Packaging Trends Report 2005 - Can Manufacturers Institute

Challenges and Consumer Demands
Influencing the U.S. Packaging Market
Can Manufacturers Institute
Packaging Trends Report 2005
Letter from the President
Think the metal food can is stagnant? Think again. We’re in the midst of a revolution in metal
packaging design. Breakthroughs in metal packaging are beginning to gain consumer acceptance
across the U.S. These innovations represent a new and exciting chapter in the life of the venerable
200-year-old metal food can.
What’s driving this change? Consumers. Food can makers foresee significant technological advances
ahead, which will make the can even more attractive. Grocery shoppers will be able to select from an
array of easy-to-use and convenient metal packages, including:
 Containers with twist-top resealable lids
 Easy-open cans with pull-tab lids made with steel, aluminum or plastic
 Distinctive easy-to-grasp metal cans shaped like bowls, kettles and even squares
 Self-heating and self-cooling cans to deliver a piping hot can of coffee or a cold drink
 Microwaveable cans
It’s with great pleasure that I present the inaugural Can Manufacturers Institute Packaging Trends
Report 2005. This compendium of information will provide you with the latest trends affecting the metal
food packaging industry. The data inside will also provide you with insight that underscores how the
metal food can is leading the way with new and exciting packaging innovations and has remained the
most economical, environmentally friendly, and above all, safest packaging form. Consider the
 Production costs for metal cans used in food packaging are 10 to 50 percent less than similar
costs for retort pouches, a factor that greatly impacts the economic landscape for food
 Metal food and beverage cans are 100 percent recyclable, making them the most recycled form
of packaging. Metal can recycling rates are more than two and one-half times higher than the
rate of their competitors, and for the last decade, cans have maintained a consistent recycling
rate above 50 percent.
 With its tamper-evident packaging, the metal food can has an unparalleled track record for safety.
The integrity of the metal food can extends product shelf life, its safety and the long-term quality
of the food contained within.
The message is and remains clear: You can count on the can. We’re in a new age of canned
convenience, and the industry is rising to create new and exciting packaging innovations.
Best Regards,
Robert Budway
Challenges and Consumer Demands Influencing the Packaging Market
The Packaging Revolution: Innovation Meets Changing Consumer Lifestyles
Consumer demand for on-the-go convenience and easy-to-use products is sparking a
packaging revolution. In this revolution, consumers are clearly winning.
“We continue to see strong
demand for steel food cans.
Our focus remains consistent:
develop innovative and brandbuilding packages to help our
customers grow, and
manufacture more valueorientated packaging that
meets and exceeds consumer
Brian Cardno
President of Food Division
Ball Corporation
While food and beverage containers utilizing such new concepts as plastic
pouches and “Tetrapaks,” small glass jugs, plastic bottles and cans with
straws are populating grocery shelves, consumers say they prefer
traditional packaging in metal, glass and plastic.1 They just want
packaging that helps them do things faster and easier, and cans are rising
to the challenge with new-age options for today’s busy consumers.
“Innovations in the metal packaging sector are revolutionizing the
packaging industry, from an array of easy-to-use and convenient
containers with twist-tops, resealable metal lids, easy-open cans with pulltab lids and rectangular cans with a convenient peelable opening system,”
reported Packaging Digest. 2
While the U.S. openly has adopted easy-to-use packaging, Europe and
Asia have taken the lead. A majority of canned foods on the shelves in
parts of Europe sport easy-open lids rather than lids that require a can
opener. EZO cans are found on only one-third of food cans sold in the
U.S.; however, this figure is predicted to rise to more than two-thirds by 2008, according to
the Can Manufacturers Institute.3
Specific examples of recent innovations with the metal food can include:
Self-heating cans: In the United Kingdom, Nestlé has test marketed a self-heating 33cl
steel can to heat its Nescafé coffee.4
Peelable lids that strip right off without a can opener: Saupiquet has begun marketing
canned fish products with a peelable lid to provide convenience for consumers while
keeping tuna fresh and flavorful.5 William Saurin, a French packager of high-end salads,
has begun using metal bowls with peelable aluminum lids that help guarantee portability
and product production; the lid has a tab allowing for easy access to the salad. 6
EZO cans that can be opened by consumers of all ages: Hirzel Canning Co. & Farms is
using a new steel food can to package Dei Fratelli® Presto! tomato-based Pizza Sauce and
Italian Dip in an easily opened, reclosable, 12-ounce can with what’s called Dot-Top
technology. This can has a pressure-release lid, making it easy to use, with a rolled edge
preventing sharp edges. It opens when the user peels back a tabbed dot on the center of
the lid, which easily can be snapped back on.7 This can was named one of the top three
food division Steel Packaging Effectiveness Award winners at the Fourth International Steel
Packaging Congress in Rheinterrasse.8
Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) Omnibus study, July 2005.
Packaging Digest, Feb. 2005.
3 Mohan, Anne Marie. “Lifting the lid on EZO can-end production.” Packaging Digest, July 2005.
4 “Pan European Consumer Survey on Beverage, Containers, and Test of Steel Packaging Concepts.”
Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (APEAL).
5 “Canned tuna dresses up with peelable lid.” Packaging Digest, Feb. 10, 2005.
6 “Salad travels in metal bowl, peel lid.” Food and Drug Packaging, Sept. 1, 2004.
7 Hartman, Lauren R. “Canning sauces the Hirzel way.” Packaging Digest, June 2005.
8 Ibid.
Crown Holdings Inc. has discovered the drive for easy opening packaging can pay off on the
bottom line. Crown uses EZO innovations on cans used for soup, which has resulted in a
“significant increase in sales and market share.”9 Crown’s “Lift Off” technology involves a canend pull-tab from a strip of steel that enters the press from the side. Crown is the only supplier
in the industry using double reduced (DR) steel for large scale EZO manufacturing: DR steel
offers the pressure-resistance and strength to stand up to retorting and steaming during the
packing process and to endure the stresses encountered in customer transportation and
“We know from market research that consumers want the convenience of EZO cans. Our
job is to demonstrate to food processors how to meet that demand with reliable technology
based on science, not assumption or opinion,” said Ray McGowan, president of Crown Food
Packaging USA.
“Crown continues to focus on
distinguishing itself in the
marketplace with leading
innovations that enable our
customers’ products to stand out
on the retail shelves while
enhancing consumer’s ease of
use. For example, our industryleading can shaping technology
and easy-open ends are garnering
increased customer attention.”
Ray McGowan
Crown Food Packaging USA
The Shape of Things to Come. Innovations in Package Shapes
and Materials.
Innovative designs also are broadening markets for containers
with new shapes, materials and uses. Metal cans, for instance,
are going where no cans have gone before. The NiebaumCoppola Winery is putting its “Sofia” sparkling wine in 187ml
cans instead of in traditional wine bottles. “We realized we could
make a can very cool and very elegant,” said Erle Martin,
president of the Niebaum-Coppola Winery.10
These single-serving pink cans cater to a customer’s need for
convenience, and they include a matching pink straw.11 The
cans have already been distributed in Miami and Las Vegas and
have now launched nationwide.12 The wine is named after Sofia
Coppola, director of the movie “Lost in Translation” and daughter
of filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola.
Meanwhile, “bottle cans,” a seeming contradiction in terms, are turning up across the beverage
spectrum, allowing for convenience and a new look to spice up markets for beer, soda and
energy drinks. WINFUEL is using its new aluminum “bottle can” to reflect the personality of its
multi-vitamin and mineral drinks. The cans have the “hand appeal and tactile feel of a free
weight” and come in many colors to appeal to both genders. 13 JOLT cola now uses a
resealable, 23.5-ounce aluminum bottle to combine the appeal of a bottle with the benefits of
aluminum packaging – freshness, recyclability, shelf stability and chilling quickly. 14
Beer companies also are getting a buzz from aluminum bottles. These bottles are unbreakable
and can keep beer cool for up to 50 minutes, which are both advantages over glass.15 The new
bottles are also generating a rise in beer sales. 16 Pittsburgh Brewing Company launched a new
12-ounce aluminum bottle that “has revived flagging sales and posed a problem it hasn’t had in
years: keeping up with demand.”17
Mohan, Anne Marie. “Lifting the lid on EZO can-end production.” Packaging Digest, July 2005Ibid.
Interview, MSNBC.COM July 5, 2005.
11 “A Box of Wine, a Loaf of Bread.” Business Week Online, July 11, 2005.
12 GMA SmartBrief Special Report, Apr. 7, 2005.
13 Mohan, Anne Marie. “Supplement can gets in shape.” Packaging Digest, May 1, 2005.
14 “Resealable ‘battery bottle’ gives JOLT cola more spark.” Packaging Digest, Mar. 1, 2005.
15 “Fill ‘er up! Aluminum eyes inroads from beer bottles.” Purchasing, Nov. 4, 2004.
16 GMA SmartBrief Special Report, April 7, 2005.
17 Boselovic, Len. “Aluminum beer bottle puts charge in Iron City.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jan. 23, 2005.
The campaign has demonstrated broader implications by making the bottle the message –
especially with Pittsburgh Steelers supporters who can drink it to display hometown pride. 18
And other companies have seen similar positive consumer response. The stylish, 16-ounce
aluminum bottles designed for Michelob, Michelob Light and Anheuser World Select have
touched a chord with “cool packaging to complement their image and style,” according to
Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
Looking Ahead: More packaging innovations are on the horizon. In a consumer survey
ordered by the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging to test attitudes
toward containers and packaging concepts, convenience features such as pouring devices and
a self-chilling capability rated high in consumer preferences. 19
In response to consumers’ desire for convenience, five new types of containers were tested
recently in Europe, which can offer a preview of what’s to come in the U.S. These included: an
ergonomically shaped can, a self-chilling can, a re-closable can, a widget can for improved
foam quality and a pouring device. 20
Safety First: Still a Top Packaging Requirement
While consumers want product packaging that is easier to use, their top concern is that it keeps
the product safe to eat or drink. This is where metal cans have a leg up in the packaging
“Consumers view plastic, flexible packaging and processable carton packaging as not being as
safe for their food products as the metal can. Consumers know that the lighter-weight,
squeezable nature of these packages make them vulnerable to damage, leaking and also to a
shortness of freshness,” said Jeff DeLiberty, marketing manager for Silgan Containers.21
More than nine in 10 Americans worry about food safety, making it the most reported
packaging concern (92 percent). Metal cans alleviate this concern for consumers, as most say
that metal is safest. Indeed, 68 percent of consumers say metal cans are tamper-evident.22
Metal packaging is the only type of packaging that provides 100 percent protection from outside
contaminants. Metal cans are 100 percent impervious to oxygen. Oxygen can lower the
quality of the product and, in some cases, allow for bacterial growth within the package. 23
Plastics, flexibles and pouches do not have this protection factor, as they are porous which can
allow oxygen and other outside contaminants to reach the food. Some packagers try to prevent
this by lining the porous material with aluminum, but this packaging still has a vulnerability as
thin aluminum can be subject to flex cracks and pinholing. Canned foods also undergo a
process to sterilize any germs that potentially could contaminate the food. This process,
combined with the security of the metal packaging, ensures a completely sterile product.24
Counterfeiting food products is another food safety issue that companies and consumers are
facing. Again, it’s innovation to the rescue. Radio Frequency Identification technology on labels
allows companies to automatically track inventory to help fight against counterfeit products. 25
Boselovic, Len. “Aluminum beer bottle puts charge in Iron City.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jan. 23, 2005.
“Pan European Consumer Survey on Beverage, Containers, and Test of Steel Packaging Concepts.”
20 Ibid.
21 Silgan Containers Corporation, July 2005.
22 CMI Omnibus Survey, July 2005.
23 Silgan Containers Corporation, July 2005.
24 Ibid.
25, Feb. 2 & 16, 2005
Labels are becoming technologically savvy as well to help alert consumers when food is past
its prime. New high-tech labels will tell when food has gone bad. 26
Packaging Green: Packagers Focus on Earth-Friendly Products and Practices
More and more consumers want containers that don’t harm the environment. Packagers are
turning to more environmentally friendly materials and focusing on recycling in order to benefit
the earth. Research points to steel and aluminum as very earth-friendly packages.
A Steel Recycling Institute study showed that “canned foods offer a more energy efficient
delivery system than either refrigerated or frozen food.” 27 Hydrochlorofluorocarbons
(HCFC), chemical refrigerants that may contribute to global warming, aren’t an issue with
canned foods. What’s more, canned foods do not spoil during power outages. 28 Steel also is
North America’s most recycled material, with a recycling rate of nearly 62 percent. Aluminum
follows closely behind with a rate of 50 percent.
“Bottom line, the most efficient, convenient and nutritional delivery system of food to a dinner
table is brought to the consumer through metal cans. Now we know that in addition to being
the most recycled food package, cans are also a way for us to reduce greenhouse gases,” said
Bill Heenan, Steel Recycling Institute president.
Americans thirsting for beverages in cans are reaching for aluminum beverage cans for a
variety of reasons. The aluminum can also is a recycling leader for more than 20 years
contributing to a sustainable environment. Demonstrating recycling at its finest, the aluminum
can is 100 percent recyclable into new beverage cans, in as little as 60 days limitlessly. Fifty
percent of the aluminum can is created from recycled cans - true closed-loop recycling.
By recycling good things happen. The energy savings equaled the equivalent of over 15 million
barrels of oil. Reclaimed aluminum requires 95 percent less energy, generates 95 percent less
emissions such as greenhouse gases and creates 97 percent less water pollution than
producing new metal from ore. Aluminum beverage cans comprise less than one percent (0.5
percent) of discards in the municipal waste stream, but more recycling is needed.
Industry innovation has made the can more economical to produce, fill and transport. The can
industry has light-weighted the can and reduced the diameter of the ends. Since the 1970s,
aluminum can weight has dropped from 55 pounds per thousand to 29.5 pounds per thousand
today. Engineering has created exciting new features like geometric optimization of the metal
in the can walls allowing the container to deliver its product using the least amount of
materials. This also has lead to improved cost competitiveness and enhanced unit market
growth opportunities.
Renewing Recycling
New efforts are underway in the U.S. and abroad to revive and expand the popularity of
recycling as an energy saver. And there are signs of progress.
Steel recycling has held steady in the U.S. One reason for this is that most steel products are
consumed in the home.29 Steel recycling has the advantage of steel’s magnetic properties,
allowing it to be easily recovered from household waste for recycling.30
GMA SmartBrief, April 5 & 7, 2005.
“Study reveals that Steel Cans are the Most Energy Efficient Food Delivery System Available.”, July 5, 2005.
28 Ibid.
29 “U.S. aluminum can recycling down on infrastructure woes.” Platts Commodity News, Mar. 7, 2005.
“Each ton of recycled steel saves resources by preventing the use of energy as well as 1.5 tons
of iron ore, 565kg of coal and 191kg of limestone.” 31 More than 55 percent of the world
production of steel is made from the steel industry's number one raw material: steel scrap.32
“With the capacity to be recycled time and time again to make new steel products with no
deterioration, and the fact that its magnetic properties make it the easiest packaging material to
recover from household waste, steel offers considerable environmental advantages as a
packaging material,” said John May, manager at Corus Steel Packaging Recycling. 33
Economics: Packagers Face New Challenges
The push for products to meet consumer needs is swimming against a
current of rising prices. Generally, packaging companies are facing higher
raw material costs and new competition. These same innovative products
highlighted in the report could help give the steel packaging industry and
other packagers the cost-effective boost they need to overcome cost
“Metal food cans remain a
cornerstone of our business.
We operate with a singular
focus: help our customers
achieve their business goals
while creating unique and
exciting product innovations
that create consumer interest
and demand.”
Thomas J. Snyder
Vice President - Sales &
Silgan Holdings
With more than 25 billion cans containing food products shipped annually
in the U.S., what economic ramifications might ensue if food processors
turn to alternate packaging? A study by Business Research Group, Inc.
examined the economics behind food packaging and found that production costs for metal cans
used in food packaging are about 10 percent to 50 percent less than similar costs for retort
pouches, a factor that greatly impacts the economic landscape for food processors.
Consider the following:
Line speeds for pouch and brik paks are 50 percent to 80 percent slower than canning lines
that can reach 800 to 900 cans-per-minute with minimal downtime.
Can filling and sealing lines include in-line quality control inspection for all cans.
In the case of the pouch, off-line quality-control inspection is often used, a labor-intensive
process that limits the percentage of packages that can be inspected.
In both 10-ounce and 16-ounce package sizes, production costs associated with filling and
sealing retort packages typically are 45 percent to 65 percent higher than metal cans, costs
that are often passed on to consumers.
While metal cans are fully recyclable, the laminated structure of pouches and brik paks
have very limited recycling potential.
Aluminum can recycling saves about 95 percent of the energy required to produce
aluminum from ore.
Making steel from recycled cans uses 75 percent less energy than when producing steel
from virgin raw materials, thus conserving natural resources and landfill space as well as
saving energy.
“Study reveals that Steel Cans are the Most Energy Efficient Food Delivery System Available.”, July 5, 2005.
31 “Pan European Consumer Survey on Beverage, Containers, and Test of Steel Packaging Concepts.”
32 Ibid.
33 Packaging Magazine, Feb. 3, 2005.
The packaging industry is in the midst of a dynamic change. The can is leading the way while
at the same time enhancing features that consumers traditionally rely upon. This compelling
story of innovation is shaped by the changing demands of consumers for products that they use
every day. Increasingly convenient packaging methods and rising recycling rates have
highlighted the new focus of the can industry: improving the ease of consumers’ lives and
protecting the environment around them.
Please contact us with questions:
Sean Reilly
Vice President, Public Relations & Research
Can Manufacturers Institute
(202) 232-4677
Can Manufacturers Institute
1730 Rhode Island Avenue
Suite 1000
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 232-4677