Canned tomato sales increased by almost 2 million cans in mainstream Australian supermarkets last year, according to a recent report from the Canned Food Information Service (CFIS).

The market leader in the canned tomato sector was SPC Ardmona with a 42% share. Private labels, mostly imported, achieved 28% of the market, with the remaining 30% taken up by local and imported brands.

Total mainstream retail sales were 75 million cans. It is estimated that a further 15 million cans of imported tomatoes were sold through delis, green grocers and ethnic groceries.

This was good news for local growers and processors as the growth in sales was accompanied by a 9% reduction in imported 400g cans of tomatoes. Italy maintained its dominance of the import market (86%) with small sales from China, New Zealand, Turkey and the USA. Australian exports increased by 6,000 tonnes (mostly to New Zealand and Japan).