Australian consumption of canned tuna increased by 13% in 2002, according to the Canned Food Information Service (CFIS).

CFIS data show that mainstream supermarket sales of canned tuna increased from 120 million to 136 million cans in a 12-month period.

Total consumption went from six to seven cans a year for every man, woman and child in the country.

Over the last five years Australian consumption of canned tuna has risen in total by more than 60%.

Unilever (John West) and Heinz (Greenseas) each hold about 25% market share and private label and generics take up a further 28%. The balance is held by smaller imported brands.

Pouches of tuna were introduced into the Australian market in 2001. Pouch sales account for about 3% of total tuna tonnage and have not seriously encroached on can sales. Sales growth for all canned fish was an additional 17 million units in 2002.  At the same time pouch sales grew from three million units in 2001 to six million in 2002. Anecdotal evidence is that pouches are being confronted by significant consumer apathy.