Milacron Holdings Corp.'s see-through plastic container, an alternative to the metal "tin can," is now on store shelves in in Seoul, South Korea, and Shanghai, holding Del Monte pineapple chunks and slices.
Milacron announced the first commercial applications of the coinjection molded Klear Can on Oct. 18 at Fakuma. The customer is S&W Fine Foods International, a company of Del Monte Pacific Ltd.
The Klear Can is part of the Milacron exhibit at Fakuma, but the company is not molding Klear Cans at the show. Milacron is based in Blue Ash, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati.
Milacron said the Klear Can is easily integrated into existing production streams and requires minimal customization or tooling additions.
Milacron CEO Tom Goeke said see-though plastic cans are a major innovation. "After years of development and strong possible consumer results, we're excited to have S&W Fine Foods International on board as a partner to launch the Milacron Klear Can in key global markets," he said. "We are also thrilled about the prospect of transforming the metal can industry."
Milacron got beat in the plastic food can commercialization race by Sonoco Products Co., which announced in April 2016 that it was working with McCall Farms Inc., a South Carolina food canner, to introduce its TruVue plastic can for McCall's Glory Farms beans at grocery stores in the southeastern United States.
Sonoco uses extrusion to make the TruVue. Milacron uses injection molding.
Without naming Sonoco, Milacron took a swipe at the competitor, saying Klear Can is "far superior to the competition's extruded three-piece clear plastic can."
The plastic can war of words has begun.
"The extruded can offered by the competition suffers from die mold streaking, greatly affecting clarity," Milacron said. Klear Cans also can be made with in-mold labeling, using the industry-standard can ends, filling, seaming and retort machinery used by metal cans.