Business and Consumers Lose Up To $1 Billion

PITTSBURGH, September 5, 2003 - When the August blackout affected the Northeastern U.S. and Canada, food spoilage losses that hurt consumers also devastated many restaurants, caterers and food retailers. According to the Anderson Economic Group, U.S. consumers and industry will lose between $350 million and $1 billion in goods due to spoilage and waste - largely from perishable foods.

"These huge losses illustrate the importance of a well-stocked pantry for emergencies," said Julie Renner, chairperson for the Steel Packaging Council. "Now more than ever, consumers and businesses need to plan for these situations and recognize that canned food is the most reliable, convenient and safe source for nutritious meals. Also, it's comforting to know that the goodness of canned food is sealed in a recyclable container."

Research conducted at the University of Illinois (1995 and 1997) and the University of Massachusetts (2000) found that recipes using canned ingredients are similar in nutritional and taste value to those made with fresh or frozen items

"As long as you have a manual can opener and a well-stocked pantry, you can always prepare a healthy meal," said Renner. "Plus, the fewer perishables you have on hand, the less likely you are to incur financial losses due to food spoilage in a power emergency."

With limited growing seasons and the risk of future blackouts occurring, canned food provides an ideal way to add nutrition, flavor and variety to any recipe, anywhere and at any time of the year. For more information, visit www.mealtime.org. The Web site features a pantry checklist, nutrition information and more than 400 recipes that use canned food.

About the Steel Packaging Council (SPC)

The mission of the Steel Packaging Council is to position The New Steel as the packaging material of choice through strategic consumer outreach and market development. The SPC plays an important role by implementing a growth strategy to: promote steel-based solutions that will expand existing markets; grow new markets for steel packaging; and, enhance the image of steel packaged products via consumer outreach.

# # #