BPA-free Canned and Preserved Food Dictates Purchase Decisions of Buyers in Asia Pacific and Latin America

The history of canned foods can be traced back to 18th century France, when military leader and emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, wanting to ensure ample supplies of food for his armies when on the battlefield, offered a handsome prize to anyone who could devise an effective food preservation technique. This resulted in Nicolas Appert, a French cook, coming up with a technique that is popularly known today as canning. In the years that followed, the technique was improved further by Englishman Peter Durand and perfected over the years by others. 

Since then, the growth of the consumption of canned and preserved food has been anchored by the sheer convenience that such foods offer to the average consumer. From fruit and vegetables to fish and processed meat, nearly all of these foods can be canned, and are expected to create a market worth US$38.12 bn by 2021 in Asia Pacific and Latin America alone, according to Transparency Market Research. Besides offering nutrition when access to fresh food is restricted, canned products carry competitive price tags, increasing their consumer appeal.

Here’s a brief overview of the existing and future trends in the canned and preserved food Market:
  • BPA-related concerns have shaped the canned preserved food market and continue to do so: Although the rising popularity of canned and preserved food has largely remained unrestrained, things are changing now with consumers reading food labels more carefully and several scientific studies being conducted about how safe canned food really is. The presence of BPA in the epoxy resin lining inside cans has been criticized by health experts, and consumers are taking serious note of this aspect too. Can linings have been in used for over five decades now because they prevent the slow interaction between canned food and the metal that it is enclosed in.
  • BPA-free canned preserved foods are the future: The tendency of BPA from the can lining to migrate into canned food is, according to experts, a human health hazard. This has prompted several consumers to cut back on, or, where possible, avoid the purchase of canned preserved food. The occurrence of BPA in canned food products for babies, especially, has forced a number of companies to launch BPA-free lining in cans to sustain sales. As the demand for canned and preserved food without harmful chemicals in both preservatives and the packaging material intensifies, the market is witnessing a change. Food brands are now under immense pressure to use BPA-free cans from consumer campaigns, such as the one that’s currently being run by the Environmental Working Group.
  • Finding ways to cut back on excess salt and preservatives could help companies gain more consumers: Besides the presence of harmful chemicals such as BPA, canned and preserved foods typically have high salt and sugar content. As consumers are now more conscious of what they eat, canned foods with high salt, sugar, or preservatives content now stand a lower chance of being added to the shopping cart. Thus, opportunities will be easy to find if companies in the canned preserved food market are able to launch canned food that doesn’t contain unhealthy doses of salt and sugar. 

Despite these challenges, the growing affluence of consumers in Asia Pacific and Latin America, will mean good news for canned and preserved food companies wanting to venture into these markets.


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