Specialty Food Magazine

JUL-AUG 2013

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/139333

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Page 165 of 217

research spotlight Innovations in Pasta, Noodles, Grains and Rice Category sales surged during the recent recession due to these products' cost-effectiveness, but future growth will be fueled by gluten-free varieties, heirloom rice and ancient grains. BY DENISE SHOUKAS T here was a time when the low-carb craze threatened the sales of pastas, noodles and grains. Now data shows that while the ongoing interest in low-carbohydrate and paleo-type diets has affected overall sales, the category has shown strong growth, hitting $6.7 billion in 2012. During the recession from 2007 to 2008, sales grew 13.1 percent, and increased 5.2 percent overall from 2008 to 2012, thanks to the introduction of ancient grains, gluten-free varieties and ethnic options like rice noodles. (Ancient grains dollar sales are not included in this report, but items like amaranth, freekeh and teff are gaining in popularity and may benefit the category for their gluten-free attributes and generally lower carbohydrate and caloric content.) Convenience and affordability play important roles in the category's growth. Price remains a smart strategy to market pasta, rice and grains, but consumers also place interest on quality, indulgence and health. Mintel defines dry pasta, rice, noodles and ancient grains to include dry rice and instant rice mix/flavored rice; dry pasta and dry pasta packaged with a sauce; dry egg noodles and dry Asian noodles such as soba or rice noodles; and grains, such as quinoa, millet, buckwheat, couscous and barley. Pasta and pasta-based meals purchased in restaurants or foodservice outlets are excluded, as are refrigerated and frozen pasta and rice meals, including macaroni and cheese, as well as shelf-stable canned pasta and shelf-stable ready-to-serve rice. JULY/AUGUST 2013 149

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