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Recession “Cocooning” Trend Good For Durum?

The cloud of the recession may hold a silver lining for durum growers, according to a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It says all eight production lines at the New World Pasta factory in St. Louis are running full tilt, churning out 1,500 pounds of pasta an hour, 24 hours a day.

“We’ve been going six days a week since January,” said Christopher Getsfred, the plant manager and pasta veteran of more than a quarter-century. “Usually it dies down after January, but this year that hasn’t happened.”

Jack Kelly, head of Kansas City-based American Italian Pasta Co., the largest U. S. maker of dry pasta, said, “A lot of them are cocooning at home, and pasta is one of those great comfort foods. It’s possibly the least expensive centre-of-the-plate item you can have.”

The story says sales at American Italian are up five per cent over the past year, and up 7.5 per cent since January.

The Nielsen Co., which tracks the food industry says sales in the last year of dry pasta have risen three per cent despite a 20 per cent rise in durum prices.

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