Progressive Grocer

JUN 2016

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with" the initiative. "Since the campaign launched in 2013, retail partners have seen canned food sales trends six points better than those who have not yet partnered with the campaign," she adds, citing IRI research fnding that "in just Q1 2016, Cans Get You Cooking retailer partner sales trends ran a full two points better than nonpartner retailers." One advance addressing both environmental and health concerns is the elimination of Bisphenol A (BPA), an organic synthetic compound, from can liners. "As of July 30, 2015, all ConAgra Foods canned foods made in its U.S. and Canadian facili- ties are packaged in cans with non-BPA liners," asserts Chelsea Herman, associate brand manager at the Omaha, Neb.-based company. Following ConAgra's promotion of the move via social media and its website, as well as through vari- ous media outlets, "the response has been positive," notes Herman. "We recognize consumer interest in removing BPA from our cans and are pleased to be able to respond to that desire and ofer food that our consumers can feel confdent in." She also points out: "Canning is an excellent way to preserve food naturally; many consumers don't realize that no preservatives are needed, as metal cans lock in vitamins, minerals and favor. Additionally, metal cans … may be recycled over and over. Tis packaging minimizes natural product waste from fruit and vegetables, enabling food distribution and a very long shelf life." ConAgra further enhances the freshness of its canned products by using the Flashsteam process on its Hunt's tomatoes, which involves "simple hot water," and then "[canning] them within hours of harvesting," observes Herman. "Tat way, when consumers choose Hunt's canned tomatoes, they can be sure they are getting vine-ripened tomatoes, as opposed to tomatoes in the produce section, which are often picked early and ripen in transit to the retailer." On the Inside As shown by Hunt's, what's contained in cans is just as important as the packaging itself. First, however, shoppers need to be made aware that canned food is actually good for them. "It really all starts with educating the consumer about food choices and understanding what consum- ers want," says Rich Tavoletti, executive director of the Pittsburgh-based Canned Food Alliance (CFA), a consortium of steelmakers, can makers, food pro- cessors and afliate members. "Te drivers impact- ing food purchases include convenience, nutrition, taste and afordability. Canned Food Alliance works with its members and partners to enhance perceptions of canned food. Consumer research has shown we must improve consumers' percep- tions of the nutritional benefts of canned food. We point to a strong foundation of university research, which proves many canned options are nutritionally comparable [to] and sometimes more nutritious than their fresh and frozen counterparts. We must consis- tently remind consumers that nutritious food options can be found in the center of the grocery stores." To that end, "CFA works with retail dietitians to help educate consumers about the benefts of canned fruits, vegetables, beans, lean meats and seafood," notes Tavoletti. "We ofer a Retail Dietitian Toolkit [that] is free to retailers — and to anyone who wants to view it. Te toolkit provides a recipe (for a cooking demonstra- tion either in-store, during a media segment, a class, etc.); a tweetable tip; talking points; and a resource to hand out that supports the messages." He adds: "We spread the message to supermarket dietitians both directly via a monthly newsletter, and also by participating in conferences. ... Last year, we gave ... dietitians a What's Inside the Can display to use in conjunction with their toolkit in cooking demonstrations and table displays. Te goal [was] to help tell the story and teach people about the simple ingredients that go into canned fruits, vegetables and beans. Tere are often three ingredients or less in canned food." Most Millennials do not own a can opener." —Benny Smith, Food Lion END CAP DISPLAYS PALLET GUARDS STORAGE / DUNNAGE RACKS Get Your Products Off the Floor! LARGE SELECTION OF BASES

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