What’s the canned food capital of Britain?

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

What's in the can? For preference: baked beans, tuna and tomatoes
What's in the can? For preference: baked beans, tuna and tomatoes

Related tags: Canning, Tin can

Any idea which city is the canned food capital of Britain? The answer is Birmingham, with its residents eating a whopping 640,000 cans a day, according to new research from the trade group Canned Food UK.

Despite the popularity of TV celebrity chefs, nearly a quarter of Britons eat more canned food now than they did 10 years ago, revealed the not-for-profit organisation.

More than half (58%) of consumers store up to 10 cans in their kitchen cupboards at any given time, with 75% viewing speed of preparation as a key benefit of canned food.

Chairman of Canned Food UK Jason Hegarty said canned foods’ versatility as a means of storage was a big factor behind its continued success.

‘Our most popular recipes’

“It’s promising to see that half (49%) of Brits are choosing to include canned produce as part of their main meals,”​ said Hegarty. “Some of our most popular recipes, such as our salmon and butter bean bake and speedy coq au vin, can be made easily with the help of a few canned products.”

That meant consumers could make a wholesome family meal with minimum effort and cost, he said.

“What’s more, as canned food has a long shelf life, it can be kept in the kitchen cupboards and still retain its nutritional value.”

Nation’s favourite canned food

The group’s canned food survey also revealed that the nation’s favourite canned food was baked beans, followed by tuna and tomatoes. Moreover, Britons devour the contents of an average of four food cans a week.

Canned food favourites

  1. Baked beans
  2. Tuna
  3. Tomatoes

Rivaling Birmingham for the canned food crown, Glasgow residents eat 342,000 cans of food, or 141t each day.

At the other end of the scale, Southampton residents were found to eat the least canned food, consuming just 113,000 cans, or 46t each day.

Londoners proved equaly sniffy about canned produce, eating on average only 2.9 cans a week.

Canned Food UK based its conclusions on a survey of 2,000 people across Britain.

Meanwhile, canned food is thought to trace its origins to a cash prize of 12,000 francs offered by the French army in 1795 to anyone who could devise a new method of preserving food.

Inventor Nicolas Appert suggested canning, and the process was tested in 1806 in tests conducted by the French Navy. The rest is history ... in a can.

Canned food facts

  • Birmingham’s 1.1M residents eat more canned food per person than any other city in the UK
  • Birmingham residents eat 265,000kg of canned food a day, the equivalent of 21 double decker buses
  • The nation’s favourite canned food is baked beans, followed by tuna and tomatoes
  • Brits on average eat four cans a week

Source: Canned Food UK survey

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