Iconic Canned Foods

Crown Presents: The Iconic Canned Food Hall of Fame

Red cranberry jelly from a can sitting upon a white place surrounded by cranberries.
Thursday, November 29, 2018

In 1892, Crown’s founder, William Painter, invented a better way to package soft drinks and beer: the crown cork, more commonly known as the bottle cap. This sparked a revolution in the way we know not only beverages to be packaged across the world, but also food. The numerous benefits of cans, including convenience, production efficiency, durability, shelf life, and sustainability have led to the format remaining a top choice for food producers and consumers around the world for more than 200 years. Although we are fond of all canned foods, some have become so synonymous with their packaging that we simply cannot picture them any other way. To us, these canned foods merit entrance to the hall of fame.

First up is canned cranberry sauce. This sweet treat is famous for being served as a side dish around the holidays, paired with items like turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. In recent years, the festive food has garnered a fan base from the way it jiggles its way out of the can. It has even sparked debates over whether it should be served standing up straight from the can—retaining its can-molded, cylindrical shape—or whether it should be smashed down. Regardless of your preference for what form it takes, what’s Thanksgiving without canned cranberry sauce?

The second honoree in our iconic foods hall of fame isn’t a single item, but a group: seafood! Tuna is one of the two most widely sold seafood products in the world, with over 75% of the global catch used by the canning industry and 25% for direct consumption (as fresh, frozen and ultra-low-temperature). In addition to tuna, sardines are a classic canned food. In fact, many consumers say they taste better that way—likely due to the can’s ability to lock in flavor and freshness. Canned sardines are so popular in Portugal that colorful tins are sold as souvenirs across the country. According to Publico, the Portuguese even eat 13 sardines per second!

Our last iconic canned treat is so popular that it even inspired a famous piece of artwork. Did you guess what it was? Canned soup! The canned food staple has been around since 1897, and over 100 years later, it’s showing no signs of slowing down in popularity. Canned soup constitutes about 35% of all soup consumed globally, of which North American consumption accounts for about 80%. We believe this food deserves a place in the hall of fame due to its convenience, health benefits, deliciousness, and long-standing popularity.

What makes your list for iconic foods in metal cans?