Since October 25, 1995, when the international community officially celebrated the inaugural World Pasta Day, pasta has consistently maintained its ranking as one of the world’s most versatile food staples. Based on data supplied by Nielsen. Co, a global marketing research firm, pasta is regarded as one of the most consumed food products in the world and the industry continues to record outstanding sales growth year on year.
According to the International Pasta Organisation (IPO), the positive consumer sentiment towards the consumption of pasta is strengthened by the increasing market demand for healthy meals, of which the food variety is one because it is plant-based, energy-dense, easy to store and distribute.
As such, pasta consumption has been on the upward trajectory across markets such as Asia at 8.6%, and Africa at 2.6%. The dynamic growth trend in these two markets foreshadows the future of food consumption among citizens of densely populated countries comprising India, Nigeria, and Saharan Africa.
This penchant for consuming pasta serves up a template by which agro-processing firms should approach their markets in support of their host governments and the efforts of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to improve food security.
The positive consumption trend aligns with what Paolo Barrilla, the President of the International Pasta Organisation (IPO) said regarding the popularity of pasta based recipes among global consumers: “Pasta is increasingly appreciated and valued around the world as the centre of a delicious meal with lots of nutritional benefits. It is also accessible, respectful of the planet, and brings people together joyfully.”
In Nigeria, pasta is rated as one of the choice food staples. Spaghetti and macaroni, two popular variants of pasta occupy retail shelves across the local markets, and supermarkets. On a visit to popular local marketplaces, from the thickly and highly trafficked consumer marketplace such as Oke-Arin, situated on Lagos Island, to the fresh produce market of Mile 12, alongside notable retail stores such as Shoprite, Spar, Ebeano, Justrite, and Supersaver; the Nigerian consumers would be seen adding one form of pasta food variety or the other to their shopping baskets or carts.
Pasta is a rich source of carbohydrates and contains other valuable nutrients like micro-vitamins and fibre. The nutritional value and affordability of Pasta has helped the category to see a surge in its consumption in Nigeria.
A manager at Spar, one of the popular hypermarket stores in Nigeria, was quoted in one of the national dailies recently saying, “People are purchasing more and more of spaghetti now. The demand for spaghetti and macaroni is increasing. For us, demand has approximately increased in excess of 10 per cent over the same period last year.”
Pasta is produced from wheat and its economic contributions as part of the wheat family is invaluable. Yearly, the wheat value chain has been reported to add around 13 million jobs to the Nigerian economy. The expansive milling industry; the growing demand for wheat-based foods such as pasta; and the vast retail and transportation networks set up to source and deliver the products to the consumers’ tables lay credence to that claim.
Essentially, the gastronomic and economic contributions of pasta to the wellness of the citizens, the livelihood of the national labour force, in addition to the Federal Government’s drive to feed a national population cannot be underestimated. It should rather be applauded.
One of the leading manufacturers of pasta products in Nigeria is Crown Flour Mill Limited.
A part of the Olam Grains business in Nigeria; Crown Flour Mill Limited acquired Dangote Flour Mill and Bua Flour Mill between 2016 and 2019. The expansive scale of production, innovative technology, and skill-set at the disposal of the coalesced firm is a formidable asset that is allowing the production of nourishing food at prices that consumers across all the socio-economic cadres can afford. Precisely, this has proven key to nourishing the stomachs of the sprawling Nigerian populations most of who earn less than $1 a day.
As the Federal Government continues to reinforce strategies to boost food security, the capacity of Crown Flour Mill Limited to make vital foods such as Pasta available at the right quality and at the most affordable price for consumers will continue to ensure food security.
Ashish Pande, Managing Director, Crown Flour Mill Limited, said, “Our wide range of quality pasta brands are household brands. They are very popular with Nigerian consumers. The consumer preferences on pasta vary across the different regions of Nigeria. These preferences include variations in shape, thickness and texture. Crown Flour Mills provides a variety of pasta products to cater to each consumer’s preference. Our technological and supply chain capabilities ensure that we provide high quality pasta at an affordable price.”
The company produces brands such as Crown Premium Pasta, Crown Pasta, Bua Pasta and Dangote pasta.
As the international community celebrates World Pasta Day today, October 25, 2020; the Nigerian consumers can rest assured that Crown Flour Mill will continue to make high quality, non-sticky and great tasting pasta available at affordable pricing.