Pouches to the rescue?

One day the canned food aisle will be known as the pouched aisle

Soup consumption is losing steam. Sales by volume grew just 1% around the world last year. In many western countries, volume has been falling for half a decade.

The trouble may not be soup itself but the metal cans that soup is packaged in, says Euromonitor research analyst Daniel Grimsey in a blog post.

Not only are cans hard to open, they’re heavy and don’t stand out on store shelves. Younger consumers in particular think metal cans are old-fashioned, he says.

“Metal food cans have consequently been rejected by younger generations as a dated packaging format filled with old-fashioned-type foods. Soup in metal cans is still largely assumed to be limited to tomato, chicken noodle, minestrone and pumpkin.”

The solution may be stand-up pouches, such as the type used by Campbell’s for its Go soup lineup in the United States and by Heinz in Australia with its Heinz Soup of the Day.

Pouches are lighter, easier to open, and their wide flat fronts act as “billboards” that more easily capture attention in stores than small, rounded cans.

One day soon, surmises Grimsey, consumers may no longer walk down the canned food aisle in grocery stores but instead head to the “pouched aisle.”

Read Grimsey’s full blog here.

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