Rice, Pasta and Noodles in Western Europe

January 2023

After seeing dynamic pandemic-related growth in 2020 due to home seclusion and foodservice closures, rice, pasta and noodles slipped into decline a year later as consumers used up stockpiled goods and were eating out more. However, 2022 saw a return to positive growth, which is expected to continue over the forecast period. These products offer convenient, easy-to-cook and affordable meal solutions, with the latter criterion particularly important against a backdrop of rising inflation rates.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Demand remains strong in rice, pasta and noodles in 2022

With consumers still spending more time at home than before the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the enduring popularity of flexible working patterns, appreciation for staple foods offering convenience and versatility remained strong in 2022. A growing demand for foods that reduce the amount of time and effort required for meal preparation and which can be used in a wide variety of recipes also helped to sustain demand for rice, pasta and noodles.

Private label a major player

Private label is a force to be reckoned with in rice, pasta and noodles, accounting for a third of retail value sales at a regional level. Rice, noodles and pasta are seen as relatively generic, with many consumers believing there is little difference in quality between products. Retailers have successfully taken advantage of this by keeping up with the latest trends as well as introducing premium private label lines and organic and gluten-free products, while always looking to maintain their price advantage over branded offerings.

Modern grocery retailers dominate distribution

COVID-19 accelerated the move to e-commerce due to home seclusion, but this distribution channel’s share still remains relatively limited, at 5% in 2022. Store-based retail still dominates, led by supermarkets (41%), hypermarkets (25%) and discounters (17%), while convenience retail (4%) and small local grocers (6%) play relatively minor roles.

High inflation rates could favour rice, pasta and noodles

Rising inflation in 2022, which is expected to continue into 2023, is likely to impact consumers’ decision-making in the forecast period. In times of crisis, some consumers like to save money by opting for simpler affordable products, which should serve most areas of rice, past and noodles well in the immediate future. Nevertheless, players will continue to premiumise as they look to attract consumers, either with more upmarket products or health-orientated options.


Key findings
Western Europe the fourth biggest regional market
Steady growth expected as the market settles down post-pandemic
Italy boasts the world’s highest per capita consumption rate for pasta
Strong growth in Turkey, especially for pasta and noodles
Pasta the dominant product in Western Europe
Rice, pasta and noodles offer affordable meal solutions at a time of rising prices
Modern grocery retailers dominate sales of rice, pasta and noodles
E-commerce share continues growing, but remains relatively modest
Private label accounts for around a third of overall value sales
Pasta maker Barilla Holdings makes share gains over 2017-2022
Barilla and private label have a presence across the region
Nuhun Ankara continues moving up the brand rankings
Positive growth expected for rice, pasta and noodles over the forecast period
Turkey will remain the most dynamic market in Western Europe
Habit persistence will help drive growth in Turkey
Austria: Market Context
Austria: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Belgium: Market Context
Belgium: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Denmark: Market Context
Denmark: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Finland: Market Context
Finland: Competitive and Retail Landscape
France: Market Context
France: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Germany: Market Context
Germany: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Greece: Market Context
Greece: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Ireland: Market Context
Ireland: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Italy: Market Context
Italy: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Netherlands: Market Context
Netherlands: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Norway: Market Context
Norway: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Portugal: Market Context
Portugal: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Spain: Market Context
Spain: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Sweden: Market Context
Sweden: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Switzerland: Market Context
Switzerland: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Turkey: Market Context
Turkey: Competitive and Retail Landscape
UK: Market Context
UK: Competitive and Retail Landscape

Staple Foods

NOTE: Couscous, polenta and quinoa are excluded from staple foods.

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