The UK canned foods market recorded growth of 2% in value terms through 2012, to reach a market value of £2.8 billion.
Canned goods are considered to be household essentials by the majority of homes in the UK, as they are perceived as products that offer good value for money.
As a consequence of the rising costs of production, and therefore rising prices, the sector has not recorded the kind of value growth that might have been expected in this period of economic stagnation.
Although the UK 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.
The fastest growing category was represented by 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.
Heinz Co Ltd HJ will be the largest company in the United Kingdom canned food market with a 27% value share. Heinz has managed to remain innovative and relevant to UK consumers by updating its packaging formats, advertising and design.
It has also been proactive in launching new healthier products such as the reduced salt and sugar line of its iconic baked beans brand. Having said this, Heinz recorded almost no growth in value share between 2011 and 2012, bringing to an end a long run of extending the company's dominance.
Current trends indicate that the UK canned foods market may struggle over the next five years. The industry's growth rate will continue to slow, with the sector forecast to maintain its current value.
For more information on the UK canned foods market, see the latest research: UK Canned Foods Market
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