An established favourite in many German households, dry pasta is frequently eaten by consumers of all age groups. According to Mintel data, more than two-thirds of German adults eat dry pasta at least once a week. Despite this, however, pasta manufacturers navigate in a very mature and competitive market that requires serious effort to keep consumers interested. That’s one of the reasons why German pasta manufacturers are launching a growing number of dry pasta products aligned with current market and consumer trends, such as healthier, free-from and fortified products. More recently, pasta makers have also started exploring opportunities in flavoured pasta concepts, reflecting the increasingly experimental nature of consumers, and in particular of younger, more adventurous cohorts. A good example of pasta suppliers seeking to harness the power of flavour innovation is the ‘Pasta Inspiration’ flavoured dry pasta range by Birkel, Germany’s number one dry egg pasta brand. Launched in November 2015, the range stepped into new creative territory by injecting pasta dough with novel flavours, such as ‘tomato and basil’, ‘lemon and chive’ and ‘chanterelle and parsley’. Other examples have featured the use of herbs and spices, including saffron, curcuma and even black truffles. But since the inclusion of spices and herbs in dry pasta remains largely limited in Germany, an innovation push in this area could help brands to differentiate themselves from the competition, as well as give products a premium, sophisticated edge. Chili flavours spicing up dry pasta Consumers’ desire to try more adventurous foods is also fuelling interest in more intense, spicier flavours. Almost one-quarter of German consumers report seeking out food and drink with spicy or hot flavours, highlighting opportunities for dry pasta manufacturers to appeal to this significant portion of consumers with spicier formulations. With chili flavoured products already hitting the German dry pasta market, there is ample opportunity to explore other heat-bringing spices and spice blends. Dry pasta brands should focus on promoting flavoured pasta as a flavour carrier in its own right, providing consumers with creative ideas and recipe suggestions in order to let the pasta flavour take centre stage in the composition of the meal. Katya Witham is Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel with a dedicated field of focus on Germany. Katya draws on her comprehensive knowledge of the market to identify and explore the major trends across various FMCG categories, providing the insights needed to successfully navigate the German market. You might also be interested in: Are families the new trendsetters in the German sauce market?