The pasta sauces market is valued at £259m per annum and grew 4% in the latest year. Chilled pasta sauces are up 7% year-on-year but sales growth has slowed and are a smaller proportion of sales when compared with their chilled pasta counterparts - most probably due to the big brand support in ambient sauces.
Chilled pasta sauces are more heavily bought by affluent smaller, older households less likely to have children. The convenience, portion size and varieties appeal to this group.
This has caught the attention of major brands that have succeeded in drawing consumers to ambient aisles with formats such as pouches and sophisticated flavours. Brands such as Dolmio, Loyd Grossman and Bertolli have all had double-digit growth in the ambient aisle in the latest year by attracting the attention and spend of this consumer group.
Fresh filled pasta continued to show the strongest growth in the pasta category, growing by 14% or nearly £8m. It is one of the most heavily promoted fixtures in grocery. This has attracted an extra 710,000 households to the category and more than half of all filled pasta was bought on deal in the past year. With one quarter of UK households buying fresh filled pasta in the past 52 weeks, there is still an opportunity to attract more new buyers.
Fresh cut pasta lost buyers in the latest year - most likely attracted by the aggressive promotional activity by brands such as Napolina in dried pasta. The dried pasta sector grew 5% and Tesco and Napolina have been particularly active with in-store merchandising, leading to 980,000 new households buying into the fixture. Tortelloni, torchietti, pappardelle and cappelletti varieties were in strong growth across all retailers, suggesting that consumers are getting more adventurous. Georgina Pickford TNS Superpanel
Produced for The Grocer by TNS Superpanel. For more information call 020 8967 4521