Mamma Mia

Over 94% of households buy Italian food, making it one of the country’s best-loved cuisines
Over 94% of households buy Italian food, making it one of the country’s best-loved cuisines

Pasta grew continuously between 2000 and 2007 at an average annual rate of 3%, driven by a demand in Ireland for convenient and healthier foods


Brand Central

13 October 2008

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  At a glance: pasta and sauces

  Pasta grew continuously between 2000 and 2007 at an average annual rate of 3%
  Pasta sauces grew at approx 4.4% per annum over the period between 2000 and 2007
  Dolmio from Mars is Ireland’s leading pasta sauce brand and continues to grow at 8%
  Buitoni is leader in fresh pasta and fresh sauces with 48.9% and 57.4% shares of the respective markets
  Loyd Grossman is the number one premium brand in the Italian sauces market in Ireland, holding 8.6% market share
  Over 94% of households buy Italian food, making it one of the country’s best-loved cuisines
  Napolina is the leading and fastest growing premium mainstream Italian food brand

Pasta sauces grew at approx 4.4% per annum over the period between 2000 and 2007, driven by NPD focused on giving consumers more choice and variety in flavours and taste experiences, and also convenient and novel formats.

As has been the case in many food categories, pasta and pasta sauce brands have responded to increased demand for premium, organic and more authentic products, which is a reflection of rising interest in health, as well as in food and cooking. Going forward, these factors will continue to influence consumer choices, although the category can also expect to see a shift in buying patterns across some demographics, as consumers seek formats that offer more value for money during a tougher economic climate.

Some fresh ideas

Buitoni is the self-proclaimed expert in authentic Italian fresh pasta and sauces in Ireland. According to the company, the fresh pasta and fresh sauces categories are growing as consumers continue to search for convenience, nutrition and quality, and are prepared to pay more for the fresh product offering.
Leading with 48.9% of the fresh pasta market and 57.4% of the fresh sauces market (MAT June 08), Buitoni is determined to accelerate its growth, while continuing to drive the category through more support on the point of purchase in 2008 and 2009, with a key focus on trial and education.

The Buitoni premium quality fresh pasta and sauces range is the ideal solution for the modern lifestyle as it takes only 4-5 minutes to prepare. Made with only the finest and freshest ingredients, Buitoni pastas and sauces have a rich appearance, texture and taste. There is a wide variety of fresh pastas in the Buitoni range, with, for example Cappelletti Prosciutto Crudo, Ravioli 4 Formaggi and Tortelloni Ricotta e Spinaci. Buitoni also offers five fresh sauces such as the very popular Pesto Genovese. Buitoni products are available in four formats: family, kids, for one, or for two to three persons.

Market leader continues its success

Dolmio from Mars is Ireland’s leading pasta sauce brand and continues to grow at 8% (AC Nielsen Total Scantrack MAT 10 August 2008). Dolmio owes its success to the strength of its extensive portfolio, which provides consumers with a wide range of nutritious, tasty and easy-to-prepare pasta sauces.
Bolognese sauces are at the core of the Dolmio brand. The entire Dolmio Bolognese range was re-launched in late 2007 and now contains only good, kitchen cupboard ingredients with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
The premium segment of the Italian Sauce market has grown significantly over the last number of years and Dolmio has responded to consumer needs and changing trends by introducing a new range of premium, ready-made pasta sauces, Taste of Italy. The Taste of Italy range consists of five pasta sauces that capture the authentic flavours of five Italian regions; Calabria, Tuscany, Sorrento, Rome and Sicily.
Offering a complete meal solution in a matter of minutes, Dolmio Express is perfect for those occasions when consumers want a quick and easy to prepare meal, without compromising on taste or nutrition. The Dolmio Express range consists of a wide choice of pasta sauces and pasta.
The Dolmio range also includes an innovative range of microwaveable pasta and pasta sauces for kids. The ‘My Dolmio’ range offers a complete meal solution for parents who struggle to find convenient, healthy food that children will also enjoy. My Dolmio is supported by a high profile television campaign, featuring the well known Dolmio puppet characters.

An Italian stallion

Using the best ingredients and the most authentic recipes, Loyd Grossman pasta sauces offer Irish consumers convenience without comprising on quality. The sauces are so versatile that they can be used with a whole host of different recipes, to create easy meals that bring out the fullest flavour in food.

The gourmet Italian range boasts 11 flavours of sauces, of which Tomato & Chilli, Tomato & Basil and Bolognese are the most popular. Their distinctive tastes and unrivalled depth of flavour guarantees an authentic meal every time. The brand has a 8.6% share of the Italian sauces market in Ireland (AC Nielsen, August 2008), securing its position as the number one premium brand in the Italian sauces market. Loyd Grossman will be supported by Premier Foods Ireland throughout 2009 with television advertising, in-store demonstrations and promotions, and PR activity.

Viva Italia

Over 94% of households buy Italian food, making it one of the country’s best-loved cuisines. The Napolina brand was established over 40 years ago, when Neapolitan businessman Marino Iandiorio bought his first tomato vines. He was so passionate about the quality of his produce that he formed the Napolina brand, which literally translated means ‘Little Naples’.
The Napolina range now features over 125 products across all key Italian food categories, including tomatoes, pasta, olive oils, sauces, pizzeria, beans, bean salads and grated cheese. The range available in the Irish market covers a premium range of pasta in four varieties; Spaghetti, Fusilli, Penne and Conchigle, all in 12x500g packs.
The Napolina tomato products range includes Chopped Tomatoes, Chopped Tomatoes and Herb, and Peeled Tomatoes, all in 12x400g sizes along, with Tomato Paste and Tubes in 12x142g. The Napolina Bean Salad range consists of Butter Beans, Canellini Beans, Classic Bean Salads, Red Kidney Beans, Five Bean Salad, and Spicy Bean Salad, all in 6x800g pack sizes.

The extent of the range, combined with a passion for simple, good quality ingredients, has helped it become the leading and fastest growing premium mainstream Italian food brand. Napolina is a registered trademark of Napolina Limited. Excellence Ltd is the distributor on behalf of Napolina Limited.

Organic sauces with a conscience

Seeds of Change from Mars Ireland is a range of 100% organic pasta sauces. Launched in 2006, Seeds of Change is now listed in all major grocery outlets and is fast gaining a strong share hold and loyal customer base in the premium Italian cooking sauce sector.
In our health-conscious society, consumers are increasingly looking for premium and nutritious, yet easy-to-prepare sauces without compromising on taste. The Seeds of Change range consists of four tasty variants, available in 350g jars (RRP €2.79); Basil, Parmesan & Cherry Tomato, Tomato & Roasted Pepper, Roast Garlic & Tomato, and Mediterranean Vegetable.

All Seeds of Change sauces are certified organic and display the Soil Accreditation stamp on-pack. To demonstrate its commitment to biodiversity, Seeds of Change will also donate 1% of sales to the research and promotion of sustainable farming practices.

Leaders in dried pasta

Established in 1958, Roma is one of Ireland’s leading food brands. With over 80 different products, the Roma portfolio includes tomatoes, olive oils, pasta sauces, and antipastos. The brand has enjoyed particular success in the dried pasta category where it holds a 48% market share. Roma continually provides consumers with authentic Italian pasta at affordable prices. Roma has also provided for the consumer who likes natural products, with its range of Roma Organics.
Roma’s pasta sauce range has also enjoyed great success since its launch in 2006 and appeals directly to consumers who want a complete pasta meal solution, but don’t have the time. The sauces are made with the finest Italian tomatoes, herbs and vegetables in order to deliver the true taste of Italy direct to Irish consumers.

Category management consultant, Jenny Maybury, from Category Solutions, advises the best treatment of the biscuit category:

“One of the biggest challenges in biscuits is the sheer number of products in the category. Whilst no different to many other categories a few crucial steps will ensure maximum category output.
  1. Clear segmentation on shelf remains key to ease of shopability, at times the category can appear cluttered and confusing due to the number of products and indeed the many different variations or sizes of a product
  2. Understanding what sells in your store will determine the product range you should carry for example, do you need to carry many different sized multipacks? Are your consumers family-focused/top-up shoppers or impulse purchasing?
  3. Strong, fresh appearance on the fixture will send a welcoming message to potential consumers. Make sure it looks well stocked but not to a point where packs look squashed and under pressure. Test this by ensuring you can fit your hand in above the top pack
  4. Of course the 80/20 rule applies. Consumers love their favourites and if they are not available they will leave dissatisfied. Include the key category sellers and position them on shelf where they can be seen. Do ensure however that unique or niche products are available, this will ensure interest and satisfy the more ambitious consumers
  5. If possible create linkage occasions, a coffee break, a treat, lunch time. Think about the categories you position beside or opposite biscuits; “Day Parts” are increasingly significant in consumers shopping patterns
  6. Seasonality and special occasions are crucial to the category and dual citing is proven to drive incremental sales – make sure positioning of point of sale is relevant, visible and highly impulsive
For further information visit
or email Jenny at


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