Silgan Plastic Food Containers — Union

  • Published: Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016

You have probably used a Silgan food container today.

Sligan Plastic Food Containers logoSilgan Plastic Food Containers (PFC), a subsidiary of Silgan Holdings Inc., holds a leading share of the domestic market in shelf-stable, microwaveable plastic food packaging, used by such iconic brands as Campbell’s, Gerber, Del Monte, Nestle, Hormel Foods and Green Giant, to name a few.

Silgan PFC’s executive team knew, however, that at least 95 percent of all economic activity occurs outside the U.S. and that an increasing global middle class demand more food packaging options, including products in plastic food containers.

This team first met International Trade Center (ITC) director Larry Dill and international trade specialists Jackie Rasmussen and Pablo Arroyo at a Franklin County, Missouri, Small Business Development Center (SBDC) export training seminar in 2014. They then decided to try ITC services, specifically the ITC’s student internship program. This is a collaboration of the ITC and the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business, which provides students real-world, hands-on experience and provides participating firms with accurate, actionable international market research.

Man sitting in front of a computer eating from a Silgan container


You probably used a Silgan PFC product today, and with ITC help, people globally soon will, too.

Initial research in fall 2014 reviewed global trade flows and other market indicators to identify up to eight promising markets for Silgan PFC’s products. Follow-up research in spring 2015 pinpointed specific packaging opportunities in Southeast Asia. Research in summer 2015 analyzed the global tuna industry, providing Silgan PFC with key social media recommendations and vital data on four tuna packaging and producing countries.

ITC staff also facilitated introductions to key players in the U.S. Commercial Service, the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce; the World Trade Center – St Louis; foreign trade ministers; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the federal government’s primary development finance institution; U.S. Small Business Administration; and state of Missouri export officials.

Front of Silgan Plastic Food Containers building


The Silgan Plastic Food Containers building in Union, Missouri.

As a direct result, Silgan PFC 2015 export sales comprise about 10 percent of all sales, creating good jobs for the local economy. Silgan PFC now sees that international sales initiatives are an integral part of the company’s growth strategy and success.

Writes President Rob McCoy: “The support and assistance of everyone at the International Trade Center has been outstanding! From putting us in touch with the right organizations and expertise to assist with answering technical questions, to customizing research to identify market opportunities, our relationship has enabled us to make informed key strategic decisions as we roll out international sales.”

A variety of plastic food containers made by Silgan


Sample Silgan plastic food containers.