Carb haters look away now – sales of pasta, rice and noodles are going through the roof, with further growth predicted for the next five years.
Sales of the three products have risen by a combined 41% over the past five years to £1.4bn, with a 22% increase coming in the last two years alone, according to new data from Mintel.
The market is expected to grow a further 25% to £1.8bn by 2014.
Although global shortages in 2008 and weak sterling exchange rates partly explained the increases, the versatility and adaptability of rice, pasta and noodles was still encouraging consumers to buy in greater volumes, said senior consumer analyst Vivianne Ihekweazu.
“A greater interest in home cooking and the move towards more eating-in during the recession has helped boost sales,” she said. “The market has also benefited from the influence of global cuisines and demand for convenience.”
Innovations such as rice pouches and microwaveable noodles had brought new shoppers to the category, she said.
Some 92% of Britons eat pasta. Over three-quarters (77%) each dry pasta, with 46% consuming fresh pasta. Dry noodles are eaten by 49% of consumers, with instant options such as Pot Noodle favoured by 33%.
Long-grain rice is the nation’s favourite, chosen by 59% of the country, edging out second-placed Basmati (57%).