Sunday, 28 May 2017

Canned Sweetcorn - Exposed! - Part 2

Green Giant is the market leader but is it the best for bait?
After sitting here crunching the numbers it seems there is very little point in trying to be frugal unless I intend to feed lots of corn. In which case I will use frozen corn and that means I will only ever use tinned corn in relatively small quantities. Although some corn can be getting on for four times the cost of cheaper corn, the difference in cost for a session is pennies as so little is used.
What is far more important is the quality (size, shape and texture) of the kernels and what they are canned in. Before I started all this, it didn't occur to me it would be canned in different liquids. Most of the cheaper brands are canned in water. Some are canned in water with added sugar. The nations favourite is canned in water with salt. A secondary consideration is can size and convenience.

As I mentioned in Part 1, I have been using Tesco Everyday Value sweetcorn for a while now, because it costs 35p for a decent sized can. The sweetcorn itself is okay with nice reasonably firm kernels and no mush in the bottom. However it does not have a ring-pull and it is packed in sugared water. The other thing I have realised is that I tend to 'waste' half the can because the way I use it, I end up feeding the ducks with what is left at the end of the day. Although I usually drain and box up my sweetcorn the night before a trip, the ring pull would be an advantage as I could keep a few cans in the 'van-stock' of emergency baits without all the messing about remembering to take yet another tool - the can opener.

Spot the difference... Is there one?
Now, I have decided to look at this with an open mind I am going to pick a short list of cans and have a look at what we have got. First I want to look at the Green Giant 'Original' verses 'Salad Crisp'. Well, I have looked at it, smelt it, squashed it and eaten it - I can't tell the difference. Each can has kernels of varying size and texture. You can find firm and softer kernels in each can. I am convinced there is no difference in the contents. I am also convinced it is just a marketing initiative to 'say' it is okay to eat it uncooked, straight from the tin. If anyone knows different please let me know.

Some whole kernels but a lot of small pieces and some mush
With that out of the way, looking at the also-rans, most of them use words like 'Naturally Sweet' on the label. Looking at the ingredients this is marketing speak for canned in plain water. Green Giant Original and Salad Crisp is canned in water and salt. Making it taste slightly different to the cheaper brands, some would say better. I must admit, comparing it spoon full to spoon full, I think I prefer the salted stuff. Out of all the samples I bought, the only other brands to be canned in water and salt are the Golden Country, from Sam99 and Lidl's. own brand, Freshona. The Sam99 offering has all the signs of being useful, it has a ring-pull, it is only 50p for a large can, but the can is full of small pieces and a lot of damaged kernels. I might use it for feed, but it does not look as if it will be any good for hook bait. The only other can I found that said it was canned in salted water is Lidl's Freshona Sweetcorn, This appears to be much like the Sam99 offering with lots of smaller kernels and a fair few soft and broken pieces.   

Tesco Naturally Sweet Sweetcorn
The rest of the selection are all much of a muchness. The corn is all very similar and I doubt anyone would be able to tell the difference from one can to another. Prices vary but that can change by the day as well. I have only shown three cans here, but all the others look the same.

Aldi Sweet Harvest Sweetcorn
It is really all down to what you are happy with. I am sure Green Giant works well due to its added salt most of the others are canned in plain water. It might be worth trying adding salt to see if it makes the corm more attractive as a hook bait. In the end it really does boil down to what you have confidence in and how you prepare it.

Asda Naturally Sweet sweetcorn
I hate to admit it but the Green Giant Original (or Salad Fresh) seems to be the one to go with. The own brand sweetcorn is cheaper but I feel they are using the healthy eating excuse to can the stuff in plain water. I will be buying Green Giant Original in packs of four of the smaller 198g tins in future. One tin will be more than enough for me in a session. By buying it in packs of  four small cans the price is hardy any different than buying three-packs of the larger cans. As I will only be using it for hook bait that will be fine. There will still be enough for light feeding. If I need a bit more I can just open another can. If I intend to use sweetcorn for heavy feeding, or making custard, I will use the frozen stuff as that can be be bought very cheaply and you only need to defrost as much as you need.

Oh, don't worry I am not going to survey all the frozen stuff..

I have to point out that this has only been based on the cans I could find locally. I am sure the consistency and quality of own-brands can vary from batch to batch as the retailer changes it's supplier. Most of the cans are marked with France or Hungary as being their country of origin. I  guess sweetcorn production is  huge business and the cheaper brands are canned with less care than the brand leader. All I can say is that of the cans I have bought and tested (if that is what you call it) there is no doubt that the difference between the brands is negligible, but Green Giant seem to have the edge, yes it is dearer but in real terms it is only a few pennies per outing and for me I think it is worth it.  

Now that is over, back to the fishing. I am hoping to get out this week with a trip out to Beaver as I have a few things I want to try before the match, I am competing in, there the week after. I am also hoping to get a few hours in at Oakley Road if I get time. Now I wonder what bait I will be using? 

Missed Part 1? You can find it HERE >>>