"Britain's emerging reputation as a nation of fine-food lovers will take a knock today with the revelation that something far more mundane than the latest balsamic vinegar is vying for space on our shelves.
Our love of the baked bean and other canned delicacies such as Spam has never been stronger, according to a new report.
The findings show that the value of baked beans market hit almost £300m last year, a 13 per cent rise on 2001. Since the truce in the baked bean price war of the mid-1990s, which saw the cost of a can fall to as low as 4p, the baked beans market has taken off.
Research by Mintel, the consumer trends analysts, predicts that a rekindled appetite for baked beans will push the value of the market up to £360m over the next five years. The report adds that our fondness for tinned produce is not just limited to baked beans.
Spam, corned beef, PEK (chopped pork) and canned pasta are all also enjoying a resurgence in popularity, which runs contrary to the image of aspiring home chefs elbowing each other out of the way to get the best bargain at the farmers' market. Sales of all canned meals and meats are tipped to reach £660m this year, up 10 per cent since 2001, Mintel said."
Spam still comes in those rectangular cans, but now with a ring-pull top. Which is fine, but it is still difficult to get the spam out of the can. I usually have to use a tin-opener to open the bottom side of the can and then push it through. One would have thought that, by now, there would be an easier way...