Sales of basmati rice have overtaken long grain for the first time as consumers continue to trade up.
TNS Superpanel puts sales of dry basmati at £37.7m - £3m ahead of long grain.
Basmati would have surpassed long grain even sooner had it not been for dramatic retail price cuts this year, said Veetee sales and marketing director Tony O’Connor.
However, the real star of the rice category is microwaveable. Despite overtaking long grain, value sales of basmati fell 3% year-on-year while long grain plummeted by 11%.
Only the dramatic growth of microwaveable rice - up 42.3% in value - enabled the total rice
market modest growth of 2.4% to £164m. From a standing start in 2000, microwaveable pouches has become a key sector in the rice market, but dry rice is still the preferred format
Laurie Chalmers, brand manager for Tilda Rizazz, the second biggest microwaveable brand after Uncle Ben’s Express, said: “At one stage we were saying it might go to £25-£30m. Now it’s nearly £50m. I believe £100m is certainly achievable and maybe £120m is possible in the next few years.”