Pasta is a tough market to be in. In the West, the Italian staple is losing out to rice and noodles, as Asian cuisine surges in popularity. Despite rapid growth in developing markets, it continues to underperform against rival staples. This briefing examines these problems and highlights potential avenues of growth for manufacturers. It suggests that long-term goals should take precedence over short-term revenues, and discusses potential solutions to sclerosis
Branching out into different pasta types and products a must
Dried pasta generates the majority of global sales of pasta, yet it is struggling to achieve growth in its biggest markets. However, consumers in these core markets still want to eat pasta –they just want more convenient and healthier versions. Subsequently, high fibre and chilled pasta are outperforming and will gain market share in the future.
Similarly to many other staples, pasta companies are struggling against private label in markets with consolidated retail competition. Private labels are able to offer a decent quality of goods with low prices. Only the US and Latin America offer an ideal balance of low private label share with fast growth.
Per capita sales of pasta are so low in China and India, and so entrenched are staples such as rice and noodles, that getting consumers to eat more pasta will take a number of years. Manufacturers need to be patient in these markets, but also need to make sure their products available sooner rather than later in the likes of China and India. This is something that has been achieved by the likes of Maggi noodles in India.
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