Canned fruit: Breaking the mould Del Monte is planning to break out of the straitjacket of the canned fruit market by taking an innovative approach which it hopes to bring to the European market later this year. The developments are still under wraps but Fernando Lage, the company's operations and production director for Africa, says: "They will make a big difference. We are doing the trials now and will soon be ready." He would not be drawn on the developments. "The future is in being part of the next generation of food concepts and pre-prepared products. The can is dated and the writing is on the wall for the canning industry. "There is nothing wrong with the can, but it has been around for a long time and it is very difficult to be innovative. Where we are now is not bad, but in comparison with the rest of the food business it is not good. "The most challenging thing we have got to do is change an old fashioned industry to cope with new style products and demands." Lage says one of the barriers to real innovation is the power of the supermarkets "They decide on the finances and what the market requires. This makes it difficult to do anything new. "They are requiring more products to their own specifications, but we have the Del Monte brand to protect. We have to consult them if we want to change packaging formats or they might not allow us to introduce them on the shelves. Their power goes beyond pricing." {{Z SUPPLEMENTS }}