Tata, the steel making giant, blamed a drop in demand for tin cans for a decision to halt production for a week at its Trostre plant in Wales next month.
The plant numbers Heinz among its biggest customers.
Popular as ever
However a Heinz spokesman told FoodManufacure.co.uk that Heinz was “churning out plenty of baked beans and canned soups” and that its products were as “popular as ever”, “whatever the issues at this particular plant.”
Alternative formats such as resealable jars and snap pots were adding new sales to the brand, he added.
The Trostre tinplate plant, which employs 700 people, typically produces 9,000 tonnes of tinned packaging in a week.
Its staff will be assigned to maintenance tasks or training during the break in production in October.
Tata said poor weather conditions had caused a decline in crop yields which has reduced the amount of food available for canning, as well as contributing to a general rise in staple prices that is curbing demand for baked beans and other tinned favourites.
SymphonyIRI figures for the 52 weeks to May 2011 show that total value sales of baked beans were down 4.1% and unit sales were down 10.2%.
All 10 tinned categories it covers were in decline apart from hot meat.
And a Key Note report on canned foods from February this year says: “It is likely that volume sales — if not retail prices — will continue to fall in the longer term, reflecting the continuing growth in the popularity of chilled foods and the trend towards alternative packaging such as cartons, jars and pouches.”