Eastman Chemical Co. found itself in an enviable position when it introduced its Tritan copolyester resin in 2007 just as some consumers and manufacturers were turning against polycarbonate.
Tritan quickly became the accepted alternative for bisphenol A-free water bottles and food containers, mentioned by name in marketing campaigns and on product information tags. The material also is showing up in new products such as cold-drink glasses and lunch carriers.
But with more competitors positioning themselves to take advantage of the interest in clear resins in housewares including acrylic and styrene acrylonitrile Eastman is quickly adapting and moving toward marketing other advantages to Tritan to maintain its market share in housewares beyond being a polycarbonate alternative.
You need something that's really durable and glass-like, but something that also has sustainability and toughness, said Emmett O'Brien, an applications development specialist with Kingsport, Tenn.-based Eastman.
Those qualities have won Tritan increased business in small appliances like blenders and food processors, O'Brien noted.
So during the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago, Eastman showed off Tritan glassware that had sailed through hundreds of dishwasher cycles, as well as damaged competitors.
It also introduced a series of videos showing Tritan plastics undergoing a series of literal hits. Eastman brought in sluggers from a local high school baseball team to take swings at glasses made of Tritan as well as competing materials. Other videos showed a car running over Tritan pitchers and those made of other materials.
Eastman is showing the videos on the Internet at a new website tritantough.com.
It helps our brand explain what the value is in a very clear way, O'Brien said.