Milacron Holdings Corp. (Cincinnati) looks to revolutionize the canned food industry in a very clear way starting with a partnership with S&W Fine Foods Intl. (San Francisco), a Del Monte Pacific Ltd. company and a brand synonymous with premium foods since its 1896 debut in California. This week the brand’s pineapple chunks and slices appeared on shelves in stores in Seoul, South Korea, and Shanghai, China, packaged in the Milacron Klear Can. The pineapple cans had been molded, filled, seamed, retorted and shipped to grocers in Asia with plans to expand over the coming year.
The Milacron Klear Can is a patented, co-injection molded, polypropylene and ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) plastic can, which can be retorted (to 130° C) and seamed meeting all industry standards. The Klear Can is BPA-free for safe food contact, recyclable, and is fully microwavable.
Milacron developed the Klear Can as an alternative to metal cans for fruits, vegetables, soups, meats, and other products. Its crystal-clear transparency allows brands to demonstrate the true quality of their products to consumers at the point of sale.
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The canned fruit’s introduction followed “extremely successful” qualitative testing with consumers in Asia conducted by Nielsen Market Research. S&W Fine Foods Intl. chose the Milacron Klear Can for their products to highlight the products’ quality and freshness that’s literally clear for consumers. S&W Fine Foods Intl. is the first company in the world to offer tropical fruit in a clear plastic can.
Customers can easily integrate the one-piece body into existing production streams with minimal customization or tooling additions. Converters are able to take advantage of the co-injection molded can with its repeatable and proven process using materials that are available globally. And finally, the Milacron Klear Can provides retailers with an attractive final product that is easily promoted, easily displayed, stacked and merchandised.
The Milacron Klear Can is also in-mold label (IML) compatible, using the same industry standard can ends, filling, seaming and retorting machinery as metal cans. Manufacturers have the flexibility to mold cans at the filling site to offer operational efficiencies.
“After years of development and strong positive 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,” stated Tom Goeke, Milacron CEO. “We are also thrilled about the prospect of transforming the metal can industry.”
Uses standard ends and is stackable
It uses a single standard metal can end and the industry-standard can end double-seam process. Rigorous internal and third party testing has verified the Klear Can seal integrity is approved and proven safe and reliable. In addition, while Klear Can is lightweight, it is also stackable and dent-resistant.
“We’ve gained a tremendous amount of in-house technical knowledge during the development of Klear Can, which allows us to support our customers and the industry in the adoption of this ground-breaking technology,” added Steve Morris, President Milacron Systems.
Milacron says that the Klear Can offers these advantages over a competitor’s three-piece extruded plastic can that it claims “suffers from die mold streaking, greatly affecting clarity” and that “minimal downstream investment is required and the final product is stackable, all things the competition’s can is unable to claim.”
The Milacron Klear Can is available immediately to food companies; the website is klearcan.com
For more about clear plastic cans, also see Sonoco launches clear TruVue Can with McCall Farms, published February 2017.