Europe’s leading canmaker gives vegetable consumers sustainable packaging options with steel
New trends are shaping the European canned vegetable market. Whether it’s demand for healthy and organic options or rising consumer awareness of sustainability, steel is well-positioned to meet the latest challenges. ArcelorMittal spoke with Lorena Osella, Marketing and Communication Manager at Crown Food Europe, to discover more about the benefits of steel for canmakers, brand owners, and consumers.
eUpdate: What are the major consumer trends driving the European canned vegetable market?
Lorena Osella (LO): Consumption of canned vegetables is being driven by consumer concerns about health, nutrition, and ease of use. The trend is being accentuated by the rapid increase in single person households and active seniors across Europe.
This new consumer group wants quick and healthy options – ideally organic, but in a single-serve size. Steel is ideal for this as it allows us to play with the size and shape of the can easily.
eUpdate: As a canmaker, how is Crown responding to the change in consumer behaviour?
LO: We continuously innovate and proactively look for new solutions which fillers can utilise. An example is our ‘Olive Forest’ collection of easy-open cans. These steel cans are designed to meet consumer demand for healthy snacks in sustainable packaging. They also enable brand owners to differentiate their products from classic olive packaging. The cans are easy to share and can be provided in different formats to meet the needs of today’s consumers.
Crown’s ‘Olive Forest’ concept offers healthy snack options for consumers on the go
Brand owners are utilising the attractive finish of steel
and printing directly on the can’s surface
eUpdate: How important is the appearance of the can?
LO: We see brands going for ‘premiumisation’ – and it definitely attracts consumers. It enables the brand to differentiate itself by adopting a premium look for their cans. For example, they use the shiny surface of the steel in the design and/or print directly on to the surface.
eUpdate: Are you seeing a switch back to more sustainable packaging materials such as steel?
LO: We see a lot of interest from brands – and their customers – in recyclability and sustainability. Brands are definitely rethinking their packaging choices. The sustainability of metal packaging such as steel is a big advantage today and a key part of our communications to customers.
eUpdate: Are consumers sold on the benefits of steel?
LO: We’re always recruiting consumers! Cans are seen by some as old-fashioned. But we’re working with local metal packaging associations across Europe to change those perceptions. Consumers need to rethink what they are buying and make sustainable choices.
eUpdate: : For Crown, what are the key advantages of working with ArcelorMittal as a steel supplier?
LO: The long-term and close collaboration between ArcelorMittal and Crown has generated many synergies. ArcelorMittal’s expertise in steel, and their technical assistance, is of significant added value to Crown. It supports our innovation.