The demand for pasta in nearly the whole world is increasing gradually. According to the data of International Pasta Organization (IPO), a total of 17,3 million tons of pasta produced in 2015 in the world. Pasta being an easy-to-prepare and cost-efficient meal had a great effect on this. Other important factors in the increase of consumption are the high nutritional value of the durum wheat in the pasta and the fact that pasta can be prepared with various sauces so that it would be appropriate to palates of almost every culture.
Pasta dough is created by mixing the semolina obtained from durum wheat with some enriching substances and water. Pasta production is carried out by shaping this dough and then drying. The fact that the durum wheat, the main raw material of pasta, grows only in certain areas of the world limited the production areas of the pasta. Although pasta production became common due to the raw material import today, in general countries producing durum wheat are the leading pasta exporters in the world.
Pasta is one of the most important foods in the world with regard to both its nutritional value and volume of production. Pasta which could be consumed in different ways in each culture faces a demand which has been increasing over the years. Long shelf life, high nutritional value, being appropriate for serving by mixing it with different sauces for different palates, being adaptable to every culture and more importantly being an economic food are the leading causes of this increase.
The date this valuable food item was first consumed is not known. Although Chinese, Etruscans, Arabs, Persians, Greek and even Americans claim that it is them who have invented pasta, Italians were the ones left with holding that title. The history of the pasta goes back to the time of Ancient Romans. Italy is the leader in both production and consumption of pasta today. Pasta which spread quickly to the other countries in the world started to be a part of the American kitchen as well, through the immigration of Italians to the American continent.
Pasta production stopped being dependent on the climate after some technological developments. So, the production which could previously be done only in the areas where wheat was produced, has now spread to different geographies. Since 1945, the year when World War II ended, the pasta factories were started to be established in the regions in which Italians lived mainly and by this way, pasta was introduced to the foreign cultures more closely. The automatic non-stop pasta facilities, which were invented by Mario and Guiseppe Braibanti Company in 1933, were among the elements that had a role in the industrialization of pasta production.
The development of pasta production technologies has an important effect on the increase of pasta production and consumption in the world. According to the data of International Pasta Organization (IPO), a total of 17,3 million tons of pasta produced in 2021 in the world. The majority of the world’s pasta production is carried out by Italy, USA, Brazil, Russia, and Turkey. ,
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was valued at USD 43.63 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 77.83 billion by 2029. The market is projected to grow from USD 46.84 billion in 2022 to USD 77.83 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.52% during the forecast period 2022-2029. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with pasta witnessing higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a growth of 7.84% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
These products are affordable and easier to cook, due to which they are widely consumed globally. The manufacturers of these products are constantly developing new products comprising different raw materials. The continuous product evolution also creates an opportunity for market growth. The rising adoption of Western food habits and demand for ready to cook food products are some of the major factors contributing to the pasta market growth.
Production of food products was impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, owing to the sudden implementation of lockdown measures and factory closures during the initial stages of the pandemic. Companies faced a shortage of laborers and logistic problems due to increased freight charges during the pandemic. Consumption of linguini, fettuccini, and spaghetti, on the other hand, increased significantly during the pandemic. The consumers stockpiled food products, such as dried linguini, which have a higher shelf life. Companies also ensured that the distribution channel was not impacted and stocks were replenished on time. Hence, the sales of these products exhibited strong growth during the pandemic.
The consumption pattern of consumers has undergone significant changes mainly due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. As consumers are becoming more conscious regarding the environment, the demand for meat-based food products has decreased significantly. Meat processing industries are one of the significant contributors to global warming. Consumers are thus switching to plant-based food products and adopting a vegan or vegetarian diet. As these products are a rich source of carbohydrates, it forms an integral part of the vegan or vegetarian diet. Moreover, new food trends include pairing it with other food products such as soup and salads. Additionally, the demand for organic products has increased significantly. Thus, manufacturers are developing new product varieties composed of organic wheat to suit the market requirements.
In recent years, the demand for ready-to-eat food products has increased significantly. With the rise in employment, more people are leading a hectic lifestyle. This, in turn, led to a surge in demand for ready-to-cook food products. As per data provided by Unione Italiana Food and ICE Agency, the consumption of these products increased in Italy, Germany, France, and the U.S. during the lockdown. The major exporting countries of these products also saw a surge of 30% owing to the increased demand for ready-to-cook products among consumers. Additionally, these products are cheaper and more convenient to cook, making them a preferred choice among the working population.
The popularity of Ready-to-cook Food Products
These products have been an integral part of cuisine in various countries for centuries. Different countries have developed their own form of product, which contributes to the rise in consumption globally. As per the study conducted by Oxfam, it is considered the favorite dish in the world. Additionally, high-end multi-cuisine restaurants are also offering new dishes based on such products, increasing their appeal in the market and contributing to the market growth.
Wheat is the most widely used raw material used for such product preparation. In recent years, adverse climatic conditions, such as droughts and severe floods, in major wheat-producing nations have significantly impacted wheat production. Hence, wheat prices are also expected to rise significantly due to its lack of availability in the market. This is expected to impact the production and consumption of these products, thereby hindering the industry's growth.
Additionally, the demand for food products low in carbohydrates has increased rapidly. Consumption of high-calorie food products causes obesity, diabetes, and various cardiovascular disease. Products in dried form are mostly prepared using refined wheat flour and are high in calories, as a result of which, the demand for such products among health-conscious consumers is decreasing rapidly. Hence, companies are researching and developing new products using different ingredients to increase the interest of consumers.
DRIED PRODUCTS DOMINATE THE MARKET
Based on product type, the market is segmented into dried, chilled, and canned. The dried form is consumed more than the chilled or canned form as it is available in various shapes and can be stored easily. Moreover, chilled and canned products have shorter shelf life than dried products, and thus, it is tough to keep these product types for a more extended period. Additionally, dried product absorbs sauces and ingredients better than other forms, making them a suitable choice for various recipes.
In recent years, the demand for chilled forms has increased rapidly among consumers. Industrially produced dried products lack the necessary nutrients as they are treated at a high temperature during the production process. On the other hand, fresh/chilled products contain the essential nutrients, and they are much softer than dried products, making them appealing to consumers.
WHEAT-BASED PRODUCT SEGMENT WILL DOMINATE
Among wheat flour, semolina is used for producing the best variety of these products in the market. The elasticity of semolina flour makes it suitable for making the product in different shapes and sizes. It also enables the product to maintain structural consistency and ensures that the texture of the product is maintained. However, semolina flour is rich in gluten and may not be suitable for people who suffer from celiac disease and are highly health-conscious. Therefore, the demand for gluten-free products is likely to rise significantly in recent years.
Based on the distribution channel, the supermarkets/hypermarkets segment is expected to hold the largest revenue share as consumers have the option of choosing products through proper inspection of nutritional aspects and making an informed purchase decision. Supermarkets also provide better accessibility and convenience of choosing products from a wide range of selections.
Other distribution channels such as online stores are also exhibiting strong growth during the forecast period. As these channels provide the convenience of purchasing products from the comfort of one’s home, the adoption of these channels among consumers is expected to rise significantly.