Different Types of Canned Food and Containers They Come In

Nick Mirev
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    The shelves of grocery stores are filled with a wide range of different canned foods. From vegetables to ready meals, there are many options consumers can choose from. Although the canned food industry is not associated with innovations, businesses in this niche market can introduce novelty products. Examples of such include canned cheeseburgers or sandwiches (sometimes called candwiches). Some manufacturers of canned foods also rely on creative marketing strategies to increase their brand awareness and sales. An example of such is an April Fool's Day marketing campaign of selling ‘Unicorn Meat’ in a can. Nevertheless, businesses in the food and beverage industry primarily focus on other product categories such as canned vegetables or soups. In this article, we’ll share more about the main types of canned food products on the market. Make sure to also check our post on wholesale canned goods and our full guide on wholesale preserves.

    Key takeaway: The most popular types of canned foods include vegetables, legumes, fruits, and meat. Ready-to-eat options like soups or stews are also an easy and convenient option enjoyed by many.
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    Main Types of Canned Food

    Canning and other food preservation methods can increase the shelf life of products by 12 to 18 months. Cans with 109-year-old food retrieved from shipwreck were tested and the food was deemed safe to eat. Thus, if the right procedures are followed, the shelf life of canned foods can be much longer. Its popularity as a food preservation method is the reason why there is a wide variety of canned products on the market. Let’s examine the most common types of canned foods.

    Canned Vegetables

    Canned tomatoes and tomato sauce are very popular types of canned food. They are used in cooking by both households and food service businesses. Other popular canned vegetables include corn and carrots. On the canned food market, there’s also a variety of vegetable mixes.

    Canned Legumes

    Beans, peas, and lentils are the primary sources of protein worldwide. That’s why these products are often canned or preserved in other ways. Canned pulses can be used for salads, stews, soups, and various other dishes.

    Canned Fruits

    This type of canned food is also used in bars as canned fruits can be used for some cocktail recipes. Canned fruits like peach and pineapple are commonly consumed directly as a snack. Bakery businesses might also purchase bulk canned fruits in order to benefit from the increased shelf life and wholesale prices.

    Canned Meat

    Canned meat and seafood can be used for various dishes and for standalone consumption. Popular examples of canned meat products include pork, tuna, corned beef, sardines, and anchovies.

    Canned Soup and Ready Meals

    Different varieties of canned soup can be a convenient, cheap, and tasty meal. Canned tomato soup is probably the best example of a canned ready-to-eat product. Other meals can also be cooked and canned. Spaghetti and meatballs, chili, and beef stew are just a few examples of different canned food recipes.

    Canned Dairy Products

    Condensed milk and evaporated milk are often packaged in cans. They are rarely consumed directly and are more commonly used in recipes. Some plant-based milk options like coconut milk can also be found in cans.

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    Different Types of Packaging Cans

    Steel Tin Cans

    The strength of steel is the main reason why this alloy is the most common option for cans. Steel cans are primarily used for different types of canned food and rarely for beverages. Steel cans have a layer of tin to prevent corrosion. Unlike steel, tin does not react with food easily. This makes the shelf life of food packed in steel tin cans longer. The disadvantage of tin cans vs aluminum cans is that they are heavier. This increases storage costs and the overall cost of steel tin cans vs aluminum cans.

    Aluminum Cans

    The main application of aluminum cans is to store drinks. Business owners in the beverage industry know that the main advantage of aluminum is that the metal is malleable and lighter than steel cans. Furthermore, aluminum cans are a cheaper packaging solution compared to their steel counterparts. Keep in mind that the main disadvantage of aluminum cans is that they are not so durable. This might lead to damaged goods during transportation and storage. That’s why canned food businesses primarily use steel cans and drink manufacturers rely on aluminum cans.

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    Businesses That Buy Different Types of Canned Food

    It’s common to use canned food in restaurants and other food service establishments. It’s important to know that the taste of canned food can differ from the flavor of fresh ingredients.

    Grocery stores are major buyers of various types of canned food and beverages. These businesses partner with produce distributors and broadline distributors that offer a wide range of canned and fresh food products. The eCommerce revolution has led to the growth of online sales of food. Households and businesses enjoy the convenience of purchasing their food online. That’s why some online grocery stores or specialized retailers like hiking stores also find suppliers of canned goods.

    The cheap price and increased shelf life of canned products are the reasons why institutions also purchase different types of canned food in bulk. That includes schools, hospitals, military bases, and other private and public institutions.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Different Types of Canned Food

    The BlueCart team helps wholesalers and their clients by providing a reliable solution to help them automate various business processes and tasks. We also help entrepreneurs and other business owners with tips and information on various topics. Below you will find answers to some commonly asked questions regarding canned food.

    Why Are Some Types of Canned Food Cheaper than Fresh?

    Economies of scale are the main reason why canned fruits and vegetables are often cheaper than fresh ones. In addition, these goods are often produced while the products are in peak season. This means the price of fruits, vegetables, or other ingredients is at its lowest. With fresh food, there are also a lot of costs associated with spoilage, storage conditions, refrigeration, and waste costs. Packaging and manufacturing are the main excess costs of canned goods.

    What Are the Disadvantages of Canned Food?

    A lot of people prefer fresh food vs canned. The main disadvantage of canned goods is that they don’t feel and taste fresh when consumed. That’s true for both ready-to-eat options and different types of canned foods like vegetables and fruits. Let’s examine some other cons of canned products.

    • Exposure to BPA. Most canned foods have a BPA lining. Bisphenol A is a chemical used for the manufacturing of certain plastics. This means long-term health concerns might arise from excess consumption of canned products.
    • Losses in nutritional value. Some minerals and vitamins are susceptible to heat. This means the nutritional value of food is partially reduced during the canning process.
    • Quality varies. A lot of canned goods can be healthy and tasty. However, some brands use low-quality ingredients which can result in taste discrepancy.

    What Are the Advantages of Canned Food?

    The increased shelf life of canned goods is the main reason for their popularity. Both businesses and households benefit from how easy it is to store different types of canned food compared to fresh produce or meat. Here are some other advantages of canned goods.

    • Many types of canned food are cheaper than fresh alternatives;
    • Canned foods are convenient. That’s especially true for ready-to-eat options like canned soup or canned meat. Canned vegetables are also convenient when cooking as they can speed up the process;
    • A major benefit of canned food is that it preserves vitamin content and nutritional value;
    • Home canning and other food preservation methods are eco-friendly. They help reduce food waste.
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