Food processors urged to look beyond the humble tin

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  • Plant & Equipment

One in five British consumers say they find tinned food difficult to open and prefer their salmon, beans, soups and fruit packaged in easy-to-open pouches, cartons or jars, according to a new study.

Food processors urged to look beyond the humble tin
Before and after: Heinz Beanz in a tin and a screwtop jar.

While you might think that modern tins are easily and quickly opened, this month’s Canadean study of 2000 consumers has found that many young adult Brits are frustrated by the humble can: 28 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds say they find tinned food difficult to open, compared to 16 percent of over-55s.

With British consumers spending over £8 billion (about A$14.7 billion) on the most convenient food products, the company says manufacturers should be actively exploring alternative packaging.

"Consumers want instant convenience, particularly young adults looking for a quick lunch or dinner solution," says Canadean senior analyst Ronan Stafford. "While there’s a minimal amount of time saved between opening a food can and opening a bag or a pouch, young consumers simply don’t want the hassle of finding a tin opener or struggling with a ring pull.

"Consumers feel increasingly time-scarce and stressed, which makes 30 seconds saved in the kitchen a big deal," he says. "While food cans will remain a staple of supermarket shelves because of their low cost, I expect to see pouches and cartons grow in popularity as an easy-to-open alternative for office workers and young families."

Stafford says the demand for easy-to-open packaging for ‘ambient fish’ is set to soar, growing from 8.7 million packs in 2013 to 15.1 million packs by 2018.

"While pouches’ market share will still be niche compared to the share held by food cans," Stafford says, "their rapid growth shows how offering a more convenient pack format can revitalise sales among younger consumer groups. Brands such as Heinz and John West have led the way in developing new pack formats for tinned food (and) others will quickly follow."


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