How do you reimagine a 108-year-old company whose products are used by millions of people every day to capture the attention of retailers and consumers? Behrens Manufacturing recruited an experienced leadership team and empowered them to reimagine the brand, introduce innovative new products, promote metalware’s attributes of quality, sustainability, circular design, durability and style.
Behrens, a more than a century-old Winona, Minnesota-based heritage brand, is the largest manufacturer of steel and metal containers in the U.S. and has achieved this longevity with one promise — use the best materials to create quality metalware that is built for now and made to last. Behrens is committed to manufacturing the majority of its products in the USA and all products are thoughtfully conceived, developed and distributed from a single facility on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Behrens focus on sustainability is now looking to the future— thanks to an infusion of capital, a new and experienced executive leadership team, a refreshed brand, new products and a focus on emerging trends as consumers become increasingly concerned about the impact of plastics on people and the planet.
New Experienced Leadership Team
Mill City Capital, a Minneapolis-based private equity firm with a controlling interest in Behrens, provided the catalyst for these strategic changes by hiring Ron Hornbaker as President and CEO of Behrens last fall. A seasoned executive with an impressive record of leading and growing companies including Rockler Companies, Golf Town, Golf Galaxy, Retail Minds and Sleep Number, Ron was attracted to this well-established company that was poised for growth.
“I’m energized by Behrens’ relentless commitment to delivering high quality, well-crafted products decade after decade. We need to shake off our humbleness and share our story. There’s a reason we’ve been around for 100-plus years. People need to know why,” said Hornbaker. “And when they do, we’ll be around for a 100 more.”
Hornbaker began building his team in January, hiring long-time collaborator Pam Schechtman as Vice President of Marketing. The two previously partnered on bringing the Sleep Number brand to brick and mortar retail. Ron then tapped Dana Busch, Vice President of Sales, who previously worked with Hornbaker at Rockler Companies and Golf Galaxy. This team, together with an existing talented group of executives and operations personnel, many of whom have spent decades at the company, is ready to grow and expand Behrens Manufacturing.
Behrens Reimagines Brand Focusing on Quality, Style, and Sustainability; Introduces Line of New Products
Behrens delivers daily on its promise to use the best materials to create quality, long-lasting and sustainable products. The new Behrens executive team, partnering with metal, décor and design experts, has updated the Behrens brand and logo, launched a new website, labeling, and packaging that, along with its products, is now 100% recyclable.
In addition to the Behrens Metalware Classics® line, which includes galvanized steel cans, tubs, bushel baskets, pails and specialty items that feature designs more than 100 years old, the company introduced a new handcrafted line of products, Behrens Metalware Home Industrials™, available in retail in late 2019. The Home Industrials™ line builds on the legacy of 108 years by designing classic home goods with the best materials to create metalware products that are simple, stylish and highly adaptable for endless uses inside and outside the home. They are designed to deliver on the Behrens promise of high quality and durability.
Additionally, the team has positioned Behrens publicly on the front end of sustainability and circular design. While Behrens has always manufactured responsibly, reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions while producing 100% recyclable products, the company has taken it to a new level, partnering with the nonprofit organization Metal Packaging Europe, making Behrens one of only a few U.S. manufacturers permitted to use the organization’s Metal Recycles Forever Mark.