cannedSales of hot canned meats are steaming, in the last 2 years alone, the market for this store cupboard staple has grown by as much as 12%, compared to cold canned meats which grew just 4%. Continued promotional activity has helped hot canned meat to grow its share of the canned meat market at the expense of cold meats by attracting new users. Indeed, today, hot meats account for as much as 56% of the canned meat market, with as many as one in five Brits now buying canned meatballs and minced beef.

While canned meats have received less new product development than baked beans and have continued to battle their perception as a lower-quality substitute to fresh meat ranges; canned pies have been the star performer, benefiting from demand for value-for-money food. The positive growth in the pie market as a whole is having a halo effect on the canned pie market, which has benefited from sales growth as consumers look for good value-for-money comfort food that can be eaten as a whole meal.

Meanwhile, baked beans have been the star performer in the canned meals market. Valued at £251 million in 2004, sales of baked beans have jumped a spectacular 45% in the last 5 years. Extensions of existing products and the introduction of healthier varients, such as low in sugar & salt and the development of the Snap Pot format has also helped maintain interest in the category. Today as many as 81% of all Brits buy baked beans.

Baked beans have continued to meet consumer demand for convenience as a time-saving meal solution. With consumers returning to other comfort foods like porridge, baked beans are ideally placed as a cheap, easy-to-prepare comfort food. They also offer consumers much-needed value for money, with product reformulations such as lower salt and sugar varieties ticking the healthy eating box.

But the recession has not favoured all canned foods.  Sales of canned pasta fell 9% in the past 5 years down from £114 million in 2004 to £105 million in 2009. The canned pasta market has seen slower value sales growth despite product reformulation, introducing healthier variants. With parents ever more conscious of the need to feed their children a nutritionally balanced diet, canned pasta meals face an increasingly challenging competitive arena, faced with competition from the expanding children’s ready meal category.

The canned pasta market has seen slower value sales growth despite product reformulation, introducing healthier variants. With parents ever more conscious of the need to feed their children a nutritionally balanced diet, canned pasta meals face an increasingly challenging competitive arena, faced with competition from the expanding children’s ready meal category.

Today almost 13 million consumers buy branded canned meals, yet 8 million feel there is no difference in taste between own label and branded product.

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