Staples is geographically divided into highly saturated markets and highly unsaturated ones. In highly saturated markets, some consumers are shifting from consuming staples, but this provides significant opportunities for manufacturers to target smaller, higher spend audiences that prioritise quality. Staples need to be at the back of the cupboard but at the front of consumers’ minds. Elsewhere, population growth is likely to be the key proponent of increased consumption of staples.
The average Italian consumes 25.4 kg of pasta each year. If each person sticks to the standard 100g measurement, then Italians consume 253 meals of pasta a year – more than two every three days. Volume consumption of staples is largely saturated in Western markets – and could be falling out of fashion – but is making steady progress elsewhere, as more consumers begin to purchase packaged – rather than bulk – foods.
Given that staples are generally consumed on certain occasions, specifically meal times, there is a limit to how much volume growth can be achieved. Consequently, the vast majority of volume growth between 2016 and 2021 is expected to occur in those countries with significant population growth – particularly within Asia Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa. It will be important for manufacturers to maximise their distribution capacity by working with local partners if they are to capitalise on growth in these regions.
In those markets where staples are likely to continue to see stagnant per capita volume consumption, focusing on achieving value growth by targeting high-spending consumers seems the most sensible option. This could be achieved either by leveraging the increased penchant for “perimeter shopping” or via ecommerce meal kits, which tend to attract wealthier consumers.
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