How to capitalise on the premiumisation of pasta sauces
Pasta. The food of love. And according to a report in The Grocer in November 2018, the consumption of pasta is picking back up in the UK, following a slump over the last few years as many consumers embraced the ‘no/low-carb’ diet. It seems we Brits just can’t put down the penne and are starting to bring it back to our plates.
However, the report also noted that the consumption of traditional pasta sauces - the ambient or chilled varieties that we’re all familiar with - are failing to keep pace with the increased demand for the pasta they’re coating. Kantar Worldpanel cited that “sales have fallen 2.2% to £327.6m on volumes down 0.6% in the past year.” Why is that?
The Grocer’s conclusion was that consumers’ tastes are now a lot more sophisticated and that these traditional pasta sauces just don’t cut the mustard for today’s foodies who are more used to exotic, indulgent pasta sauces when they eat out and want to bring these flavours into the home.
The feedback from the report was that in order to attract millenials, as well as more discerning existing customers, manufacturers need to create more “inventive and premium offers”. Think mixing a traditional sauce with vodka or adding ingredients such as n’duja to make new, innovative products. Easier said than done you might think. But there is a way.
Steam Infusion technology can help you to develop products with a unique selling point and provide flexibility to your manufacturing process so you can produce short runs of each batch to diversify your product range, with reduced downtime. Using either a standalone Steam Infusion Vaction Pump or in conjunction with the APRIL Robotics cooking cell, the combination of the speed of processing with the unique advantage of the elimination of burn-on allows batches of pasta sauce to be cooked in less than 15 minutes, with only a simple clean-down before preparing the next run.
The quick cooking time also retains the colour and flavour profile of your ingredients so your products can stand out on the shelf, delighting customers with indulgent tastes in the home. With Steam Infusion, you can maintain particulate integrity, especially when you’re adding in premium ingredients such as Italian sausage. Steam Infusion helps to deliver that great mouthfeel that consumers love.
And what’s more, this trend towards premiumisation inevitably includes a price increase, which can help to boost your bottom line, as well as increasing demand.
Want to test out a new product? Our development chef can run trials with your recipes and offer advice on how to get the best results at our test centre at the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) in the UK. Get in touch today to find out more or arrange a trial.