The global canned food market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5% over the next seven years, increasing from a value of approximately $77.2 billion at the beginning of 2013, to hit a market value of $99.7 billion by 2020.
Canning is a method of preserving food in which the food contents are processed and sealed in an airtight container. Canning provides a typical shelf life ranging from one to five years, although under specific circumstances a freeze-dried canned product, such as canned, dried lentils, can last as long as 30 years in an edible state.
Though tastes of consumers as regards food are highly varying, there is hardly any difference in the qualities that they value. Topping the list of consumer demands for foods and packaging are freshness, ingredients of superior quality, convenience and eco-friendliness. The humble can is able to provide all of these, though consumer perception regarding the same is very low.
Although the canned foods market has traditionally benefitted from economic downturns, it has failed to profit from the current crisis. This is because the majority of consumers are now accustomed to a certain degree of luxury in their lives, which they are proving reluctant to give up, in spite of strained finances. Although they cannot afford to dine out, many still want to treat themselves and are buying premium grocery products in the chilled and frozen food aisles instead.
Within the ambient sector, pouches and jars have gained popularity at the expense of tin cans, which are deemed to be of poorer quality. Moreover, tin is becoming increasingly expensive, due to rising global demand and depleting stockpiles. As a result, more and more manufacturers are focusing their innovation on alternative formats rather than new product development (NPD) in the canned foods industry. This has failed to add dynamism and revive the market.
The fastest growing category was canned fish, as a result of a rise in fish consumption, improvements in sustainably-sourced products and an influx of value-added products within the sector. Moreover, consumers are using canned fish to prepare packed lunches and make dinner in order to save money. The canned vegetables sector also rose in value; these products are used by consumers as ingredients in dishes or to accompany a main course, as consumers cook at home to economise.
In the last year, sales of canned goods grew in the UK by 4.6% - that's 1% higher than the total grocery market, which grew by just 3.6%.
A store-cupboard staple, 99.2% of the UK population (26.2 million 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.
Manufacturers have been keen to introduce healthy and nutritious solutions that keep consumers fuller for longer. An emphasis on a product's contribution to consumers' 'five-a-day' is being used to encourage sales of canned foods that otherwise may be overlooked by the health-conscious consumer.
For more information on the global canned food sector, see the latest research: Global Canned Food Sector
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