FLEXIBLE PACKAGING Metal makers are heated up over microwaveability

Apr 01, 2008 | 01:41 PM |

Food fight! While conjuring up images of battles with mashed potato, the words are about to take on a new meaning as a mini-revolution is geared to heat up in the kitchen.

The catalyst is the arrival of microwaveable steel and aluminum food packaging—certain to light a fire under metal packagers and their plastic-producing counterparts in their rivalry to gain market share.

The booming U.S. flexible packaging industry currently accounts for just 18 percent (about $23.5 billion) of the overall $130-billion packaging market, second only to corrugated paper at 24 percent. And with the flexible packaging market growing at an estimated 4.4 percent annually, players are keen to develop ways to differentiate their products. The largest market for flexible packaging is food, both retail and institutional, accounting for more than 57 percent of shipments.....

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