Asda is sponsoring the Best Product of the Year category at this year’s World Food Awards.
The event, which celebrates the best ethnic food products and brands, will take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel on 1 October 2011.
The Awards, now in their third year, have been created by the World Foods Association and recognise the growth within the sector and diversity of cultures.
According to Keynote research released in January 2011, the UK market for ethnic foods and rice was worth around £1.64bn in 2009, a 10.4% increase on 2008. Figures for 2009 figures show the UK is leading the EU ethnic cuisine pack in terms of market value, with France and Germany the second and third most significant markets.
CJ Antal Smith, category director emerging markets at Asda, said: “As one of the leading high street supermarkets we have seen the incredible growth within the world foods sector. Ten years ago we had only one aisle filled with South Asian and Chinese food. Now, the range is so varied and expansive not only do the products demand greater shelf space, but the consumers are demanding it too. Some of our stores have an ethnic customer profile of 70% plus. The space we give to those ranges reflects this.”
Within the market, Indian and Chinese cuisines still dominate accounting for a combined 70% of retail sales in 2008. This compares to 77% of sales in 2003 as newer styles of world food soak up market share, particularly Mexican, which has grown by 20% between 2006 and 2008.
Smith said: “Our customers are the best judges of quality and varying tastes and as such sponsoring the Product of the Year reflects the role and responsibility that Asda has, to ensure they get the very best that is on offer.”