Suppliers report that credit-crunched customers are increasingly turning to tinned over fresh foods in search of a cannily good bargain
10 February 2009
At a glance: canned food
- Batchelors is Ireland’s leading brand in canned Baked Beans, Peas and Pulses with an impressive 64% market share of the Baked Beans sector (AC Nielsen Dec 08)
- In response to a growing trend of bulk-buying, Batchelors is offering promotions in-store on multi-packs
- Picnic is a key player in the canned fish market, offering an extensive range at an affordable price
- Lustre is the brand leader in Canned Fruit and a strong player in Canned Sweetcorn and Tomatoes
- Heinz is the world’s largest producer of canned goods
- Made with Multigrain pasta, Heinz Spaghetti is the definitive brand leader with Heinz Spaghetti and Heinz Spaghetti Hoops being the category’s strongest performers
Canned goods, like frozen foods, is a category which has experienced higher sales during the current economic climate. As consumers become increasingly keen to make their money stretch further, they are looking towards canned foods which have a longer shelf life, to cut back on food wastage and help with portion control. The Irish Independent recently reported that the average person throws out €1,300 worth of grocery goods each year because they’re past a sell-by date. The flexibility offered by cans will therefore become increasingly important to consumers, who are keen to cut back on both food wastage and the cost of their food bills. Canned vegetables and soups are perceived as offering value, nutrition, versatility and year-round availability.
As Mitchell Pinheiro, a Philadelphia-based analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, wrote recently. the recession will make 2009 "the year of condensed soup, driven by the backdrop of severe economic pressure on the consumer.” Campbell, for instance, found that the sales of its condensed soup in iconic red-and-white cans advanced 6% in the quarter ended 3 August. Ready-to-serve varieties increased 5% as Americans ate at home more, it said. Baxters are also optimistic about the future of canned goods. The company’s UK marketing director Kerr Arthur has said, "Cans are the mainstay format in the ambient soup market, accounting for 95% of market volume. We predict that the core category volume will come from cans for the foreseeable future.”
Similarly, while canned meats were previously viewed as an old-fashioned and generally inferior product, in recent times, industry sources believe they have seen a turnaround and are now regarded by consumers as a quality alternative to cheap pre-packed sliced meats. The ‘recyclability’ of cans, is another plus point moreover, making them attractive to eco-conscious consumers.
Healthy and convenient
Batchelors is Ireland’s leading brand in canned Baked Beans, Peas and Pulses with an impressive 64% market share of the Baked Beans sector (AC Nielsen Dec 08).
Batchelors continues to meet and exceed the needs of the market with a wide range of product sizes and varieties to suit all households. In response to a growing trend of bulk-buying, Batchelors offers attractive promotions in-store on multi-packs. Batchelors canned foods are a healthy and convenient meal-time solution. They are a good source of protein and fibre, low in fat, saturated fats, sugar and are gluten free.
Batchelors actively support the brand with the current strong TV advertising campaign – “Life Would Be Empty without Batchelors”, which is on air throughout Spring 2009. For further information and on-line category management support, visit www.batchelors.ie
Picnic and Lustre are two other well known brands which fall under the Batchelors umbrella. Picnic is a key player in the canned fish market, offering an extensive range of quality products at an affordable price. Lustre is the brand leader in Canned Fruit and a strong player in Canned Sweetcorn and Tomatoes.
Canz Meanz Heinz
H.J. Heinz boasts a vast range of canned foods from the iconic Heinz Baked Beans to Heinz Ready to Serve Soups, Heinz Spaghetti, Heinz Sponge Puddings, as well as the Weight Watchers from Heinz range and so many more. As one of the world’s largest producers of tinned foods, Heinz believes its brand is synonymous with quality and taste among consumers worldwide.
In Ireland perhaps the most famous of Heinz tinned products is Heinz Baked Beans which, having undergone a label redesign in the latter part of 2008, is available in three sizes plus a Reduced Sugar and Salt variety, each with easy-open ring pull.
Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup is unquestionably the most popular in the range of convenient Heinz Ready to Serve Soups. The Heinz Farmers Market range of soups, made with selected ingredients and inspired by farmers’ markets has contributed to the growth of Heinz’ share of the buoyant Irish Soup Market since launch. In a larger 515g can Heinz Farmers Market soups offer generous portions of traditional style recipes including Chicken & Country Vegetable and Lamb & Root Vegetable.
Heinz also offers the popular range of tinned Weight Watchers from Heinz Soups. This product comes in 295g and 400g tins with each variety clearly indicating its Weight Watchers Points Value. The Weight Watchers from Heinz tinned range also includes Baked Beans, Pasta Meals and Spaghetti.
Heinz is continuously expanding and updating its range of tinned spaghetti products in response to childrens’ ever-changing tastes. Made with Multigrain pasta, Heinz Spaghetti is the definitive brand leader with Heinz Spaghetti and Heinz Spaghetti Hoops being the category’s strongest performers. Heinz Alphabetti Spaghetti is also an important part of the Heinz range available in both a 205g and 400g size. Consistently popular licences within the Heinz pasta shapes range including Bob the Builder, Dora and Winnie the Pooh illustrate Heinz’s commitment to the category and its status as the undisputed brand leader in tinned pasta.
Recycling increasingly popular in Ireland
Producers have highlighted the ‘recyclability’ of cans as a factor making the humble tins more attractive to eco-conscious warriers. However, while we may have had green bins for a number of years now in Ireland, how truly important is recycling to the majority of the Irish population?
Recent news reports would suggest that the answer is “a lot.” Corkonians recycled two thirds of their household waste in 2008, according to recycling company Greenstar, which last month signed up its 10,000th customer in Cork.
Over 5,400 tonnes of recyclable waste were collected and recycled by the company in Cork last year, which is 415 trucks worth or enough to cover the pitch of Pairc Ui Chaoimh six times over.
This includes 973 tonnes of glass collected though the city’s only kerbside glass collection service, and, with the energy saved from recycling one glass bottle able to run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours, the benefits for the environment are significant, said the company.
"Corkonians are known for their passion in supporting the red and we are delighted to see that same passion in supporting our green household recycling services," said Mary Moss, Greenstar Munster Commercial Manager.
Meanwhile, a survey conducted by Rehab Recycle for Repak Recycling Week last October revealed that over the period January to August 2008, over four million bottles and jars were deposited in County Louth’s bring banks, equivalent to 41 individual items for every man, woman and child in the county.
Louth’s best-performing glass bank site was Blackrock, which also set a new record, taking in over 100 tonnes of glass last year – representing 325,000 bottles and jars.
Meanwhile at Dundalk Civic Amenity and Recycling Centre, managing director Willie Martin, reported over the busy Christmas period: ‘The centre has been very busy over the Christmas holidays, which we’re delighted to see. We are taking all manner of waste, including gift wrapping,”
These snapshots of recycling activity from across the country, would suggest that in the Emerald Isle, green truly is big news.
Up to one-third of food binned
Up to a third of all food is thrown in the bin without being eaten, according to a new survey.
However, with shoppers increasingly feeling the pinch as the credit crunch bites, canned foods with a longer shelf-life can help consumers cut down on food waste, and producers have responded by offering bulk-buying promotions.
A UK study shows that almost 20% of all household waste is made up of food and, if applied to Ireland, it means that 337,000 tonnes of food waste is generated each year.
Half of this food could have been eaten, said Andrew Hetherington, chief executive of recycling organisation Repak, who pointed out that most of this ended up in landfill where it produced methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.
As well as having the advantage of a longer shelf-life, canned goods are also being promoted in consumer titles as providing a cheap yet nutritious option during a recession. Tinned oily fish like sardines and salmon have been promoted as being cheaper than fresh fish, yet still offering Omega 3 fats and being easy to prepare, while canned tomatoes, beans and dried pulses are cheap but count towards consumers’ five-a-day also.