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May 16, 2006

UK: Mintel points to resurgence in canned sector

Research from market analysts Mintel suggests that traditional canned food sectors in the UK are showing growth, in spite of the consumer interest now being shown in convenient food concepts such as ready meals.

Research from market analysts Mintel suggests that traditional canned food sectors in the UK are showing growth, in spite of the consumer interest now being shown in convenient food concepts such as ready meals.
 
The baked beans market rose by 13% between 2001 and 2005 to GBP265m (US$498.7m), Mintel said, and is expected to increase by a further 5% in 2006 alone.
 
Mintel said a key factor behind the growth was the fact that baked bean manufacturers have been able to raise prices. This has not always been possible in a category that has seen price wars in the past. Mintel forecasts that the baked bean market will grow by 30% in value over the next five years, reaching GBP360m in 2011.
 
“Baked beans have seen phenomenal growth for such an old British staple,” said David Bird, senior market analyst at Mintel. “With health issues now high on the agenda in the UK, baked beans have been successfully repositioned as a convenient yet nutritious food, and there is little doubt that they are benefiting from the healthy eating trend.” New product developments in the category have also fuelled growth, Bird said.
 
In addition to the growth in the baked bean market, canned meats are also enjoying a resurgence in the UK, according to Mintel. Between 2003 and 2005, the value of the cold canned meats market, which includes products such as Spam, PEK and corned beef, rose by 7%, having previously seen a 6% decline in sales between 1999 and 2001.
 
“Corned beef is the most important type of cold canned meat, and accounts for around half of sales,” Bird said. “But it is Spam which has proved to be a real shining star in this sector, with Mintel recording a double-digit sales increase in the last two years alone.”
 
Bird said SPAM had been “trendied up” by being offered as an ingredient in tortilla wraps and as a pizza topping. New product innovation had also played a part, with the launch of Spam with Black Pepper last year helping to shake off its old-fashioned image. 
 
The overall canned meat market grew by 8% between 2001 and 2005 to reach GBP270m, Mintel said, and is forecast to increase by a further 1% in 2006.

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