Orders of pasta products increased 698.88% between January-March 2019 and January-March 2020
Sales of pasta in Italy have fallen by more than 10% in the last five years, with nearly a quarter of Italian consumers cutting back on the amount of pasta they eat. That’s according to new research from Mintel.
Sales amounted to 908,000 tonnes in 2016 or 15.2kg per person – down from 17kg in 2011. Mintel suggested that Italy’s love of pasta had ‘gone off the boil’, although the average Italian still consumes more of the foodstuff than their counterparts in other countries.
Only Russia and Brazil consumed more pasta by volume in 2016 – 1.18 million and 1.22 million tonnes respectively – because of populations more than double the size of Italy.
Mintel said that consumers were much less likely now to avoid carbohydrates than they were five years ago, and as a result alternative pasta offerings like organic, gluten-free and wholewheat have exploded in popularity.
Between 2015 and 2016, the proportion of consumers who had claimed to have eaten wholewheat pasta increased from 36% to 75%; organic pasta from 13% to 63%; and gluten-free pasta from 7% to 33%.
One in seven new pasta products launched in 2016 was gluten-free.
Mintel global food and drink analyst Jodie Minotto said: “Health concerns over carbohydrate intake continue to plague sales of pasta, especially in Italy where retail sales have been in constant decline every year since 2009.
“The rising popularity of protein and the resurgence of low-carb diets have made for a challenging environment for pasta, which is being shunned in favour of foods perceived to be healthier or more supportive of weight management efforts.
“New product development centred on positive nutrition and tapping into the ongoing interest in gluten-free food will help to polish pasta’s image.”
Consumers outside Italy are cutting down on carbohydrates too: according to Mintel, between 2011 and 2015 pasta sales fell by 2% in the UK, and were completely flat in markets like Australia, Canada, France and the US.
More than 40% of American respondents thought that rice and grains were healthier than pasta, and one-fifth of British consumers are substituting pasta for spiralised vegetables such as so-called ‘courgetti’ – or courgette peeled into the shape of spaghetti.
Minotto continued: “The trend for gluten-free and low-carb diets and the vilification of wheat as a contributor to a variety of ailments, including weight gain, have contributed to the flat and declining sales of pasta in many key markets. As a result, the pasta category is vastly different to what it was even five years ago. Wheat-free, gluten-free and better-for-you options are now part of the standard pasta range. Consumer demand for natural, unprocessed foods has contributed to the rise in popularity of organic pasta, yet another option pasta brands now need to offer.
“All manner of ingredients are being used in next generation ‘pasta’, the latest of which is seaweed. Sourdough fermentation is also being used to improve digestibility of gluten in wheat based pasta.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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