The future of the canned snack

The supermarket shelves are packed full of snacks in wrappers, but there is a more sustainable, longer-lasting packaging alternative available.

That is the humble can.  The can allows brands to preserve high-quality ingredients for longer. And there’s no better test than going to Space – which is exactly where Hénaff sent its first canned recipe in 2021. 

Preserving the quality of a Michelin star

Trivium Packaging worked with Hénaff to create an aluminium can capable of preserving and protecting food items on its way to space. Following the success of the can’s intergalactic trip, we worked together again on delivering a snack for a new mode of transport on Earth. 

Over the winter months, passengers on the high-speed train TGV inOui in France were able to enjoy an apple sauce and butter Breton cake designed by Michelin-starred French chef Thierry Marx in a 100% recyclable aluminium can. The can’s capacity to maintain the integrity of the ingredients rendered it an ideal choice for space travel and, presently, for high-speed rail journeys.

The advantages of metal

Due to its exceptional qualities, metal has become a preferred vessel for storing a variety of snacks. Metal packaging not only acts as a container but also protects flavour, convenience, and sustainability. 

That’s why many brands are looking to metal packaging for a wide variety of food products, both traditionally found in cans, such as vegetables, soups and beans, to those not typically found in cans, such as desserts, and everything in between. Metal packaging keeps food fresh and delicious and stands out as one of the most recycled materials worldwide, with an impressive 80% of all metal produced being recycled and is of use today.

According to the 2023 Buying Green Report, 59% of consumers prioritise sustainability and actively seek information regarding the recyclability and eco-friendliness of product packaging before making a purchase. A staggering 79% of consumers are looking for products in sustainable packaging.

Metal packaging goes beyond being a single-use item. It plays an important role in promoting a circular economy. Metal is infinitely recyclable, which means it can be used repeatedly without losing its intrinsic characteristics. When recycled, it maintains its quality and can undergo the recycling process multiple times. For both customers and brands, snacking has evolved beyond mere convenience. It now involves preserving flavour, minimising waste, and embracing a more sustainable future.

What will the future hold? 

So, where will the canned snack go next? Close collaboration between food brands and packaging providers will be a key driver of progress toward a more sustainable future. 

As our world faces a mounting plastic pollution problem, metal offers an easily and infinitely recyclable alternative. Reflecting on this, perhaps what the world needs next is canned snacks available to all, whether they are on their way to space or looking for a treat to enjoy at home.

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