Global pasta sales are on the rise.

UZWIL, SWITZERLAND — Health and sustainability issues are driving pasta sales along with growth in key countries, according to data shared by The Nielsen Co. at a board meeting for the International Pasta Organization held May 29-30 in Uzwil, Switzerland.

“We are seeing a positive trend in global pasta sales at plus 2.3% as consumers look for clean and green products on the supermarket shelf like organic pasta, which is now seeing double-digit growth in some countries,” said Stefano Galli, global business partner for Nielsen.

Nielsen data show that globally 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for brands committed to sustainability. Mr. Galli said future pasta sales growth could come from the emerging countries of Cameroon, the Philippines, South Africa, Guatemala and Romania.

DeBoles gluten-free pasta
Sales of niche products such as gluten-free pasta are strong.

“Overall, consumers show positive attitudes about pasta, recognizing it as one of the main healthy foods,” he said. “This is reinforced by a resurgence of growth in some mature markets as well as positive momentum in emerging markets.”

Sales of niche products such as gluten-free pasta are strong although only a small segment of the population must avoid gluten because of a gluten-related disorder.

The Nielsen data show the pasta industry has remained strong despite the rise of certain diets.

“Fortunately, people are starting to realize the truth about pasta,” said Paolo Barilla, president of the Rome-based International Pasta Organization. “It’s really good for you and for the planet, especially when you eat it in the right way. Made of two simple ingredients, durum wheat semolina and water, pasta is a complex carbohydrate that, when combined with vegetables and legumes and other healthy pairings, is delicious and one of the healthiest of mealtime choices.”