Millennials Accused Of ‘Killing’ Canned Tuna Industry

One StarKist executive blames the decline on a lack of can openers in millennial households.

Can of Starkist Chunk Light Tuna sitting on a table
dcwcreations / Shutterstock

One StarKist executive blames the decline on a lack of can openers in millennial households.

Over the last few years, millennials have been the accused culprit for killing several products, brand names, industries, and ideals. Manufacturers of processed foods, for example, have noticed a decline in sales as the millennial generation leans toward fresher and more natural foods.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, millennials are now being accused of “killing” the canned tuna industry as well.

The Wall Street Journal report reveals canned tuna sales have declined 42 percent over the last 30 years while the sales of frozen and fresh fish are on the rise.

Andy Mecs, the vice president of marketing and innovation for Starkist, told the publication a lack of can openers was the reason for the decline.

“A lot of millennials don’t even own can openers,” he explained.

The decline in sales forced companies such as StarKist to shift their focus and increase the production of pouched tuna instead.

StarKist made the decision to shift focus to pouched tuna when they noticed a 20 percent annual increase in sales. The increase in sales makes sense as one of the many things the millennial generation seeks out in their foods is convenience, such as the convenience of something ready to eat in an easy to open pouch.

Brands such as Bumble Bee and StarKist have also started to lean on flavors the millennial generation enjoys to increase sales. Some examples being the sriracha-flavored and ranch-flavored tuna pouches.

Package of Starkist tuna creations in different flavors on an isolated background
  Keith Homan / Shutterstock

According to Daily Mail, canned tuna and processed foods are far from the only things the millennial generation has been accused of killing. Some of the other alleged victims of this generation include:

  • Marriage
  • Department stores
  • Cereal
  • Bars of soap
  • Mayonnaise
  • Napkins

Business Insider notes millennials not owning a can opener isn’t the only reason the tuna industry – as a whole – is suffering. According to the outlet, the bigger and deeper issue is open office lunch hour. More and more individuals – millennials and otherwise – working in an office setting find themselves eating their lunch and/or dinner in the office instead of leaving work to grab a meal.

Unfortunately for lovers of tuna, eating tuna in an open office setting is viewed by many as a taboo practice. A quick search of “open office tuna” on Twitter – or any other social media platform – reveals it is a popularly discussed issue as no one wants the smell of tuna to linger in an office setting.

According to Business Insider, the tuna industry should consider pushing to eliminate eating lunches in the office and require employees to leave work for lunch and dinner breaks.