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UK Pasta, Rice and Noodles market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Pasta, Rice and Noodles market, its consumers and the major players who make up the market.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

  • What are the key challenges facing the industry?
  • Who is the consumer and what do they want?
  • Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Market

 
Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

 
Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

 
Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

 
Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

 
Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

 
Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

 
Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

 
Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

 
Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Covered in this report

This report examines the UK retail market for pasta, rice and noodles. Mintel’s definition covers products sold through the grocery retail channel and direct to consumers, and includes:

  • Pasta: dry, chilled, frozen, canned and pouch formats
  • Rice: dry, ready-to-heat (chilled and ambient) and frozen formats
  • Noodles: dry, ready-to-cook wet ambient, chilled and frozen formats
  • Instant hot snacks: instant dry noodle, pasta and rice snacks, instant ambient microwaveable pasta
Excluded from this report: Pasta-, rice- and noodle-based ready meals (frozen and chilled). Pasta sauces are also excluded. These are covered in Mintel’s Cooking Sauces and Pasta Sauces – UK, December 2018 Report.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Richard Caines, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Tapping into their image as value for money meal options, and giving shoppers more recipe ideas for recreating popular dishes tried in restaurants at home offer high-potential routes for encouraging more frequent usage of pasta, rice and noodles. A greater focus on nutritional claims, such as promoting fibre and protein in pasta and instant snack pots will also help future sales.Richard Caines
Senior Food & Drink Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Rice and noodles drive value growth
              • Figure 1: Forecast of UK retail value sales of pasta, rice and noodles, 2013-23
            • Deflation in dry pasta hits value sales
              • Figure 2: UK retail value sales of pasta, rice and noodles, by segment, 2016-18
            • People limiting carbs is having a mixed impact on the market
              • World cuisines are a big influence on the market
                • Companies and brands
                  • Napolina benefits from range development
                    • Own-label makes value gains in rice
                      • Batchelor’s leads in noodles
                        • Leading three brands grow sales in pot snacks
                          • More products reference fibre and protein
                            • Leading manufacturers fuel activity in instant rice pots
                              • The consumer
                                • Vast majority of people eat pasta and rice
                                  • Figure 3: Usage of pasta, rice, noodles, couscous and grains, November 2017 and November 2018
                                • Pasta, rice and noodle meals are widely seen as money saving
                                  • Fibre content is important but four in 10 looking for less carbs
                                    • Figure 4: Behaviours relating to pasta, rice and noodles, November 2018
                                  • Pasta buying focuses on convenience and price
                                    • Figure 5: Factors influencing choice when buying pasta, November 2018
                                  • Branded pasta faces tough battle against own-label
                                    • Figure 6: Attitudes towards pasta, November 2018
                                  • Ease of use is top consideration for rice
                                    • Figure 7: Factors influencing choice when buying rice, November 2018
                                  • Packaging improvements appeal in rice
                                    • Figure 8: Attitudes towards rice, November 2018
                                  • Noodles need to be quick to cook/prepare
                                    • Figure 9: Factors influencing choice when buying noodles, November 2018
                                  • Focus on nutrition is important for driving sales
                                    • Figure 10: Attitudes towards noodles, November 2018
                                  • What we think
                                  • Issues and Insights

                                    • Promoting nutritional benefits will help keep carbs on the menu
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • Both value and added-value messages can be leveraged to encourage usage
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                                • Packaging developments for rice should focus on materials and ease of use
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                      • Focus on flavour development and authenticity will help boost noodles
                                                        • The facts
                                                          • The implications
                                                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                            • Rice and noodles drive value growth
                                                              • Inflation expected to boost sales over next five years
                                                                • Deflation in dry pasta hits value sales
                                                                  • Rice sales continue to show growth
                                                                    • Pot snacks and noodles sales continue to grow
                                                                      • People limiting carbs is having a mixed impact on the market
                                                                        • Promoting fibre content will help sales
                                                                          • World cuisines are a big influence on the market
                                                                            • Population growth means more users for the high penetration market
                                                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                              • Rice and noodles drive value growth
                                                                                • Figure 11: UK retail value and volume sales of pasta, rice and noodles, 2013-23
                                                                              • Inflation expected to boost total value sales
                                                                                • Figure 12: Forecast of UK retail value sales of pasta, rice and noodles, 2013-23
                                                                                • Figure 13: Forecast of UK retail volume sales of pasta, rice and noodles, 2013-23
                                                                              • Forecast methodology
                                                                              • Market Segmentation

                                                                                • Deflation in dry pasta hits value sales
                                                                                  • Figure 14: UK retail value and volume sales of pasta, by segment, 2016-18
                                                                                • Rice sales continue to show growth
                                                                                  • Figure 15: UK retail value and volume sales of rice, by segment, 2016-18
                                                                                • Pot snack and noodles sales continue to grow
                                                                                  • Figure 16: UK retail value and volume sales of instant pot snacks and noodles, by segment, 2016-18
                                                                              • Market Drivers

                                                                                • Interest in healthy eating is an important driver of meal choices
                                                                                  • People limiting carbs is having a mixed impact on the market
                                                                                    • Promoting fibre content will help sales
                                                                                      • Room to tap more into interest in protein
                                                                                        • World cuisines are a big influence on the market
                                                                                          • Growing population will mean more users for the high penetration market
                                                                                            • Figure 17: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2013-23
                                                                                        • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                          • Napolina benefits from range development
                                                                                            • Own-label makes value gains in rice
                                                                                              • Batchelor’s leads in noodles
                                                                                                • Leading three brands grow sales in pot snacks
                                                                                                  • More products reference fibre and protein
                                                                                                    • Vegetables and pulses also cater for interest in more fibre
                                                                                                      • Numerous launches bring fibre and protein together
                                                                                                        • Leading manufacturers fuel activity in instant rice pots
                                                                                                          • Snack pots attract more premium launches
                                                                                                            • Expanding choice of flavours and grains in rice
                                                                                                            • Market Share

                                                                                                              • Napolina benefits from range development
                                                                                                                • Figure 18: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK pasta market, by value and volume, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                                                                              • Own-label makes value gains in rice
                                                                                                                • Figure 19: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK rice market, by value and volume, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                                                                              • Batchelor’s leads in noodles
                                                                                                                • Figure 20: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK noodles market, by value and volume, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                                                                              • Leading three brands grow sales in pot snacks
                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK pot snacks market, by value and volume, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                                                                            • Start-ups and Disruptors – Case Studies

                                                                                                              • Seamore
                                                                                                                • What is it?
                                                                                                                  • Founded:
                                                                                                                    • Company mission statement:
                                                                                                                      • Founder’s story:
                                                                                                                        • Mintel analyst view
                                                                                                                          • Product information
                                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Seamore, product list, 2019
                                                                                                                          • Media profile
                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Social media metrics for Seamore as of January 2019
                                                                                                                          • The brand’s view
                                                                                                                          • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                            • Pasta accounts for biggest share of new launches
                                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Share of new product launches in the UK pasta, rice and noodles market, by segment, 2014-18
                                                                                                                            • More products reference fibre and protein
                                                                                                                              • Operators must go beyond wholegrain to tap into consumer interest in fibre content
                                                                                                                                • Stronger communication of fibre content is needed to add value to wholegrain
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Perception map of attribute performance of wholegrain rice in comparison to non-wholegrain rice in the UK rice market, April 2018-January 2019
                                                                                                                                  • Recent launches pair wholegrain with flavourings, convenience and ‘supergrains’
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Examples of new products making wholegrain claims in pasta and rice, 2018
                                                                                                                                  • Vegetables and pulses also cater for interest in more fibre
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 27: Examples of new products in pasta made from vegetables and pulses making high/added fibre claims, 2018
                                                                                                                                  • Numerous launches bring fibre and protein together for an elevated health proposition
                                                                                                                                    • Recent launches highlighting protein range from Napolina to Genius and CarbZone
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Examples of new products making fibre, protein and gluten-free claims in pasta, 2018
                                                                                                                                    • Noodles see more high/added protein claims
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Examples of new noodle products making high/added protein claims, 2018
                                                                                                                                    • Snack pots are a big focus of launch activity as Unilever and Napolina target the convenience segment
                                                                                                                                      • Unilever, Napolina and Symington’s fuel activity in instant rice pots
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Examples of launches of instant rice pots, 2018
                                                                                                                                      • Snack pots attract more premium launches
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Examples of new launches of instant snack pots with a more premium positioning, 2018
                                                                                                                                        • Premium pasta maintains long-standing focus on provenance and bronze die
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: Examples of bronze die pasta launches, 2018
                                                                                                                                        • Expanding choice of flavours and grain combinations hopes to keep rice on-trend
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Examples of new flavour launches in rice, 2018
                                                                                                                                        • Convenience is a big driver but also packaging concerns
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Examples of instant pasta and rice launches, 2018
                                                                                                                                      • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                        • Advertising spending continues to fall
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on rice, pasta and noodles*, 2015-18
                                                                                                                                        • Mars cuts support for Uncle Ben’s rice
                                                                                                                                          • Tilda celebrates diversity of British food culture
                                                                                                                                            • Mug Shot targets female office workers and busy mums
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on rice, pasta and noodles, by advertiser, 2015-18
                                                                                                                                            • Napolina partners with ITV and Gino D’Acampo
                                                                                                                                              • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                • Vast majority of people eat pasta and rice
                                                                                                                                                  • Pasta, rice and noodle meals are widely seen as money saving
                                                                                                                                                    • Fibre content is important but four in 10 looking for less carbs
                                                                                                                                                      • Pasta buying focuses on convenience and price
                                                                                                                                                        • Branded pasta faces tough battle against own-label
                                                                                                                                                          • Ease of use is top consideration for rice
                                                                                                                                                            • Packaging improvements appeal in rice
                                                                                                                                                              • Noodles need to be quick to cook/prepare
                                                                                                                                                                • Focus on nutrition is important for driving sales
                                                                                                                                                                • Usage of Pasta, Rice and Noodles

                                                                                                                                                                  • Vast majority of people eat pasta and rice
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Usage of pasta, rice, noodles, couscous and grains, November 2017 and November 2018
                                                                                                                                                                  • Dry pasta and rice most widely eaten
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Frequency of eating pasta, rice, noodles and grains, November 2018
                                                                                                                                                                    • Nearly six in 10 use microwavable rice
                                                                                                                                                                      • Noodles, including pot snacks, have younger appeal
                                                                                                                                                                      • Behaviours Relating to Pasta, Rice and Noodles

                                                                                                                                                                        • Pasta, rice and noodle meals are widely seen as money saving
                                                                                                                                                                          • Recreating restaurant dishes appeals to most pasta/rice/noodles’ users
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Behaviours relating to pasta, rice and noodles, November 2018
                                                                                                                                                                          • Fibre content is important but four in 10 looking for less carbs
                                                                                                                                                                            • Fibre content chimes with carb limiters
                                                                                                                                                                              • Wholegrain holds limited appeal despite the high interest in fibre
                                                                                                                                                                                • Vegetables are a source of competition and an opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                • Factors Influencing Choice of Pasta

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Pasta buying focuses on convenience and price
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Notable trading up opportunities, more scope to play up speed
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Factors influencing choice when buying pasta, November 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                    • A minority look for wheat/wholegrain or high protein
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes towards Pasta

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Branded pasta faces tough battle against own-label
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Attitudes towards pasta, November 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Added flavours and nutrients offer differentiation
                                                                                                                                                                                        • High interest in fortification
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Factors Influencing Choice of Rice

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Ease of use is top consideration for rice
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Factors influencing choice when buying rice, November 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Recipe choice is a big driver of rice purchased
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes towards Rice

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Packaging improvements appeal in rice
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Strong demand for easier-to-use formats
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Helping users to portion rice chimes widely
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Italiamo Arborio Risotto Rice with measurement lines on-pack, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Risk of single-serve packaging backlash
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Attitudes towards rice, November 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Factors Influencing Choice of Noodles

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Noodles need to be quick to cook/prepare
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Factors influencing choice when buying noodles, November 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Flavoured/added ingredients offer differentiation
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Attitudes towards Noodles

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Focus on nutrition is important for driving sales
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • High protein content appeals to more than half of noodle users
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Attitudes towards noodles, November 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Strong interest in kits for making soups/broths with noodles
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail value sales of pasta, rice and noodles, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 48: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail volume sales of pasta, rice and noodles, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Share

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK pasta market, by value and volume, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK rice market, by value and volume, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK noodles market, by value and volume, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK pot snacks market, by value and volume, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: New product launches in the pasta market*, by claim, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: New product launches in the rice market*, by claim, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 55: New product launches in the noodles market*, by claim, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Attribute performance of wholegrain rice in comparison to non-wholegrain rice in the UK rice market, April 2018-January 2019