2014 Top 25 Converters: Maneuvering the Flexible Packaging Market
Flexible Packaging magazine proudly presents its tenth annual Top 25 Converters listing, based on 2013 sales.
A lot can happen in a year, and our 10th annual Top 25 Converters listing is reflective of that. Some of the companies included in this year’s list – Sealed Air, Bemis, Mondi, and Sonoco Products – hold significant market shares in the flexible packaging industry. These companies – along with the others listed in our Top 25 – contribute a considerable amount of value to this market, which is expected to grow at a continuous annual growth rate of 5.1 percent by 2018, according to a recent study by MarketsandMarkets.
Although not much has changed from last year’s rankings, there are two new names on this year’s list: Coveris, formerly known (and listed) as Exopack Holdings, and Mondi Group subsidiary Mondi Jackson Inc., a brand new addition to the Top 25 Converters list. In comparison to the slow and steady changes of the 2012 fiscal year, 2013 witnessed a series of major changes including brand transformations; mergers and acquisitions; new package developments; capacity expansions; award recognitions and much more. Read on to see what these companies have been up to over the past year.
Top 25 Converters Methodology
We used a similar methodology to last year’s Top 25 listing. To ensure the most accurate listing, we first went down the list of companies to make sure they are flexible packaging converters, and included converters that have been acquired, merged or inadvertently left off last year’s list. After careful consideration, the new list of companies was researched using information from Hoover’s Online database and D&B Million Dollar Directory – Total US database.
Once information from those databases were collected, we went directly to the companies to confirm or correct the information we collected. Rankings are in order of sales revenue for the 2013 fiscal year, and should only reflect flexible packaging.
To view this year's Top 25 listing, click here.
Or click here to download the PDF listing.
Graphic Packaging International, Inc., a subsidiary of Graphic Packaging Holding Co., announced in March 2013 its agreement to sell $425 million aggregate principal amount of its senior notes due 2021 in a registered public offering. The senior notes were to bear interest at an annual rate of 4.75 percent. The subsidiary was expected to close the offering on April 2, 2013, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Graphic Packaging Holding Co., parent company of Graphic Packaging International, also announced last January that it completed the acquisition of Contego Packaging Holdings, Ltd., a food and consumer products packaging company based in the United Kingdom, and A&R Carton Holding B.V., which is A&R's European beer and beverage packaging business.
The company's website states: Packaging Dynamics is “a leading manufacturer of flexible packaging” that operates through three business units that possess “the resources and dedication necessary to provide innovative solutions and outstanding service”.
According to the company's website, “Duro Bags has maintained the founder's vision for over 50 years, producing exceptional paper bags while maintaining the highest safety, service and quality levels. We look forward to serving you for the next 50 years and beyond.”
Mid-year, Hood Packaging announced its plans to close its Burlington, Ontario manufacturing plant on Oct. 1, 2013, and about 65 workers were laid off as a result of the closure. Ron More, a spokesperson for the company, said the work and some of the leftover equipment was to be sent to the company's two remaining plastics plants in Calgary and Texas.
Sonoco elected M. Jack Sanders as its eighth president and chief executive officer in the company’s 114-year history. Sanders succeeded Harris E. DeLoach Jr., who retired as CEO after a 27-year career with the company. DeLoach remains Sonoco's executive chairman of the board. "I'm extremely proud and honored to be elected to lead such a great company," says Sanders. "Sonoco was founded on creativity, hard work, a spirit of innovation and a focus on satisfying our customers while creating value for our shareholders. We want to continue building on past successes and defining a new future for this exceptional company."
Bryce Corp., headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., last April announced its plans to expand the company. According to a tax abatement application the company filed with the Economic Development Growth Engine of Memphis & Shelby County, the $21 million expansion was expected to create 95 new jobs while retaining 318 of its current jobs.
American Packaging Corp.’s Story City, Iowa flexographic printing and laminating facility received ISO 14001:2004 registration for its environmental management systems. “American Packaging will continue to succeed in our sustainability efforts because we have made it part of our core values; it has become an integral part of who we are and how we choose to conduct business. Providing a clean, safe workplace for our employees and minimizing waste and use of natural resources benefits everyone,” says CEO and President Peter Schottland.
Ampac won two Flexible Packaging Association awards – Gold in Environmental & Sustainability Achievement for its Savvy Green No.2 Savvy Green pouch, and Silver in Packaging Excellence for Campbell’s Skillet Sauces. Ampac’s No.2 Pouch has been commercialized in several new applications, including a first of its kind in the laundry category for Savvy Green Eco-Clean laundry detergent. The Campbell’s Skillet Sauces pouch includes a layer of linear tear film for an easy opening experience, and a clear gusset to give the consumer a window to see the product while in the package.
Pregis commercialized another first in protective packaging: Astro-Bubble Renew, black bubble air cushioning with high recycled content. The product is durable and offers high air retention properties, and can be used for cushioning, surface protection and void-fill. “Product manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to support brand values. By offering a sleek, high-tech, black air bubble alternative, we can help extend brand image beyond the primary package,” says Robert Sepanik, national product manager of bubble and foam at Pregis.
In September 2013, Prolamina Corp. announced the completion of its new, 250,000-square-foot facility in Neenah, Wis. Greg Tucker, CEO of Prolamina states, “Prolamina built the Neenah facility with the state-of-the-art technology and resources needed to serve as the hub for our food packaging business and to support the dynamic requirements of our customers. Prolamina is excited to invest in the community and our business as we continue to expand our global footprint.”
Amcor Flexibles announced the launch of Packpyrus, a new product contributing to Amcor’s sustainability program. Amcor Packpyrus is a thermo-formable cellulose-based package for the fresh market. Thanks to its oxygen barrier, Packpyrus is particularly suitable for pre-sliced products like meat or cheese.
Coating Excellence International’s Simply Heinz single-serve mayonnaise sachet received silver honors in the Environmental and Sustainability Achievement category of the 2013 FPA Flexible Packaging Achievement Award. The company was also recognized in the Showcase of Packaging Innovation during Pack Expo Las Vegas held Sept. 23-25, 2013. “It is very gratifying to be recognized twice for this achievement; once when we received the award, and now again at Pack Expo Vegas,” says Art Bucci, cei’s senior vice president of flexible packaging sales. “Two thousand thirteen has been a busy and successful year for us. We’ve invested heavily in technology, processes and in our workforce, positioning us for growth in our targeted markets.”
Shields Bag & Printing Co. received its Food Safety System Certification on Nov. 18, 2013. The company’s food safety management system was assessed and approved by NSF International, as it meets the requirements of current food safety standards.
Mondi Group, parent company of Mondi Jackson Inc., announced in October 2013 its plans to bring its new retort and hot-fill pouch design to the North American marketplace in December 2013. In a previous statement released by the company, Mondi North America President Kevin Young stated: “We will draw on Mondi Group’s R&D technical resources in Gronau, Germany to meet our customers’ most challenging retort- and hot-fill pouch applications. With retort pouches, especially, you have to produce a very complex structure, and pouch integrity has to prevent bacteria from entering. If the pouch does not seal properly or have the proper barrier, the contents can be compromised. Mondi Americas’ 100 percent inspection process is designed specifically to guard against such occurrences.”
Last year, Automated Packaging Systems introduced two new high-performance bag packaging materials for the company’s line of Autobag and SidePouch systems. These newly engineered materials are manufactured to the highest quality specification to ensure consistency and guaranteed operation on Automated Packaging Systems’ equipment, company officials say. New Autobag and SidePouch laminated bags provide a high-gloss finish for maximum brand impact and superior retail shelf appeal.
Previous Top 25 Converters articles:
- 2013 Top 25 Converters: Growing Through Innovation
- 2012 Top 25 Converters: Shifting Into a Better Position
- 2011 Top 25 Converters: The Cornerstone of the Flexible Packaging Industry
- 2010 Top 25 Converters: Pieces of the Packaging Puzzle
- 2009 Top 25 Converters: Open for Business
- 2008 Top 25 Converters: Kings of Converting