Philadelphia, PA – April 17, 2014. Research by Smithers Pira1 has determined that the authenticity and trust of brand owners and their products is growing in importance in the eyes of consumers. Given increased scrutiny in the wake of high profile food recalls over the last several years, this is placing the role of packaging front and center with brand owners as a way to assure consumers that products are of high quality, safe and meet expectations. At the same time, a new study2 published by the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine has highlighted the need from public health experts to improve consumption of fruits and vegetables among the US population. Referenced in the study are new findings3 from Michigan State University (MSU) that canned foods deliver on nutrition, affordability and safety, making them an effective tool to help consumers increase their fruit and vegetable intake, particularly as it relates to continuing efforts in the US to battle the rise of obesity. CROWN Food Packaging North America, a business unit of Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCK) (Crown) (www.crowncork.com), offers a broad range of food packaging technologies ideally suited to help brands address these needs.
“Consumers have a high level of familiarity and trust with food cans, and the format has an unprecedented safety record,” says Hella Gourven, Marketing Manager, CROWN Food Packaging North America. “Cans are also the most effective option when it comes to preserving the quality of the foods they contain. Foods typically degrade through extended exposure to air or sunlight, and metal is the only container material that completely prevents light and oxygen from infiltrating the package. These characteristics enhance food safety and quality, and, in turn, lend credibility to brands.”
With communities celebrating National Food Month in April, research from Packaged Facts4 shows that consumers are also increasingly seeking nutritious meal options and packaging that fits into their busy lifestyles. Metal packaging is well positioned to help brand owners meet these demands thanks to the inherent benefits of the material and the canning process itself. The fact is that canned foods are nutritionally on par with fresh and frozen products, and in many cases, they are actually more nutritious. According to the study by Michigan State University for example, the retort process employed during canning tomatoes actually improves their B vitamins, vitamin E and carotenoid content. Canning facilities are strategically located near farms so that fruit and vegetables are canned within hours of being picked—the time when they are at their freshest.
“Once picked, food is cooked in the can to destroy bacteria,” explains Gourven. “The end result is a low oxygen environment that maintains the same amount of vitamins and nutrients from the day the food was packed, without the need for any preservatives like salt, for the can’s entire shelf life.”
Since the vast majority of canned goods can be eaten immediately after opening or after simple reheating and require little to no additional preparation, the format makes it easy for busy consumers to take in the recommended daily amount of fruit and vegetables. Busier lifestyles are also leading consumers to place a higher premium on food products that are portable and can be eaten on-the-go, according a new report from Mintel5. Advances in food can technology, including Crown’s Easylift™ easy-open ends, PeelSeam™ peelable ends and bowl cans are ideal for helping consumers enjoy their favorite food when and where they want it. With these new technologies, consumers are able to purchase meals in a robust format that will not spill or break during transport and requires no refrigeration, yet can be consumed straight from the package at home or on the go.
“The food can continues to be an effective means for brands to meet growing consumer desire for nutritious meals that are packaged in a convenient format,” Gourven concludes. “With food brands increasingly needing to build credibility and trust with consumers, metal packaging can help assure consumers that the products meet those expectations.”
About Crown Holdings, Inc.
Crown Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is a leading supplier of packaging products to consumer marketing companies around the world. World headquarters are located in Philadelphia, PA. For more information, visit www.crowncork.com.