Bulk Canned Food: What It Is and Who Buys Bulk Canned Food

Nick Mirev
Table of Contents
    Thank you! Please check your inbox now for your welcome email.
    There was an issue with the form. Please try again.

    Busy lifestyles and fluctuating prices have helped the growth of the canned food industry. Both households and businesses benefit from purchasing wholesale canned goods from produce distributors and other suppliers in the food market. Although wholesale sales are usually associated with B2B trade, it’s not uncommon for families to also buy bulk canned food to stock their pantries. In this article we’ll share more about bulk canned food - what it is and where to buy it. This post is part of our series on canned goods. If you’re interested in the topic, check out our article on home canning.

    What Is Bulk Canned Food

    Commonly, bulk canned food refers to packs of 6, 12 or more cans with vegetables, fruits, or other food products. When people say they buy canned food in bulk, that usually means they stock their pantry or emergency food supplies with canned goods. That’s a common practice for large households or big families. It’s not typical for people that live in the city to do so as large quantities of canned food can take up a lot of space.

    Bulk canned food can also be purchased by businesses. They usually find wholesalers that can deliver a wide array of canned, frozen, and fresh products. As these suppliers often have high minimum order quantities (MOQ), businesses benefit from even lower wholesale prices when they purchase bulk canned food.

    Key takeaway: Both businesses and end users buy bulk canned food. The increased shelf life and the cheap prices of these products make them excellent options for many.
    BlueCart free resources

    Most Popular Bulk Canned Foods

    As these products become increasingly popular, canned food businesses constantly introduce new products on the market. Let’s examine some of the main categories of canned products that are sold in bulk.

    1. Ready-to-eat meals. From tomato soup to pasta with meatballs, there are dozens of different meals on the can market. This category is very popular as these products require little to no preparation before consumption.
    2. Vegetables. Along with freezing, canning is one of the most common ways to preserve vegetables. Peas, beans, carrots are a few examples of vegetables that can be found in cans on the shelves of supermarkets.
    3. Fruits. Both businesses and households use canned fruits. They can be consumed as a standalone snack or used in recipes. For example, bakery businesses might purchase canned fruits and use them for pastry recipes.
    4. Meat. Ham, beef, and seafood are among the high-demand products on the canned food market. Usually, meat products in cans are fully cooked but they can be added during the cooking process of stews or other dishes.

    Who Buys Bulk Canned Food

    The versatility of canned food recipes and the increased shelf life of preserved products make bulk canned foods suitable for various businesses. However, it’s important to keep in mind that canned foods are not a perfect substitute for their fresh counterparts. As the texture is changed during the canning process, some businesses might divert from using canned goods.

    1. Restaurants. Companies in the food service industry benefit from the lower price of canned goods and their extended shelf life. They purchase them from produce and broadline distributors. Some frozen fruit suppliers also sell canned products. The alterations in flavor and texture can be the reason why some restaurants don’t use canned foods.
    2. Institutions. Hospitals, shelters, military bases, and schools are just a few examples of public institutions that purchase bulk canned food. They use them as a cheap alternative to fresh products and as emergency stockpiles.
    3. Retailers and bulk buying clubs. The majority of D2C sales of canned foods are done in supermarkets, retail stores, or membership warehouses. In recent years, the revolution of online shopping has also increased eCommerce sales of canned goods. Websites in the food and beverage industry that offer subscription services are also likely to purchase large quantities of canned food products as customers often restock their pantries.
    4. Charities. Food banks and disaster relief organizations are also likely to purchase bulk canned food as it is nutritious, easy to store, and cheap.
    online ordering software for restaurants

    Where to Buy Bulk Canned Food

    Business owners usually partner with wholesale suppliers that sell a wide variety of products. When it comes to bulk canned food, companies search for produce, broadline, or food suppliers. The main benefit of working with wholesale distributors is they can offer additional convenience and streamline the delivery process.

    End customers can purchase bulk canned food at various places as well. Here are a few examples.

    1. Wholesale clubs. These warehouse stores specialize in selling bulk quantities of food, beverages, and other goods. 
    2. Food cooperatives. These buying clubs pool resources of various members to further decrease prices. This makes them a great option for people who wish to regularly restock their pantry with canned products.
    3. Local farms. Canning is a very sustainable practice that reduces food waste. That’s why local farms and producers might can their fruits and vegetables in order to extend their shelf life. Search for their products at farmers’ markets and farm stands.
    BlueCart demo request

    Frequently Asked Questions about Bulk Canned Food

    BlueCart helps wholesale businesses and their customers work more efficiently and smoothly together. Whether you use our SaaS tools or not, you can find useful information on various wholesale and business-related topics. Below you can find answers to common questions regarding bulk canned food.

    What Canned Food Should Be Stockpiled?

    Canned food is a popular option for an emergency pantry. It can be crucial during disasters such as power outages, severe weather, or tornadoes. When comparing canned vs frozen vegetables, the main benefit of canned goods is that you don’t need electricity to keep them from perishing. Here are the main categories of canned goods that are suitable for stockpiling.

    1. Canned meat. Having a stash of food rich in protein is very important.
    2. Canned vegetables. Aim for diversity. From corn and carrots to canned tomatoes and peas.
    3. Ready-to-eat canned goods. This category includes soup and stews.

    Don’t forget that your emergency food stockpile should also include a can opener and enough drinks for at least a couple of days. 

    Are Canned Foods Healthy?

    Yes, canned foods are healthy. Although some vitamins and minerals are lost during the canning process, the majority of nutrients are kept. One of the main advantages of canned food is its cheaper price compared to fresh produce. This allows even people of lower status to consume fruits and vegetables all year round.

    There’s a popular myth that canned goods are not healthy. Here are the reasons why some consider canned food as unhealthy.

    1. Exposure to BPA. Various manufacturers use cans with BPA lining that protects the food. However, most producers of canned food are switching to BPA-free alternatives.
    2. High sodium content. Salt is often added to canned foods. Regular consumption of different types of canned food can lead to excessive sodium consumption.

    Why Is Canned Food Cheaper than Fresh?

    Most canned food manufacturers aim to produce the majority of their products during peak seasons of the canned goods. This allows companies in the canned food market to reduce their cost of goods sold. During peak season, fresh produce might be cheaper compared to canned counterparts. However, during off-seasons, canned goods often come at a lower price compared to fresh ones. That is why using canned food in restaurants, institutions, and other businesses is very common. Economies of scale are another factor for the lower prices of canned goods.

    Book a Demo
    Streamline order management, grow your bottom line, and get back hours of your time with BlueCart. Schedule a demo now:
    Thank you! Your submission has been received!
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.