Research by Smithers Pira 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 study 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 U.S. population. Referenced in the study are new findings 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 U.S. to battle the rise of obesity.
CROWN Food Packaging North America, a business unit of Crown Holdings, Inc., 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,” said 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.”
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,” said 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.”