Zippo flicks from plastic to steel cases

Earlier this year, Zippo Mfg. Co., Bradford, PA, began shipping its famous lighters in two-piece metal tins from Independent Can Co. (Belcamp, MD).

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The collector tins replace both plastic hinged boxes and foil-laminated paper boxes for environmental and other reasons. "Our lighters are not disposable, so we didn't want our packages to be either," says Jim Baldo, Zippo vice president of sales & marketing. "A focus group told us the tins could command a $3 or higher price premium, compared to the plastic box. We think Sucrets made a huge mistake in moving from a tin to the plastic container." One of Zippo's 320 different lighters fits into a paperboard platform inside the base of the tin. When the cover is closed, the tin slides into a protective paperboard sleeve. The company also has the license for the Harley-Davidson model for sales outside the U.S.; this tin was being introduced last month. "Our products won't change so we're trying to embellish the product through its packaging," Baldo says.

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