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UK consumers demand for antibacterial packaging

28 October 2014

Antibacterial packaging that is designed to delay the development of germs and bacteria in canned products is set to become a hit with consumers, a new survey from Canadean reveals. The research finds that over half of Britons are worried about bacteria on the outside of a can more than the presence of dirt and dust, or if it is dented or discoloured.

UK consumers are concerned about the transportation and storage of grocery products. Moreover, there is also a growing concern about the presence of bacteria and germs on everyday items and the impact that it can have on health. According to Canadean, a total of 55% of Britons either say they are “concerned” or “very concerned” about germs on the outside of cans. There is a clear correlation between age and levels of concern, with those aged 18-24 years old the least likely to view bacteria as an issue (49%) and those aged 55 and older the most (63%). Males are more likely to be worried about bacteria (57%) compared to females (53%).

UK consumers are more worried about the presence of bacteria on canned products than signs of dirt on packaging (42%), or dust on a can (32%). When it comes to the presentation of cans, consumers are still more worried about bacteria, but less about the deformation of a can (46%) or if a label is discoloured (48%). It is only if canned food looks like it has been previously opened which makes Britons worry the most (82%). 

According to Michael Hughes, lead analyst at Canadean: “Consumers are becoming more conscious about the distribution and storage of grocery products and the implications this has on the safety and quality of food. As such, there is a clear demand for products that have antibacterial packaging to help reassure consumers. This will be particularly true with products that are purchased on-the-go and from retailers that consumers are unfamiliar with and where they are less confident about the safety and quality of products”.

“Given that older consumers are most worried about the presence of bacteria – which can be linked to a greater level of concern about immunity and maintaining health, the demand for antibacterial packaging will only intensify in the future as society continues to age”, Hughes concludes.


Canadean found that there is a growing concern among Britons about the presence of bacteria on everyday items and the impact that it can have on health.


All numbers used in this text are based on a Canadean consumer survey of 2,000 UK adults, conducted in October 2014. 

Please get in contact if you have any questions to this or other Canadean data. Analysts are available to comment. Contact the Canadean press office on +44 (0) 207 936 6713  or email

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