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Tomato products: Navigating global markets, consumer insights and product dynamics

03/07/2024 - François-Xavier Branthôme - 2024 WPTC congress
Executive summary of the presentation made by Anastasija Nadezdina (Euromonitor International) during the World Processing Tomato Congress in Budapest during the  “What does the future look like?”session.

 Anastasija Nadezdina is a research analyst specializing in marketing and market analytics, having graduated from Higher School of Economics. With over 1.5 years of experience, she has been an integral part of the Food and Nutrition team at Euromonitor International, specializing in research for Nordic and Eastern European markets. Prior to her current role, Anastasija honed her marketing skills while working with startups in Estonia along with studies at Estonian Business School during her exchange year.

Euromonitor International is a market research company that operates and has offices in 16 countries; it focuses on conducting in-depth analysis on consumer goods and service industries in 100 countries and operates demographic, macro- and socio-economic data on consumers and economies in 210 countries and territories.

The processed tomato market is estimated at USD 51.8 billion in 2023, out of which the biggest part are frozen and chilled pizza, estimated at 20.3 USD billion; pasta sauces come second with a market value of USD 11.7 billion, ahead of tomato paste and purees (USD 8.2 billion), ketchup (USD 7.4 billion) and shelf-stable tomatoes (canned tomatoes, USD 4.2 billion).


Regarding the markets in volume terms, overall all categories except shelf-stable tomatoes progressed over the period 2019 to 2023; as shown by the graph below, shelf-stable tomatoes experienced a slight decline (CAGR: -0.3%) starting from 2021, that can be explained by the fact that during the pandemic consumers were buying it more and the demand declined slightly after that period; also wellness trend is gaining popularity nowadays and consumers are getting more interested into solutions and buying more fresh tomatoes sauces.
Meanwhile, pasta sauces showed the fastest growth over the period with an annual rate (CAGR) of 3.6%; the performance of ketchups is slightly lower, with an annual increase of 2.1%, ahead of that of tomato pastes and purees (CAGR: 1.5%) and refrigerated and frozen pizzas (CAGR: 1.4%).


Regarding global price evolution, basically all five categories grew in price over the five-year period, especially in 2022 and 2023. That makes sense because if we have a look at some countries’ prices, we can see the same trends and there is one consistent thing – that the price of pizza originally is higher than that of other tomato products but also has the highest growth in 2022 and 2023. 

It makes sense as pizza consists of various ingredients that also grow in price consistently. Here is basically the recipe with flat bread as a basis; first in order is tomato paste and puree, which is a small ingredient compared to others. Price of all ingredients grew consistently; and another factor increasing the price especially in 2022 and 2023, if we look at the ratio between fresh pizza and frozen pizza sales, 81% is allocated to frozen pizza. So with electricity price going up, transportation price going up, the product itself is also going up, especially in the last 2-3 years. 

How does the industry respond to this and what are consumers looking for?

Looking at this graph we can see that 33 to 34% of shelf-stable tomatoes products are actually private label; the highest growth was allocated to tomato paste and purees for the last 5 years, and overall we can see that for all categories the share of private labels is quite high and this is growing consistently (26.1% of pizza products were private labels with positive CAGR (6.9%) over the last 5 years).


Key trends
We asked the industry professionals what, according to them, was going to influence food sales across the next five years, in packaged food. Obviously, it is inflation costs, and cost of living crisis, but also health and wellness, sustainability, shift in eating patterns and sugar reduction.
Here are defined the key industry trends, which are “Better for me” claims, “clean labels”, “plant-based” and “sustainability”; according to Euromonitor’s survey, 37.5% of consumers stated that they are trying to limit their intake of refined sugar while 33.8% are trying to limit their intake of salt. 

Clean labels: according to our survey, 52% of consumers are trying to eat less processed food, 33% are searching for products that are free from preservatives and 29.7% are looking for the products that are all natural. Reasons why they do that are because they believe it’s better for them, because it makes them feel healthier and because, once again, they read or heard that it’s better.


Quite similar situation is happening with the plant-based products and more precisely with vegan and vegetarian, as nowadays research claims consumers are searching, not only the ones who actually stick to the vegan or vegetarian diets, but also those who are aware of health and wellness trends, and try to avoid consuming meat and dairy ingredients in their diet.

Here is the share of products with plant-based-related claims in tomato products and we can see that plant-based share is very small, while vegan and vegetarian claims still remain on a quite high level and it can be seen that new launches are meeting the demand.


Sustainability: according to Euromonitor’s survey, over 60% of consumers are worried about climate change and they try to have a positive impact on the environment. Almost 43% are trying to use sustainable packaging while 28.5% are trying to buy sustainably produced or sourced items. Packaged food industry is becoming aware of that, of these concerns and in future product launches and they are planning to integrate environment-friendly claims, sustainable packaging, sustainable sourcing, etc. Right now, we can see that only two claims are dominating on the market of processed tomato products: it is “can be recycled” and “organic”.

What is next?
Good news that the industry is expected to continue growing both in volume and value: we estimate at 2.2% global market volume CAGR forecast for processed tomato products and 6.9% global market value CAGR forecast for processed tomato products, over the 2023-2028 period.


Key takeaways
The processed tomato market has been growing over the last five years and is set to continue growing over forecasted period. In response to increased cost of living, private labeling is taking over shares and it is something that consumers are interested in, because private label is not seen as something reliable but just products with a good quality for a lower price.
Health and wellness trends: consumers again are getting more conscious about their health and what they eat and they try to follow healthy diets, which leads to increase the demand for products that are healthier, natural, with less sugar or salt or plant-based.

Sustainability is still an area for the growth but more and more consumers care about their environment, and claims is a highly potential area for development as it is something that actually consumers are paying attention to and looking for.”


Source: Euromonitor, World Processing Tomato Congress (2024, Budapest)
Anastasija Nadezdina Executive Summary WPTC
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