Can makers push hard to promote 'perception of freshness'

Jan 01, 2010 | 09:23 AM |

Can makers—those who use tinplate manufactured by steel producers worldwide—are fighting a couple of tough battles these days but are having success on several fronts even though the odds seem to be stacked against them.

Among their challenges is pricing power, which rests in the hands of steel producers. ArcelorMittal USA, Chicago, and U.S. Steel Corp., Pittsburgh, are the only two true U.S. manufacturers of the product, while Ohio Coatings Co., Yorkville, Ohio, and USS-Posco Industries Inc., Pittsburg, Calif., apply tin coating to substrate material, so can makers have limited options from where to source material.

Another battle is the freshness challenge. Try, for example, promoting the message that canned food is better than fresh food. That challenge is being taken up by the Can Manufacturers' Institute (CMI), Washington, which has a formidable opponent in none other than the First Lady. "The big battle for the can makers is freshness," CMI president Robert Budway said. "There is a misperception out there that fresh food is better than canned food. That perception is bolstered when you have someone like Michelle Obama with her garden at the White House. But that (fresh food is better than canned food) is not always the case."....

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