In the 19th century, the world was in upheaval and the navy and army, not civilians, were the main buyers of food preserved in sheet metal. The idea was to prevent soldiers from going hungry in the field. However, because the can opener was not invented until around 50 years later, opening the cans initially presented the brave men with great difficulties. They resorted to using hammer and chisel or their rifles’ bayonet. Today, a slight pull on the tear tab is usually all it takes to get to the food.
Trendy cans? Yes, thanks to packaging steel
Tinplate cans have become an indispensable part of our everyday lives. Around 90 percent of the tinplate produced in Germany, including that of thyssenkrupp Packaging Steel, is used to manufacture packaging. Packaging steel is efficient, highly optimized, and sustainable. Moreover, thanks to being easy to fill, airtight, stackable, and safe to transport, tins are also highly practical.
They can be produced in many sizes and shapes and are ideal for increasing product sales – provided the appearance is right. As is always the case in the world of commerce, only things with a pleasing look and feel will sell well. At best, steel cans are treated as collector’s items, as is the case with oil and fish preserves from southern Europe, especially Portugal.
The perfect souvenir: Canned sardines
If you think of canned fish here in Germany, herring is the first thing that comes to mind. In Portugal, on the other hand, it’s the sardine. The fishing association therefore considers this fish to be the ‘true ambassador’ of the country. However, supply cannot fully meet the vast demand, which is why mackerels, tuna, cod, roe, and fish paste are also canned and sold.
As consumers are becoming increasingly conscientious about where their daily food comes from and how it is produced, local products are making a comeback. This also includes the fish in steel packaging, which is canned without coloring or preservatives in top-quality olive oil, ready to be served at the dinner table.
According to manufacturers, the can guarantees the preservation of the healthy fatty acids of the fish and stores important minerals. In addition to preserving foodstuff, cans are also a highly sustainable means of packaging. Thanks to their magnetic properties, tinplate cans can be recycled quickly, nearly fully, and at little cost. But given the many beautiful designs, wouldn’t you rather keep it?
Have we piqued your appetite?
If you would like to see the renaissance of canned fish for yourself, take a look into the following locations in Lisbon and Porto.