Author Topic: Canned tomato common manufacturing?  (Read 728 times)

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Offline oliveview

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Canned tomato common manufacturing?
« on: May 27, 2016, 12:07:54 PM »
I've seen totally different branded / labeled cans of tomatoes (28oz crushed) at totally different stores. In this case, Walmart and Pavilion's.
But they each have the same "5tpcg" code machine printed on the bottom of the tin. Elsewhere, I've heard that some of the other popular tomato brands also have the same manufacturing code.

So, I'm guessing that there is one canning plant creating the identical product, for different regional labels. Is that correct?

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Canned tomato common manufacturing?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2016, 12:55:25 PM »
I believe  "5tpcg" or "5tpck" is the code for "Fresh Packed Tomatoes".
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Offline oliveview

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Re: Canned tomato common manufacturing?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2016, 01:03:37 PM »
Out of curiosity, I picked up several other cans 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes, from various national labels, and none of them had those codes on the bottom. They had totally different codes. Any idea why that would differ, then? I can't imagine that the cheaper, generic labels, would only be fresh packed, while the big names would differ. That's why I am curious whether that code means that they originate at the same factory - certainly not excluding your point that they might be freshly packed.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Canned tomato common manufacturing?
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2016, 03:20:09 PM »
It's entirely possible to find identical products from the same manufacturer with different brand labels. It's also possible to find the same label on cans with different codes; this may mean the came from different plant or otherwise identical cans with different codes may even come out of the same plant. I don't know of any standardized coding system for canned products.
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Offline oliveview

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Re: Canned tomato common manufacturing?
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2016, 03:35:04 PM »
It's entirely possible to find identical products from the same manufacturer with different brand labels. It's also possible to find the same label on cans with different codes; this may mean the came from different plant or otherwise identical cans with different codes may even come out of the same plant. I don't know of any standardized coding system for canned products.

Indeed. Thanks. I totally agree on the standardization. Other than the fact that I'm sure the FDA likely mandates that they're identified, in some way, to trace contamination, etc.
But as far as the exact "5tpcg" or the like - I have to assume that is a good indication that the products are otherwise identical, and come from the same manufacturing facility.

And I never bothered to mention, the crushed tomatoes from Wallmart were quite excellent on the pizzas I made. To my tastes, better than the substantially more expensive San Marzano products I've been throwing money at for ages...

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Canned tomato common manufacturing?
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2016, 06:40:56 PM »
Walmart is notorious for having products private labeled for them, not just in food but in just about everything else too so if you know what you are looking at you can usually identify a name brand product under a Walmart label, the same is true for just about any other retailer with a house brand.
One thing to keep in mind about Walmart though is that their suppliers seem to change faster than some people change their underwear, so if thing suddenly take a change, don't be surprised. My rule for Walmart is if you like it, buy it, buy a lot of it, because it may not be there tomorrow or it may be made by a different supplier. As you know, Walmart is all about $$$$$$$.
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Offline oliveview

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Re: Canned tomato common manufacturing?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2016, 07:07:20 PM »
Walmart is notorious for having products private labeled for them, not just in food but in just about everything else too so if you know what you are looking at you can usually identify a name brand product under a Walmart label, the same is true for just about any other retailer with a house brand.
One thing to keep in mind about Walmart though is that their suppliers seem to change faster than some people change their underwear, so if thing suddenly take a change, don't be surprised. My rule for Walmart is if you like it, buy it, buy a lot of it, because it may not be there tomorrow or it may be made by a different supplier. As you know, Walmart is all about $$$$$$$.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thanks. I've now confirmed that the same product code (5TPCG) is also found on the 28oz crushed cans at Ralph's. The supposed name of this line of tomato products is "p$$t... big savings pass it on" - however, on the back of the label, there is a tony customer service section and they list "Kroger.com" as a contact. So, that might be what's going on here. But that's three otherwise unrelated market chains, carrying three totally different labeled products, but with the same manufacturing code.

The real test will be this weekend, ideally, if I have time to make a pie. I'll then be able to look at and taste whether this product is the same as that which I bought at Walmart last weekend.

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Canned tomato common manufacturing?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2016, 08:23:15 PM »
But that's three otherwise unrelated market chains, carrying three totally different labeled products, but with the same manufacturing code.

The packer will often put the cans up as "blanks" with no labels. When Walmart, Ralph's, or whoever orders, they pull them down, run them through the labeler with the appropriate label, and send them out the door.

Also, Ralph's is owned by Kroger.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2016, 08:25:42 PM by TXCraig1 »
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Offline oliveview

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Re: Canned tomato common manufacturing?
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2016, 10:29:53 AM »
The packer will often put the cans up as "blanks" with no labels. When Walmart, Ralph's, or whoever orders, they pull them down, run them through the labeler with the appropriate label, and send them out the door.

Also, Ralph's is owned by Kroger.

Yep. Makes total sense. I knew that Ralph's was owned by Kroger, but I missed the opportunity to check (simply for the sake of curiosity) the small print on the related cans at Walmart and Pavilion's (Vons).

Offline oliveview

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Offline oliveview

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Re: Canned tomato common manufacturing?
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2016, 10:37:10 AM »
Forget whether I mentioned it or not, but the price on the Ralph's (Kroger) 28oz cans beats even Walmart. I bought a handful for .97 each! Crazy! For the longest time I've been spending $4+ on cans of San Marzano (DOP and non) and have never really found them to my liking for pizza, especially considering the cost. I've made the snobbish mistake of never even considering the inferior-looking cans of generic stuff. Boy was that a mistake!


Offline Mike O'Logical

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Re: Canned tomato common manufacturing?
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2016, 10:08:56 PM »
I donít know jack squat about canned tomatoes, but I did work in the Walmart/Samís Club sales office of one of the worldís largest agri/food companies for 10 years.  It is mainly an ingredient/food service company, but dabbled in supplying retail to keep the plants running at full capacity.  Only a handful of retail brands, and most of those were regional.  Mostly supplied store brands, so while I canít comment on canned tomatoes specifically I do have a lot of experience with producing for private labels.  Products ranged from fresh meat to vegetable oils to flour to salad dressings to frozen chicken wings, and beyond.

Even though it may seem like it from the below, Iím no fan of Walmart.  Just trying to explain how things work from a first-hand perspective.  Iím pretty sure similar principles apply to most major retailers.

Saying Walmart is ďnotoriousĒ for contracting out production of private label items is a little harsh.   Retailers arenít in the production business.   All of them (with perhaps a few specific exceptions) work with outside manufacturers specific to the need to produce private label products.

Iím not quite so certain you can identify a ďname brandĒ under a private label.  Many are supplied by companies like the one I worked for which have little retail presence but are skilled in producing the product.  In the same vein, many ďname brandsĒ donít make their product either; they contract it out and slap their label on it just like the retailers.

The way it works for supplying either a private label or a national brand is they give you the specifications for the final product.  If you can make the product to the customerís satisfaction at a price point they can live with, you get the bid.

Walmart doesnít change suppliers willy-nilly.  Itís usually on an annual basis--depending on product--  unless a supplier was unable to fulfill their commitment (small/new companies are notorious for submitting a low bid to Walmart thinking theyíll cash in on big business, only to find out they canít handle the volume).  They also typically want at least 3 different suppliers for their house brands.  That way, if one suffers a catastrophic failure, they are not out of product across the country, and theyíll lean on the other suppliers to fill the void.  So, for many food products people in different parts of the country will get product from different suppliers.

While a different supplier will certainly deliver a different product, Walmart can also change the specs on their house brands which can affect the end product from all manufacturers.

Tying it all back to tomato cans:  I suspect there are a lot more numbers on the can cited above than were given.  Typically on food products the numbers describe (for those with Little Orphan Annieís decoder ring):  The plant where it was produced, the lot number (identifies all product made in the same batch), and the pack date.  Might also contain other relevant information to the specific product.

Given the same code across brands in the posts above about canned tomatoes, Iím guessing itís for the production facility.  But that doesnít necessarily mean itís the same product.  As I suggested above, different customers have different requirements, and the supplier makes to the customerís specs.  As an example, I worked with a plant that made hamburger patties for Walmart, Samís, Sonic, Burger King and a few others.  The patties for each customer had a different formula, but had the same USDA plant ID stamp.
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Canned tomato common manufacturing?
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2016, 08:37:53 AM »
If a can has a paper label (as opposed to a label that is literally printed directly on the can, everything the manufacturer needs to know to identify what is inside the can is going to be printed on one/both of the ends. If you have two cans of the same item (crushed tomatoes for example) and the codes printed on the ends are identical (even if they look like they were printed by different machines), it's a virtual certainty that the product inside the cans is the same.
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Offline Mike O'Logical

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Re: Canned tomato common manufacturing?
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2016, 01:59:01 PM »
If a can has a paper label (as opposed to a label that is literally printed directly on the can, everything the manufacturer needs to know to identify what is inside the can is going to be printed on one/both of the ends. If you have two cans of the same item (crushed tomatoes for example) and the codes printed on the ends are identical (even if they look like they were printed by different machines), it's a virtual certainty that the product inside the cans is the same.

This is true.  You can also have the same product with different numbers due to different lot codes, but you can't really tell unless you know the manufacturer's system.
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Offline DeanS

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Re: Canned tomato common manufacturing?
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2016, 12:12:40 PM »
If you want to decode for 6-in-1, I found the spec sheet a while ago
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=34099.msg339188#msg339188
http://www.heinzfoodservice.com/~/media/HeinzFoodService/assets/media/PDFs/6%20in%201%20All%20Purpose%20Ground%20Tomatoes.ashx
Quote
CASE CODING: Secondary Packaging
1 Line: Factory, Year, Month, Day (Q62H14)
Q6 = Escalon, 2 = 2012, H = Aug, 14 = Day
A=Jan; B=Feb; C=Mar; D=Apr; E=May; F=Jun; G=Jul; H=Aug; J=Sep; K=Oct; L=Nov; M=Dec


 

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