Canned food is outperforming other categories with UK sales up 4.6% in the last year, 1% higher than the total grocery market, according to figures from Kantar Worldpanel.
A store-cupboard staple, 99.2% of the UK population (26.2m households) buy into the canned goods market which is higher than the number of households that buy into the total frozen market, cheese, alcohol and fresh meat categories combined. In monetary figures, consumers spent £2.4bn on canned goods (£104.3m more than the previous year), with 3.2bn packs sold.
To help celebrate all things canned, the not-for-profit organisation Canned Food UK, which is made up of leading can and product manufacturers, is launching the first ever Canned Food Week, taking place 15-21 April 2013.
Canned Food Week is designed to showcase the benefits of canned food, showing consumers that it is a healthy, time-effective and cost-effective way to cook. The week, running Monday to Sunday, takes consumers through a series of recipes designed to make cooking simple and accessible to all, including quick and easy recipes for a ‘Not-So-Manic Monday’ or ‘Watch the Pennies Wednesday’.
Sue Shaw, spokesperson for Canned Food UK, said “Canned food continues to be a much-loved product in almost every household across the UK. Annual figures for the grocery market show that the canned food market is ever-growing and at a faster rate than food in alternative packaging methods.
“The industry is now very adept, with on-going developments in technology. Moreover, the continual introduction of new and innovative products provides consumers with excellent value and a wide variety of choice. Twenty years ago, the main canned foods bought were sweetcorn, tuna and tomatoes. Now, suppliers make an impact with high-value products that have not always been available, from coconut milk, stir-fry vegetables and pulses, through to limited edition flavours of store-cupboard favourites.
“Our greatest challenge as an organisation is changing consumers’ perceptions of canned food – alerting them to realise the scientific efficacy of the canning process and its resulting benefits upon nutrition and the natural preservation of food.”
Canned food is sealed and cooked in the can straight after harvesting, which locks in vitamins and minerals – sometimes retaining more than fresh alternatives. Canned tomatoes, for example, contain more of the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene than fresh. Further information about the canning process and nutritional benefits of canned food can be found at www.cannedfood.co.uk.
Shaw said: “The growth of the market over the last year shows that our efforts are having a positive effect and consumers are becoming savvier to the facts, which is great news for the industry as a whole.”
For more information about Canned Food Week, visit www.cannedfood.co.uk/