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The secret of the can

Aktualisiert: 11. Feb. 2021

ana's blog

True and rare things about Swiss eating habits

In this blog I will tell you about the eating habits of the Zurich lowlands. The Zürcher Unterland was an agricultural part of the canton of Zurich until the 1960s. Today's airport area was reed, that means wet and barren. The people had modest incomes and so was their daily menu. It was only through the draining of large areas, the industry that settled there and the steadily growing airport, incomes rose.

The secret of the can.

Canned ravioli, one of the first canned ready meals, has been around in Switzerland since the 1930s. After the Second World War, canned ravioli became a hit. Ravioli corresponded to the trend towards uncomplicated cuisine and satisfied the hunger for foreign dishes. Canned ravioli were convenient and cheap. Warm the can, open it, and the menu was ready. Canned ravioli were in great demand and were even eaten cold. The canned ravioli were not only popular with housewives and children. Men also valued this type of pasta. 35 years ago, 226 tons of canned ravioli were eaten in the military every year. Hero became the market leader, the ravioli cans were built into pyramids in the shops.

The darkest day in the history of Swiss canned ravioli was certainly March 10, 1978, when the consumer program “Kassensturz” examined the ravioli in a program and discovered what canned ravioli consisted of at the time: 70 percent water. The filling contained offal or slaughterhouse waste and cellulose and breadcrumbs as fillers. Today there is only muscle meat and some bacon in it, but: The meat content is lean - only three to seven percent per can.

After the broadcast, consumption across the country fell to around half. Hero responded with an advertisement campaign: "THAT'S IN!" It was guaranteed that the canned ravioli consisted of beef (without offal), bacon and tomato sauce. And: "Quality and hygiene are very important to us!"

Nevertheless: It took years before the sales level of the previous years was reached again. The process that Hero led against the «Kassensturz» was protracted. And finally ended in a comparison.

-Ana Figuerola

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