Recent NPD reported by Mintel's GNPD in the baked beans sector illustrates the trend towards convenience with the introduction of microwaveable Heinz baked beans. The beans are available in snacking plastic pots that can be placed directly into the microwave. The past two years have seen a number of organic introductions in this sector including ones by HP, Heinz and Organic Valley. Many of these products have been approved by the Soil Association. Several canned organic pasta varieties have also been introduced to the market such as Heinz canned spaghetti in tomato sauce. Heinz continues to add to its baked beans canned meals. Over the past year, products which have been added to its new Quick Serve category include Baked Beans Chilli con Carne, Baked Beans Chicken Curry, Baked Beans Bolognese, and Baked Beans Sausage Casserole. Canned fish attracts highest overall usage levels in the fish sector (at 80%), benefiting from being low in cost, versatile in terms of usage occasions, and requiring little or no cooking skills. It also attracts fewer concerns about shelf life. While canned sardines remain relatively inexpensive, tuna and salmon in cans are frequently featured in price promotions. Forecasts for the fish market show canned fish sales set to decline by 9% between 2000 and 2004, there being no great scope for NPD. During 2000, John West launched Skinless & Boneless Sardines, sardines with the bones removed and a reduced amount of skin. Other introductions include a tuna in dressing range from John West under the WeightWatchers brand from Heinz. Within the tinned hot dog market, last year saw Ye Olde Oak's canned Chilli Dogs introduction. The company acclaimed it as the UK's first flavoured hot dog. In general, canned meat products are in long-term decline as consumers switch to other products. Mintel estimates the canned fruit and vegetables market to be worth around £460m in 2001. Snacking has benefited canned fruit sales, with suppliers introducing smaller and more convenient portion sizes. Plastic pots hold the added advantage of allowing consumers to see the product on-shelf. In 1999, Del Monte repackaged some of its products in plastic, for fridge storage, to encourage greater consumption. Fruit pots also opened up the sector to the lunchbox market. l Commentary supplied by Mintel GNPD Database {{P&P }}