SnapShop Retailer Directory Search

You are here: Home | Blog | Hot Topic

SnapShop Blog

Hot Topic

 

Posted At: 05 February 2010 16:44 PM
Related Categories: Retailers, Social Commentary

 

You know, I can’t even remember how I stumbled upon this gem of a blog topic yesterday; I must have read something throughout the day that lead me down the long dark path into researching…self heating food products

 

Stick with me here.

 

You must remember those little coffee cans you used to be able to get at the supermarket – you pop a button in the bottom, give it a shake and hey presto you’ve got third degree burns and lovely nice hot coffee…? Yes, well, you can get food that does that now you know. Whole meals, in fact!

 

Actually, it seems like there is a whole sector out there based on the innovation, production and retailing of self-heating products, and its not a new thing. Self-heating food was first produced for mountaineers and explorers in the 1900s, and they even appeared in the rations available in the Second World War! Fascinating.

 

And it’s not just cans. Oh no. One particular company that I came across in my research has to get special kudos, for they have invented…wait for it… self-heating cups, fondue kits, ‘containers’, business lunch (??!) and 3 course meals. Bargan Innovation Production Group, if you’re interested. I wish we could post pictures on the SnapShop blog, because the picture of their self-heating 3 course meal is amazing.

 

As far as I could see, these meals were not in stock at any of the outdoor retailers on the high street, which is just barmy. Surely this sort of stuff would be great for the novice/lazy camper or unfussy festival goer? Blacks, Millets, Go Outdoors (they have pouches, but not the self-heating container bit I got with mine); none of them had what I was looking for. I’m sort of convinced that offering these a bit cheaper/as part of a festival/summer camping kit would be a great hit. Ok, so this is mainly my desperate attempt at linking this topic to retailing, but you know, its products like this that get peoples attention. I’d never heard of such a thing until stumbling upon it, and I’m sure the majority of non-hardcore-outdoor-types will feel the same – “I don’t know why, but I want some!” – so why aren’t they in stores? A bit of innovation might shake this sector up – especially when we all know you can get a tent just as good from Wilkinsons and Tesco, these days.

 

Finally, if you’re interested, a review of the products that I tested…

 

I ordered sausage and beans in a can from Hotcan and an All Day Breakfast pouch from Autochef.

 

The Hotcan was definitely the easiest of the two products to use, the cheapest (by 1p – both cost around £4), and the contents were edible. The method for activating the magic chemicals inside involves sticking a metal spike (included) into some holes and standing well back. It kind of sounded like the can might explode – some bubbling and hissing with rising steam was observed – but all was well! The contents didn’t get hot enough for me personally, but it was plenty hot enough to give you a nice hot meal in an emergency. All in all, 4/5 for the Hotcan I think.

 

The Autochef breakfast was a bit too fiddly for me to recommend in an emergency. The food itself comes in one pack, while the separate heating pack has to be activated with water (provided). You put the food in the hot pack and voilla! Although, be warned, the pack gets very hot and is not protected by cushioning as the can – actually, it got so hot I moved it out of the carboard box I’d stood it in into the metal sink, concerned that I may set the office on fire! Not only that, but leaning over to smell it (not sure why!) resulted in a nose scolded by the steam for intrigued JC, who also burnt her finger on it! I’d not be confident using this in a tent, or anywhere remotely flammable, although I’m sure it wouldn’t be on sale if such things could occur. The contents – pretty much the same as the beans and sausage, with the addition of some tofu-esque omelette and tasteless bacon bits. Alright, but you’d be better off with the straight sausage/beans combo. 3/5 for Autochef.

 

Bit of a random blog, I give you, and really only loosely related to retail, but interesting all the same, I hope!

 

Next mission; to find somewhere that still sells self-heating coffee/tea!

 

PS: One of our Directors did suggest he’d take 3 week old dead squirrel over our offerings, but frankly, that’s just a negative attitude!

Comments Comments (0) Twitter Twitter


Comments...

There are no comments for this entry.



Add a Comment:

Please Note: Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved. Although we ask for your email address for verification purposes, only the name you enter will show against your comment.

 
Name *
Email Address *  
Website
Comments *
 
 
 
The opinions expressed herein are the personal opinion of the author and are not intended as statements of fact and do not represent the view of SnapShop or Pragma in any way.

Subscribe

Enter your email address below
to receive SnapShop blogs
straight to your inbox.
 

Blog Roll:

Hurlbut & Associates
Insight-Driven Retail Blog
James Hall, Telegraph
Marketing Cloud Blog
Retail Consultancy Blog
Retail Contrarian
Retail Technology Blog
Retail Week Comment
Spotlight on German Retail

Archives By Category:

Administrations (71)
And Finally (22)
Christmas (5)
Co-operative Retail (1)
Environmental (6)
E-tailing (13)
Finance & Investment Management (3)
FSP News (4)
Future of Retailing (24)
General (63)
Jane Norman (1)
Media (4)
Retail (137)
Retail Marketing (3)
Retail Property (12)
Retail Statistics (40)
Retail Suppliers (8)
Retailer At Risk (6)
Retailers (193)
SnapShop Developments (3)
Social Commentary (34)
Store Closures (22)
Town & Shopping Centre Management (14)
Womenswear Retailer (3)

Recent Entries:

Retailer View - Weird Fish
Retailer View - Monki
Retailer View - Boden
Retailer View - The Entertainer
Retail Update - November 2018

Recent Comments:

Retail Spotlight – The changing face of leisure
Really interesting sector changes you've highlighted. We have also noticed a sharp rise in the 24 ho... more
Cost of Cash Set to Rise
We have seen growing investment amongst retail clients wanting to get ahead of this trend. it will ... more
And Finally - Surreal
Does my app look big in this, hehe, got to try the Ann Summe... more
Who's next?
Thanks Dave. Sports Direct International has very strong leadership and its accounts have been recor... more
Who's next?
Interesting stuff, it doesn't look like long before they will go under. Any ideas on why sports dire... more
Twitter LinkedIn
Privacy PolicyTerms of Use

Our website uses cookies. Cookies enable us to provide the best experience possible and help us understand how customers use our website.
Our site won't work without them. By continuing to use our website you accept our use of cookies. Find out more about cookies. ×