Food pastes are products obtained by drying a non-fermented dough, made from semolina, semolina or durum wheat flour, semi-hard or soft, or in their mixtures, in combination with potable water. They can be divided into two groups: Nutritional, top quality, composite or special (enriched), stuffed and dietetic. Fresh: are the pastes that have not undergone any drying process and whose consumption is immediate.


The pasta market in our country has continued to grow during 2014, although there are signs of a certain slowdown. In the last year total sales, including exports, were around 331,000 tonnes and 367 million euros. Sales in free-trade, on the other hand, fell by 0.9%, reaching 187,417 tonnes, while in value, the decrease was 0.2%, reaching 331 million euros. Regular grade pasta accounts for 58% of all sales in volume and 45.5% in value. Then, the tablespoons, with quotas of 20% and 17,9%, the pasta of salad and colors (12,4% in volume and 15% in value), the egg paste (4,4% And 7.2%), rolled (1.4% and 5.7%), filled pasta (1.3% and 3.4%), whole pasta / fiber (1.3% and 1.9% %) And special pasta (1.2% and 4%). Within normal pasta, macaroni are the most demanded presentation, with 44.5% of the total segment in volume and 41.3% in value, followed by spaghetti (33% and 31.2%), . Fresh pasta increased its sales in free service during 2014 by 1.5% in volume and by 5.1% in value, reaching up to about 8,740 tonnes, worth 62 million euros. This has broken a trend of falls during the last two years. It should be recalled that in 2011 the fresh pasta market was of a much more important 9,870 tonnes, while its value exceeded 63 million euros. The filled pasta is the main offer in fresh pasta, with 72.3% of the total in volume and 83.3% in value. A lot of distance appears smooth pasta, with quotas of 18.5% and 12.3% and gnocchi (9.2% and 4.4%). Within the filled pastes, there are four presentations of relatively similar importance. They are those of cheese, meat, special and those of cottage cheese and spinach. In the case of plain pasta, spaghetti and noodles appear as the most consolidated offers, while plain gnocchi accounts for 91% of all sales in that segment. Distribution brands control 53.6% of all volume sales of fresh pasta and 39.2% in value. The first offer with a manufacturer’s mark reaches 19.4% of the total in volume and 30.2% in value, while the second one reaches 13.3% and 17.9%, the third is in the 9.7% in volume and 9.2% in value and the fourth round 1,5% in volume and 1,6% in value.


The concentration levels of the pasta market are very high, since the four most important groups have a combined quota of 89% of the total marketed. Regarding dry pasta alone, distribution brands accounted for 67.4% of all sales in volume and 52.8% in value. The first Marquista offer has a share of 26.1% in volume and 33.1% in value, while the second comes only to 2.2% and 3.6% and the third round 0.7% and 3.2%. The first group in the sector recorded a production of 130,170 tonnes and sales of 175 million euros. The second operator reaches 71,000 tonnes and 51 million euros, the third one stands at 50,000 tonnes and 44 million euros and the fourth reaches 45,000 tonnes, with a turnover of 33 million euros. During the past year there has been a significant increase in the prices of raw material essential for the production of pasta, durum wheat. Canada’s poor harvest and increased demand have made the average price of durum wheat rise by 63%, which has reduced the profit margins of companies in the sector.


Our country’s foreign trade of pasta is in the last few years balanced, since exports and imports tend to be similar. In fact, the latest available figures show a certain predominance of exports, with about 600 million euros of sales abroad, compared to imports of around 580 million euros. Until very few years ago, the situation was very different, with imports clearly superior to exports. Imports are mainly concentrated in the presentations with higher added value, such as filled pastries, fresh and organic and their behavior is directly related to the fate of this type of offers in the Spanish market. Italy appears as the main supplier of these pastes, with about 60% of total imports. Importantly, these imports have other countries, such as Turkey, Argentina or Algeria. The traditional dried pasta forms, in turn, the main Spanish export heading. These exports are very diversified, as the five main destination markets (France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom) barely account for 20% of the total volume exported. Some countries in the Mediterranean area, Eastern Europe and the Black Sea coast also appear as emerging markets for this foreign trade.

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Montse Gonzalez