Pasta is facing a tough time


Pasta is facing a tough time due to current health trends, reports Jonathan Thomas.

The share of the European frozen foods market at retail level taken by pasta and pasta-based products is very small, especially if ready meals featuring pasta are excluded. However, the sector has a more significant presence as far as sales to the foodservice industry are concerned. With pasta a popular choice in many eating out venues, demand remains reasonably high for pre-cooked and frozen products across much of Europe. Going forward, however, it seems the sector may face some of the challenges pasta is experiencing at the retail level, such as falling demand due to the growing prevalence of gluten-free diets. Specific market data for the sector remains unavailable. To give some indication of size, UK sales of frozen foods to the foodservice sector are currently worth around £2.5bn per annum. Pasta accounts for an estimated 2% of this figure – annual sales are therefore worth somewhere in the region of GBP50m.

European Pasta Consumption

Europe remains a world leader in terms of both consumption and production of pasta. According to latest data from the International Pasta Organization (IPO), Italian production of pasta currently amounts to 3.2 million tons, which equates to over a fifth (22%) of annual global output. The world’s other leading producer countries at present include the US (2 million tons), Turkey (1.3 million tons), Brazil (1.2 million tons) and Russia (almost 1.1 million to...