentiate on key attitudes, January 2009
                                                                                                                              • A Nice Treat
                                                                                                                                • Convenience is Key
                                                                                                                                  • Ethnic Purists
                                                                                                                                    • Attitudinally Disengaged
                                                                                                                                      • Ethnic Purists have the broadest tastes and highest level of consumption...
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Attitudinal groups, by frequency of eating ethnic food, January 2009
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Attitudinal groups, by number of types of ethnic food eaten, January 2009
                                                                                                                                      • ...with this extending to emerging ethnic cuisine
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Attitudinal groups, by type of ethnic food eaten, January 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Average adult eats 28 ethnic meals per year
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Volume of ethnic meals eaten by each attitudinal group over the past six months, January 2009
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix

                                                                                                                                      • Advertising data
                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Statements about eating, by detailed demographics, 2008
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Agreement with lifestyle statements about diet and health, by detailed demographics, 2008
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Top 25 holiday destinations, by estimated number of visits, 2003-07
                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Competitive Context

                                                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Eating out at restaurants, by detailed demographics, 2008
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Expenditure priorities, 2007 and 2008
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Eating takeaways, by detailed demographics, 2008
                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer – Usage: Detailed Demographics

                                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Ethnic food eaten at home or out of home, by detailed demographics, January 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 54: Ethnic food eaten at home or out of home, by detailed demographics (continued), January 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer – Attitudes and Motivations: Detailed Demographics

                                                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Frequency of eating ethnic foods at home in the last six months, January 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 56: Attitudes towards ethnic foods, by detailed demographics, January 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Attitudes towards ethnic foods, by detailed demographics (continued), January 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer – Further Analysis: Detailed Demographics

                                                                                                                                          • Figure 58: Attitudinal groups, by statements about ethnic food, January 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Attitudinal groups, by detailed demographics, January 2009

                                                                                                                                      Ethnic Cuisine - UK - March 2009

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