Tinned food struggles drive demand for alternative types of packaging

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 20th October 2014
Tinned food struggles drive demand for alternative types of packaging
Tinned food struggles drive demand for alternative types of packaging

One in five consumers consider tinned food difficult to open, but with UK consumers spending over £8 billion on the most convenient food products, manufacturers will increasingly adopt easier to open packs such as pouches for vegetables, soups, meat, and fish, according to market research organisation Canadean.

Young adults are most likely to look for an easier to open pack

Of UK consumers, 22 per cent said they found tinned food difficult to open, according to findings from a recent Canadean survey.

However, young adults were the most frustrated when it comes to opening their tinned tuna or beans: 28 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds found tinned food difficult to open, compared to 16 per cent of over 55s.

“Consumers want instant convenience, particularly young adults looking for a quick lunch or dinner solution,” said Ronan Stafford, senior analyst at Canadean. “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,” he said.

Packaging needs to reflect the growing demand for convenience in food markets

In addition to studying consumer perceptions of different packaging, Canadean tracked the influence of different motivators when consumers select what to eat.

Across food markets UK consumers selected over £8 billion worth of food in 2013 because it was the most convenient product.

“Consumers feel increasingly time-scarce and stressed, which makes 30 seconds saved in the kitchen a big deal,” Mr Stafford said. “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,” he said.

Demand for pouches for ambient fish will almost double between 2013 and 2018

Ambient fish is one category where demand for easy-to-open packaging will drive a shift away from food cans and towards packs such as pouches, according to Canadean. Demand for pouches in this market will grow 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, their rapid growth shows how offering a more convenient pack format can revitalise sales among younger consumer groups,” Mr Stafford said. “Brands such as Heinz and John West have led the way in developing new pack formats for tinned food, others will quickly follow,” he said.