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Europe: Create new flavors to increase sales of baked beans in the UK, says analyst

Baked beans are usually perceived as a food consumed among families of lower income households, but with today’s efforts of premiumisation and a range of flavors this is challenging previous perceptions, according to a Canadean survey.

From the survey of 2,000 UK consumers conducted in October 2014, 78% of respondents consume baked beans making it the most popular type of canned food, followed by soup (70%).

Traditionally, baked beans were perceived as a meal for lower income households, such as students, but the survey finds 76% of ABC1 consumers like to consume this product.

Despite the ongoing economic uncertainty in the UK, consumers are still brand conscious when it comes to baked beans consumption.

Canadean found that Heinz is still the most established baked beans brand in the UK, with 54% of UK consumers preferring this brand over others.

However, store own brands came up second at 17%, showing consumers an emerging acceptance of non-branded alternatives.

“Consumers are traditionally brand loyalists when it comes to baked beans, but rising food costs compared with improving perceptions of store own brands is changing this,” says analyst Joanne Hardman.

“Opportunities have arisen for private label brands to extend their product portfolios by offering a more premium product but at a lower price.”

Use spices in baked beans

As more than half (55%) of Britons consume beans at least once a week, manufacturers need to offer the consumer something more than the ordinary baked beans product and find ways of reaching out broader audiences.

One way to boost the appeal of baked beans is to link them to flavors inspired by ethnic foods.

“The spice trend is constantly evolving in the UK and recently, Heinz started offering their beans in a chili, curry and barbeque range. This offers a new flavor sensation to the experience seeking consumer and brings excitement to what many consumers perceive to be a bland product,” says Hardman.

Heinz also offers an organic range of baked beans in the UK.