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Return to growth: pasta value sales
Pasta value sales   
       
Fresh Filled Pasta   97.5 -3.1%  
Dry Pasta Shapes   95.5 0.8%  
Fresh Cut Pasta   67.1 6.9%  
Dry Spaghetti   38.7 -2.7%  
Dry Fusilli   27.4 14.4%  
Dry Lasagne   10.0 -13.3%  
Dry Macaroni   9.5 8.1%  
Dry Other Pasta   17.1 1.1%  
       
Branded 75.3 -13.3%  
Own label 306.4 4.9%  
       
Source: Kantar Worldpanel, 52 w/e 15 July 2018      

New shoppers and growing baskets are to thank for returning pasta to growth in the past year. Volume is growing ahead of value - up 1.2% and 0.7% respectively - with the market now worth £381.7m.

Tagliatelle and dry macaroni saw the greatest value and volume growth - value sales of tagliatelle are up 8.4% to £8.2m on volumes up 6.5%, and for dry macaroni value sales are up 8.1% to £9.5m on volumes up 6.1%, driven by own label's performance.

Dry lasagne is the worst-performing sub-sector, with value sales down 13.3% to £10m on volumes down 3.6%, despite a 10.1% drop in average price. Dry spaghetti is also struggling in value terms, with sales down 2.7% to £38.7m on volumes up 1.6%. 

The majority of pasta types have continued to reduce average prices, which in most cases has led to healthy volume growth.

"Overall price per kilo on a top line level has entered a period of deflation, with prices dropping 0.5% from £1.86 to £1.85 over the past 52 weeks," says Kantar analyst Sylwia Borawska.

Fresh filled pasta, where average price is up 6.2%, has struggled to grow value and volume. 

Sauces struggle: pasta sauces value sales
Pasta sauces value sales
   
Total  327.6
Ambient 284.2
Chilled 43.5
   
Branded 184.2
Own label 143.5
   
Source: Kantar Worldpanel, 52 w/e 15 July 18

Pasta might be enjoying marginal growth following a year of decline, but it's a different story when it comes to pasta sauces. The sector continues to struggle with value sales down 2.2% while volume remains flat at 0.6% [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 15 July 2018].

Chilled pasta sauces are contributing most to the decline, with volume falling faster than value. Volume sales are down 9.2% and value sales are down 5.9% - a £2.7m loss in the past year [Kantar].

"This is due to less frequent purchases, smaller baskets and penetration losses," says Kantar Worldpanel analyst Sylwia Borawska. "The market continues to pull back from promotions, with on-deal sales declining 2.8%, meaning the majority of the market - 55.5% - is now sold at full price." 

This, combined with decreasing prices, is responsible for shrinking category value. Ambient is declining slower than chilled - value sales are down 1.6% to £284.2m and volumes are up 1.6% thanks to more volume per trip [Kantar].

As with pasta, squeezed shoppers are also switching to own-label sauces to protect their purses. At an average price of £3.17 per kilo, branded pasta sauce is 31.8% more expensive than own label equivalents at £2.40 per kilo [Kantar].

"The greatest difference between branded and own label is their ability to attract new shoppers," says Kantar's Borawska. "It is worth noting that own label pasta sauces are growing quickly in terms of penetration - further proving that shoppers continue to be lured by the promise of better value for money." 

Looking at retailers, Iceland, Aldi, Lidl and M&S are the only ones growing total sales. M&S is the big winner, growing at 24.5%, and Aldi and Lidl are following closely with respective growth of 17.2% and 10.3%.