Some supermarkets reported to be considering own labels for pouch format Tuna prices set to rise Although tuna raw material prices have steadied over the last few weeks, prices are about to rise at retail level, reflecting the second phase of increases which importers had to pay when packers were paying over $900 a tonne for skipjack. Similarly, many of these contracts were covered at an exchange rate of under $1.40 to the pound, according to an importer. "We have some expensive product which we contracted for back in June and we hope to recoup some of the added changes in higher prices to the trade." Sales of tuna remain buoyant, due to the permanent multipack promotions which now form a large part of the business. Replacement costs are likely to rise as US importers line up their January arrivals to qualify for the 50% duty saving they get under their quota system. Product is shipped from Thailand and the Philippines during November, making sure none arrives before the critical January 1 date, thus qualifying for the duty saving. Recently introduced pouch packs by Princes and John West have been readily accepted by consumers, and reports that some supermarkets are considering introducing own label copies would suggest the new form of packaging has a good future. The pouch pack is already well established in the foodservice area, as it offers manufacturers a raw material without the hazard of opening and disposing of a large number of cans. The premium, gramme for gramme, seems to be acceptable when set against the added convenience. {{CANNED GOODS }}