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Netherlands: Little progress in canned food industry

Canned fruit and vegetables are just as healthy and contain just as much vitamins as fresh food. At least according to Vigef, the union for the processed food industry. Yet, the sector has seen little progress in recent times. Where the frozen food industry is on the rise, canned food seems to be on the decline.

Peter Rijnhout of Vigef confirms there is very little growth in the industry. “The consumption of fresh produce is down, and this includes canned fruit and vegetables.” He isn’t convinced however, that a drop in consumption is really to blame here: “The demand for canned food is just low right now.” 

The relative decline has caused consolidation, the mergers and acquisitions of many smaller companies into larger ones. Peter thinks the worst is over. “About fifty years ago, there was a huge list of companies, but now only a handful are left. There are a few big players, like Hak, Coroos and Baltussen, supplying the market.” He doesn’t rule out a production shift to Eastern Europe though. Many companies have already made the move. “The canned food industry is looking to the East, to Russia, where the opportunities are. We will have to see where this leads.”

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