New Research Confirms Americans Depend on Canned Fruits and Vegetables

Canned Foods Mainstay in the American Diet and Particularly Important to SNAP and WIC Households

Media Inquiries: Ashley Laatz 708-218-8268

Washington, D.C., August 14, 2012  With more than 46 million Americans participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program1 and 12.8 million Americans unemployed,2 canned foods are playing a significant role as a staple in the American diet. A new survey reveals that 90 percent of Americans depend on canned fruits and vegetables for part of their produce intake. Those in food assistance programs consume canned fruits and vegetables at an even higher rate than the average American.

In an average week, Americans consume more than five (5.5) cans of fruits and vegetables. Those who receive food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infant and Children Programs (WIC) consume an additional 1.6 cans of fruit and vegetables in an average week.

This survey shows that canned foods play an important role in helping Americans meet the governments recommended dietary guidelines for fruits and vegetables, said Sherrie Rosenblatt, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI). In these more difficult economic times, families can stretch their grocery budgets by choosing canned foods, a decision made easier when they know that canned fruits and vegetables, in particular, can be equal to and more nutritious than fresh, according to our research.

CMI previously released a study from Michigan State University that validates the nutrient parity between canned and fresh vegetables,3 however only 57 percent of Americans, and just under two thirds (64 percent) of SNAP / WIC households, agree with the idea that canned fruits and vegetables can be as nutritious as fresh.

Given that every four out of ten (41 percent) Americans said they have limited access to stores and farmers markets that sell fresh fruits and vegetables, its not surprising that more than half (56 percent) feel canned fruits and vegetables are extremely or very important in helping them prepare convenient, nutritious and affordable meals. This number rises to two-thirds (67 percent) of those on food assistance (SNAP/WIC). For more information on the survey, visit Can Manufacturers Omnibus Study.

More Survey Results
Additional survey findings include:

  • One quarter (25 percent) of the fruit consumed in the average American household is sourced from cans; this proportion rises to nearly one-third (32 percent) of all fruit consumed in SNAP and WIC households.
  • Just under one third (31 percent) of the vegetables consumed in the average American household is sourced from cans; this proportion rises to well over one-third (39 percent) in SNAP and WIC households.

About the Survey
The survey was conducted by Toluna Omnibus with a national sample of 1,017 U.S. adults, aged 18+, balanced on key demographics: age, sex and region, with a margin of error of +/- 3%. The survey, conducted on-line, was fielded from July 25-27, 2012. From the primary sample, the following group was identified for comparative analysis:

  • SNAP / WIC Food Assistance  U.S. adults who indicate that within the past year, they or someone in their immediate family participated in any of the SNAP or WIC food assistance programs. (Sample of 211, Margin of Error +/- 7%)

About the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI)
The Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) is the trade association of the metal and composite can manufacturing industry and its suppliers in the United States. The association received its charter in 1938, then representing only 39 manufacturers and suppliers of goods and services to the industry. CMI members account for more than 81 percent of annual domestic production of 133 billion cans, which employs 22,000 people with plants in 33 states, Puerto Rico and American Samoa. For more information, visit

1 Kathleen Short, The Research Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2010, U.S. Census Bureau, November 2011. 2 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey July 2012. Accessed on August 7, 2012:
3 Miller, S. and Knudson, B. Michigan State University. Nutrition & Costs Comparisons of Select Canned, Frozen and Fresh Fruits and Vegetables 14 May 2012

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