Americans turn to canned food

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Americans turn to canned foodMore than 90% of Americans eat canned fruit and vegetables as part of their produce intake, according to a survey carried out on behalf of trade association the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI).

With more than 46 million Americans participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and 12.8 million Americans unemployed, canned foods are playing a significant role as a staple in the American diet. Those in food assistance programs consume canned fruits and vegetables at an even higher rate than the average American.

The survey was conducted by Toluna Omnibus and showed that in an average week Americans consume more than five (5.5) cans of fruits and vegetables. Those who receive food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infant and Children Programs (WIC) consume an additional 1.6 cans of fruit and vegetables in an average week.

“This survey shows that canned foods play an important role in helping Americans meet the government’s recommended dietary guidelines for fruits and vegetables, says Sherrie Rosenblatt, vice president of marketing and communications at CMI.

“In these more difficult economic times, families can stretch their grocery budgets by choosing canned foods, a decision made easier when they know that canned fruits and vegetables, in particular, can be equal to and more nutritious than fresh foods.”

CMI previously released a study from Michigan State University that validates the nutrient parity between canned and fresh vegetables, however only 57% of Americans, and just under two thirds (64%) of SNAP/WIC households, agree with the idea that canned fruits and vegetables can be as nutritious as fresh.

Given that every four out of 10 (41%) Americans said they have limited access to stores and farmers markets that sell fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s not surprising that more than half (56%) feel canned fruits and vegetables are extremely or very important in helping them prepare convenient, nutritious and affordable meals. This number rises to two-thirds (67%) of those on food assistance (SNAP/WIC).

Additional survey findings include:

  • One quarter (25%) of the fruit consumed in the average American household is sourced from cans; this proportion rises to nearly one-third (32%) of all fruit consumed in SNAP and WIC households.
  • Just under one third (31%) of the vegetables consumed in the average American household is sourced from cans; this proportion rises to well over one-third (39%) in SNAP and WIC households.

The Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) is a trade association that represents the metal and composite can manufacturing industry and its suppliers in the US.

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