A product caught my eye while window shopping at Giant hypermarket recently. This humble product stood out from the rest of its canned brethren as something unique in the Malaysian market. It was a sweet corn in plastic pouch. The Cinta brand sweet corn and other variants including baked beans in plastic pouches are injecting a new lease of life into a category that has always been in the canned format for decades.
Food-in-a-pouch is nothing new. I once saw sardines in pouch when I was in the Philippines in late 2011. I liked the concept because it was handy and the sardine could be eaten straight away by just tearing the pouch. You could even eat it from the bag in the absence of a proper set of cutlery.
In the US, Campbell’s Go Soups was launched in August 2012. Go Soups is a range of microwavable soups perfect for the Millennial who are constantly on the go. Campbell’s, known for its tomato soup, is betting on soup-in-a-bag for 20-somethings to arrest the decline in market share. The Go range has proven to be popular and is even available at the high-end Village Grocer supermarket in Kuala Lumpur.
Plastic pouch is also commonly used in pet food. So, plastic pouch is not something revolutionary but it is ‘new’ for the canned food category in Malaysia. Consumers aren’t accustomed to seeing their usual baked beans or sweet corns in plastic pouch. The Cinta brand even has to convince consumers that it is ‘just like can’ and claims to be really just a ‘soft can.’
Cinta should be more proactive in celebrating the goodness of plastic pouch instead of saying it is just like can, which is akin to a slap on the face. So why bother to use plastic pouch in the first place? One can safety make the claim that the sweet corn or baked bean is a more convenient way to eat. If this product can be microwaved, I am sure consumers will be all too happy to eat hot baked beans straight from the pack.