Why did preserved canned food became a success?

Discover why did preserved canned food became a success?with Boutique de France, export alliance of two french canneries.

Solenn Heuzé
April 26, 2021

Preseverd canned food is one of the most popular food preservation methods worldwide thanks to 80 billion cans produced every year.

The beginning of the success story

The 4 top advantages of preserved food

In the past, preserved food offered many advantages that are still needed today.

  • To offer long shelf life products, without needing a refrigerator or a freezer

At the beginning, the first reason of using preserved food was to keep fresh food longer. We understand it while reading the book of Nicolas Appert, describing his discovery « L’art de conserver pendant plusieurs années toutes les substances animales et végétales » (The Art of Preserving Animal and Vegetable Substances for Several Year”).

How long does preserved food last?

Your product can be eaten even after the best-before date. However, it can lose its taste and nutritional or dietetic values.

The food may also lose quality in a short amount of time, if aluminium cans, tin plates or glass jars are exposed to direct sunlight or stored in a warm place.

  • To guarantee the food safety of the products

The sterilization intends to destroy any microbial germ in the preparation process, by bringing them to high temperature (+ 100° C / 212° F) during at least one hour. It ensures the sanitary compliance at the heart of the product, in accordance with the preserved canned product’s regulation.

The sterilization process is essential, and even more, in this period of sanitary crisis. Cans are sterilized in retorts (under pressure sterilizers) using precise scales clearly established. Each product has its specific sterilization process (heat, time…) depending on the time and size.

Qualified worker of Gonidec cannery that put canned sardines in a retort. This process allows to preserved the food.

Only qualified workers (training, university course, field experience) are authorized to modify a sterilization cycle if necessary or to enter the main menu of the device.

At Boutique de France, each company is audited to validate our sterilization programs by performing heat distribution tests, to validate for example the product’s exportation to the United States (accreditation FDA for Gonidec / USDA for Hénaff). Then, the Quality Manager will ensure the compliance of cycles validated for export, for each batch to be shipped to a customer in the USA.

  • To offer convenient and healthy products at any time

Canned food is ready to serve in a few minutes and tastes like fresh cooked food. It enables to eat fruit and vegetables out of season , without preservatives, while preserving their vitamins C. This way, it is also a good solution to reduce carbon taxes.

Everyone could easily put it on a backpack to taste in every place ; during a picnic on the coast, during a hike in the mountain, during a surprise appetizer on the beach.

  • To re-use or recycle containers
Limited vintage cans of Pork Pate Hénaff reuse as small plant pot.
Limited Hénaff’s cans reuse as decoration

Most of the preserved food are offered in glass jars or aluminium cans. These containers are your perfect ally to collect your own containers. Glass jars are very useful to cook or to start creative hobbies at home and create your own decoration.

The advantage with glass jars or aluminium cans is that they are endlessly recyclable. Discover few creation made with Jean Hénaff’s cans.

The assets of canned food match with the strict specifications for armies or for the ISS (International Space Station). That’s why, Jean Hénaff has been supplying this both partners for years.

Did you know?

The success of limited vintage preserved canned food

Over the years, aluminium cans and tin plates are no longer just containers to preserve vegetables, fish or meat. It is now an object with its own value. A few years ago, the pop art icon Andy Warhol, forced the manufacturers to think about the packaging design and how to modernize it.

Limited pop-art can of pork pate Hénaff. This limited can is a tribute to the founder of the company, Jean Hénaff.

Jean Hénaff even offered limited pop art edition of its Hénaff Pork Pate as a memory of the past.

This way, for thirty years, new forms of cans have been developed on the market. In the mid-80’s, the printing processes are improved. The emblematic Hénaff Pork Pate decides to keep its blue and yellow can as, at the creation in 1915, blue and yellow were the only colors strong enough to resist the heat retort processing.

Today, graphic design plays a significant role in the marketing strategy of a company. As a consequence, many limited vintage editions of sardines cans are sold to highlight or celebrate some important events. Many people love collecting these special edition cans.

The limited vintage canned sardines, Ville Bleue 2019 from Conserverie Gonidec pays tribute to the French painter, Lucien Victor Delpy. His oil painting "Thoniers et reflets du port de Concarneau" ("Tuna seiner and reflections in Concarneau's port") illustrates these delicious canned sardines in extra virgin olive oil.

The limited vintage canned sardines, Ville Bleue 2019 from Conserverie Gonidec pays tribute to the French painter, Lucien Victor Delpy. His oil painting “Thoniers et reflets du port de Concarneau” (“Tuna seiner and reflections in Concarneau’s port”) illustrates these delicious canned sardines in extra virgin olive oil.

Furthermore, preserved food continues to renew itself, manufacturers adapt and develop diverse canned food following the new consumption trend such as organic, made in “…”, dipping food… In France, we are proud that preserved food is also a symbol of our terroir, part of our authentic traditional French food culture. That maybe explains why 88%* of the French people declare to eat at least once a month fishes in cans.

*according to the “Syndicat Français Des conserveries de Poissons” (“French union of preserved fishes”)

Discover our sardines in limited vintage and collector cans.

Solenn Heuzé

Gastronomy lover and 100% passionate about Brittany, France! I'm part of the Boutique de France's adventure since the beginning and proud to put forward our gastronomic culture!