Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/29/2014 -- Canned/preserved food continues to consist of traditional products that are consumed more during periods of economic stagnation, with low unit prices making such products popular among price-conscious consumers. However, the category is caught between a rock and a hard place in 2013. Firstly, it is still being cannibalised by categories that enjoy a fresher, healthier and more convenient image, such as chilled processed food and even frozen processed food. Secondly, the horsemeat scandalhas dealt a fatal blow to canned/preserved ready meals and meat and meat products, two categories which were already suffering from declining sales. Lastly, consumers are having difficulties differentiating between private label products and branded products in terms of quality.
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Canned/preserved food encompasses several categories with specialised players in each of them. Therefore, other than the outright domination of private label, there is no clear leader in this category. Thanks to the leadership of its Imperial brand in the dominant category of canned/preserved fish/seafood, Sopralex&Vosmarques can be considered the most important player in canned/preserved food. The Belgian player is even succeeding in gaining value share over 2012/2013 not only thanks to strong price increases in canned/preserved fish/seafood but also due to innovative packaging.
The economic uncertainty prevailing in Belgium since 2008 is expected to continue over the forecast period and thus consumers are expected to cut down on their expenses even further. Moreover, new hobbies among consumers, such as home cooking and focusing on home-grown vegetables, as well as increasing concerns about health and wellness, are factors that are expected to make various consumers more demanding with regard to product quality and nutritional information. Therefore, owing to the challenging economic circumstances, consumers are expected to either opt for cheap basic canned/preserved food productsoffered by private label or, due to the factors mentioned above, switch to chilled processed food or frozen processed food.
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