Wednesday, April 17, 2024

A ‘sauce’ of comfort and creativity

If there’s one thing that the frequent out of stocks during the pandemic taught us, it’s that consumers in Australia love pasta.

The versatile staple can be found in pantries and fridges all over the country, from the cash-strapped and time poor to the flavour-seeking home gourmet chef – even those on gluten-free diets are catered to thanks to the rise of products made from pulses instead of wheat.

According to Australian family-owned pasta brand San Remo, there is strong consumer demand for healthy pasta alternatives.

“We know Aussies love pasta and the growth in specialty pasta products over recent years shows they’re hungry for more,” San Remo Chief Marketing Officer Erik de Roos said.

Research from Canstar Blue reveals that one in four Australians pick up multiple packs of pasta during their regular shop, with a third preferring to stick to the same brand. A similar portion of people (37 per cent) also said they make sure to buy different types of pasta from their favourite brand.

Mutti Australia Managing Director Trish Pegorer says there has been a significant shift in consumer behaviour post Covid-19 with a rise in scratch cooking and desire for premium, local and better-for-you alternatives.

“In the pasta sauce category in Australia, this has manifested in a shift to base ingredients such as passata, pizza sauces, pestos and tomato pastes – all growing ahead of total ‘pasta sauce’ within the broader pasta sauces category.”

To continue to grow premium segments within traditionally commoditised categories, says Ms Pegorer, it is key to continue to inspire in-store, in kitchen and at the table.

“The communication and engagement strategies deployed during the path to purchase at all touchpoints is critical, none more so than on the shelf (whether it be instore or online). Continuing to provide sufficient visibility of accessible premium offerings is key as well as ensuring right ranging in the right stores.”

Education is key particularly around raising awareness of products that are sustainability sourced, are better-for-you and/or are better quality.

“We know 50 per cent of premium buyers are willing to pay more for better quality so its important to communicate these product attributes beyond product packaging,” Ms Pegorer said.

Find out more about the pasta and sauce category in the June issue of Retail World

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