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Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Archive for the ‘Skolnik Newsletter’ Category

What’s DG? — A fun, new video from Labelmaster!!

October 23rd, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Skolnik Newsletter

At the recent Labelmaster Dangerous Good Symposium in Chicago, a professional camera crew took to the streets of Chicago to find out how much the public knows about Dangerous Goods, aka Hazardous Materials. Armed with placards, labels (never stickers!) and some great questions, the results are hilarious! Certainly, the public knows that they need the professionals in the Dangerous Goods world, just not sure what and where it is. Take a minute and watch this fun 6 minute video.

Thank you Labelmaster for bringing this matter to the forefront of public knowledge!

Steel Drums are affected by the Global Tariffs

October 16th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

In the past year, the price of steel in the US has risen due to the tariffs that have been placed on products being imported in to the US. In most cases, steel drum manufacturers and reconditioners have passed on the increase to the end user. There is always the belief that when steel prices increase, reconditioned drums deserve consideration. However, in this unique steel crisis, the available recycled raw materials that are used to recondition or remanufacture drums are drying up as crushed scrap drums are being illegally sent to scrap yards and eventually end up at steel mills. RIPA has created a 1 minute video explaining this unlawful act that could affect companies. Given the reduction of steel drums available for reconditioning, the reconditioned drum prices reflect the shortage of raw drums and therefore, the prices between new and reconditioned are not far apart.

Furthermore, some manufacturers are using the price of steel in the US to drive down the necessary wall thickness of steel drums. Drum user’s often do not realize that reducing wall thickness increases the risk on drum performance — and a small cost savings on the drum exposes the much more expensive inner contents to greater transport risk.

On the other hand, users contemplating reconditioned versus new drums will find that a reconditioned drum is going to be thicker and heavier than many of the thin-walled new drums that are not intended to withstand reconditioning and are being scrapped after a single use. When choosing the best drum for your product, we recommend that thicker steel is the best choice for risk-reduced transport and storage. Never use a drum that is less than 0.9mm minimum or 20 gauge wall thickness.

Green is the new Pink

October 9th, 2018 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

Writing for the “Beverage Media Group” in an article in the “Wine Industry Advisor”, Pam Strayer writes: “While the wine industry has been busy riding the pink wine wave, it is becoming clear that the “green wine” wave is worth catching as well. Millennials’ interest in organically grown wines is leading to double-digit growth in sales, say green wine industry experts. Although the sector is tiny—1% by volume and 2% by revenue, according to 2016 Nielsen data—it is one of the fastest-growing in the U.S.”

In her article, Strayer goes on to observe that: “By comparison, Europeans—who typically trend ahead of Americans in food and drink—are already drinking 10% organically grown wine. Moreover, the trend is gaining mainstream credibility every vintage, with established wineries and distributors becoming proactive category leaders.” Analyzing U.S. off-premise sales (for the period from June 2017 to 2018), Debby Wang, Commercial Director of Analytics and Insights at Breakthru Beverage Group, one of the country’s largest distributors, says: “Organically grown wines have 10% volume growth and 5% revenue growth, outpacing total wine growth which is nearly flat.”

“Organic wines have been growing at double digits, and we think this trend will continue, especially with sustainability-minded Millennials,” says Chris Indelicato, CEO and President of Delicato Family Vineyards.

Green Values, Green Lifestyles

What is driving green wine category growth? “Consumers continue to ask for products that align with their values,” says Bonterra Senior Brand Manager Taylor Johnsen. Natura’s Pavon agrees that the market is responding to preferences among younger and lifestyle-driven legal drinking age consumers: “There is more consciousness among consumers about the environment and about organics.”

In a bold experiment, one national supermarket chain, Natural Grocers, is going all-in on organic. The national, family-owned organic supermarket chain, which sells only organic produce in its 150 stores, added its first wine department in Denver last year with 500 different wines from 17 different countries—all from certified organic or biodynamic vines.

“We see organic wine as part of a lifestyle,” explains Jeff Cameron, who heads up wine at Natural Grocers. Store signage indicates different types of green wines, and Cameron trains his staff on the nuances of sulfites, biodynamics and more so they can help consumers understand each wine’s context. “We also like the storytelling aspect of these producers, which we can share with consumers,” he adds. Cameron says the chain plans to implement the program in more of its stores across the country starting with six in Oregon, and that sales in the Denver pilot are going well.

More significantly, awareness is deepening. New research shows that a majority of high frequency wine drinkers (who are responsible for about 80% of wine sales in the U.S.) correctly associate specific practices with different types of green wine certifications, according Wine Market Council survey results released in May. “What surprised me was the fact that consumers could discriminate between organic versus biodynamic,” said Damien Wilson, Associate Professor with the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University, who was a member of the WMC research committee that commissioned the study. More than 86% of 1,100 high-frequency wine drinkers identified organic with pesticide prohibitions; a surprising 51% associated biodynamic with regenerative practices.

Here at Skolnik Industries, we believe that a “green” approach also involves the wine barrels. Our stainless steel wine barrels are reusable, easy to clean, and recyclable at the end of their service life. Check out the full line of our Stainless Steel Wine Drums here.

Check the “Hazmatt” Box!

September 25th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

Many of the products that we use on a daily basis, including batteries, aerosol sprays, and adhesives, contain hazardous materials (hazmats). The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) hazmat regulations require that these products be properly classified, packaged, labeled, handled, and stowed for transportation over public right-of-way. This protects workers, emergency responders, and the general public from the risks associated with hazmat transportation. The US Dept of Transportation has introduced a new character, ‘HazMatt’, designed to help ‘reach the unreached’ who are unaware that they are shipping hazardous materials. Speaking at the recent Labelmaster DG Symposium, PHMSA’s Shane Kelley explained that all the modal agencies under DOT are working together to get the message out as widely as possible, particularly to those that do not normally receive the hazmat message. The project is ongoing — and is worth following at checkthebox.dot.gov.

Remember: If you ship products, it is your responsibility to know whether those products are hazmat, and to communicate their hazards appropriately, according to DOT’s hazmat regulations. Shipping a non-compliant hazmat can result in hefty fines from the DOT!