New research from Mintel reveals that sales of pasta in Italy had a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -2% between 2011 and 2015, with sales falling to 908,100 tons in 2016. Mintel research reveals that health is the reason this national cuisine has fallen on hard times. Indeed, today, almost one quarter (23%) of Italians say they are limiting the amount of pasta in their diet for health reasons, rising to 28% of those aged 55 and over.
While Italians still consume the biggest volume of pasta per capita globally, they are cutting back on this traditional staple. Mintel research finds that retail per capita consumption of pasta in Italy fell to 15.2 kg in 2016, down from 17.0 kg in 2011 and it also seems their tastes are changing. In 2015, just 7% of Italians said they consumed any gluten-free pasta, while 13% ate organic pasta and 36% whole-wheat pasta. By 2016, however, one in three (33%) Italians said they had eaten gluten-free pasta, with 8% eating it once a week or more, while 63% had used or eaten organic pasta, with 21% eating it once a week more. Meanwhile, 75% had eaten or used whole-wheat or wholegrain pasta, with 30% eating it once a week or more.
Although Italians are turning their backs on tagliatelle, pappardelle and fettuccine, according to Mintel they remain in the top three pasta eating nations. In 2016, only the Brazilians (1,223,500 tons) and Russians (1,184,900 tons) consumed more.
“Health concerns over carbohydrate intake continue to plague sales of pasta, especially in Italy where retail sales have been in constant decline every year since 2009. The rising popularity of protein and the resurgence of low carb diets have made for a challenging environment for pasta, which is being shunned in favor of foods perceived to be healthier or more supportive of weight management efforts. New product development centered on positive nutrition and tapping into the ongoing interest in gluten-free food will help to polish pasta’s image,” says Jodie Minotto, Global Food and Drink analyst at Mintel.