2017 Top 25 Converters: Strong and Steady
Unlike as in previous years, there weren't a lot of shakeups in 2016. But that doesn't mean that it wasn't a solid year for the top North American converters.
Compared to the Top 25 Converter lists of the past few years, this year’s list may seem, well, ordinary. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. While this year was not without its share of M&A’s, they were all fairly minor to some of the big shake-ups the industry has seen in the past. What results is a list featuring a lot of familiar converters, many of whom continue to see year-after-year growth.
And with that, we present the 2017 Top 25 Converters, which are based off 2016 sales. Read on to see how this year’s list shakes out and what each converter was up to over the past year.
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2016 sales (in billions): $4 / Neenah, Wisconsin
For the second consecutive year, Bemis earned the Highest Achievement Award as part of the Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards, this year for its Hunt’s Recipe Ready tomato paste pouch. The lightweight 6-ounce pouch delivers a convenient alternative to the traditional can. The new format meets changing consumer demographics and lifestyles by providing a convenient, portion-controlled 2-tablespoon serving of tomato paste. Consumers simply tear, dispense and toss. Bemis also earned four other awards, Gold Awards in Sustainability, Extending the Use of Flexible Packaging and Packaging Excellence, and a Silver Award in Printing and Shelf Impact.
Bemis | (920) 527-5000; www.bemis.com
2. Sealed Air Corp.
2016 sales (in billions): $2.6* / Charlotte, North Carolina
Sealed Air released its Opti Next Generation Shrink Films from Millennium Packaging in 2016, films that provide about 30 percent more footage in the same footprint as conventional shrink films. The Opti NX family includes five all-purpose (Opti NXG) and two soft-shrink (Opti NXS) gauges that meet the needs of a broad array of applications, including irregularly-shaped products and soft items, such as converted paper that are unable to withstand the shrink force of conventional all-purpose materials. The new films adapt to a wide range of shrink machinery, are recyclable, and are both FDA and USPS approved.
Sealed Air Corporation | (980) 221-3235; www.sealedair.com
3. Sigma Plastics Group
2016 sales (in billions): $2.45 / Lyndhurst, New Jersey
Sigma formed a strategic partnership with Washington, Indiana-based Alliance Barrier Films in September 2016, an agreement where Alliance joined Sigma under its ISOFlex Packaging division as ISOFlex Packaging of IN.
Sigma Plastics Group | (201) 507-9100; www.sigmaplasticsgroup.com
4. Berry Global Group
2016 sales (in billions): $2.35 / Evansville, Indiana
Berry Global Group had an active 2016. The company’s busy year included appointing a new president and CEO, Tom Salmon, and the introduction of several new products. In August 2016, it also announced plans to purchase AEP for $765 million. New products included several new high-performance barrier films and its Entour line of pouches. “Our goal with the new Entour line of pouches was to create a pouch packaging line that meets all the required functional elements and lets the uniqueness of our customer’s products stand out on the shelf,” said Elizabeth Curran, market director, Flexible Solutions. “The new Entour line (is) available in standup and other pouch styles, and in a range of formats. We look forward to working with our customers to find a solution that best suits their needs.”
Berry Global Group | (800) 343-1295; www.berryglobal.com
2016 sales (in billions): $2.3* / Hartsville, South Carolina
In 2016, Novolex continued to expand its packaging portfolio with the acquisition of Dallas, Texas-based Heritage Bag Company (HBC). The purchase of HBC marks Novolex’s fifth acquisition since Wind Point Partners purchased the company in 2012. Novolex’s previous purchases include Wisconsin Film & Bag (October 2015), Packaging Dynamics (December 2014), Duro Bag (July 2014) and a portion of Clondalkin Group’s North American flexible packaging division (April 2013).
Novolex | (800) 845-6051; www.novolex.com
2016 sales (in billions): $1.8 / Chicago, Illinois
Coveris continued to expand its global footprint with the acquisition of Ecuador-based Supraplast in March 2016. Supraplast is a shrink sleeve and adhesive labels technology company that enables Coveris to further serve the South American market. The company also scored the Flexible Pack of the Year Award in the 2016 U.K. Packaging Awards for its Waitrose dried nuts package.
Coveris | (877) 447-3539; www.coveris.com
7. Printpack Inc.
2016 sales (in billions): $1.3 / Atlanta, Georgia
Printpack celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2016, a milestone year that was far from uneventful. The company named a new CEO in Jimmy Love, announced a $25.7 million investment to expand operations at its Newport News, Virginia, facility and released a recyclable PE pouch. It also won six 2017 Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards for packages it developed in 2016. “Printpack has shown amazing adaptability and longevity over the last 60 years in a market that is truly ever-changing,” noted David Read, vice president of marketing and technology at Printpack. “A large part of that is our constant willingness to reinvest in our equipment and employees in order to deliver the best for our customers.”
Printpack Inc. | (404) 460-7000; www.printpack.com
2016 sales (in billions): $1.1 / Cincinnati, Ohio
After a busy 2015 that saw the merging of Prolamina and Ampac, and then the subsequent acquisition of CEI, 2016 marked a year where ProAmpac was able to start realizing the benefits of the big merger and later purchase. ProAmpac released several new types of packages, including an MRE pouch meant for astronauts, new pet food packaging and a breathable non-woven material. It also purchased one more company in 2016, Vitex Packaging Group out of Suffolk, Virginia, and capped a $4 million renovation to its Westfield, Massachusetts, facility.
ProAmpac | (513) 671-1777; www.proampac.com
9. Winpak Ltd.
2016 sales (in millions): $822 / Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Winpak Ltd. continued to excel at its role as a high-quality packaging materials and related packaging machines provider. Its products are used primarily for the protection of perishable foods, beverages and in health care applications.
Winpak Ltd. | (204) 889-1015; www.winpak.com
10. Mondi North America
2016 sales (in millions): $658 / Atlanta, Georgia
Mondi North America’s parent company, Mondi Group, continued to grow globally with the acquisition of Russia-based ZAO Uralplastic-N in July 2016. “The acquisition of Uralplastic supports the development of our consumer packaging business and strengthens our presence in the Russian consumer packaging market, complementing our existing plant in Pereslavl near Moscow and allowing us to improve our offering to customers in this growing market,” said David Hathorn, Mondi Group chief executive.
Mondi North America | (770) 243-5420; www.mondigroup.com
11. Amcor Flexibles Americas
2016 sales (in millions): ~$602* / Buffalo Grove, Illinois
Amcor Flexibles won a Gold Award in Technical Innovation as part of the Flexible Packaging Association’s 2017 Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards for its Fortis breather bags for medical sterilization. Fortis results from the innovative use of both the packaging materials and the package design (both part of the patent application). Amcor produces the co-extruded bag material, as its in-house, multi-layer blown film equipment enables the cost-effective use of thin layers of several resins to produce a highly engineered film.
Amcor Flexibles | (224) 315-7000; www.amcor.com
12. Hood Packaging Corp.
2016 sales (in millions): $600 / Burlington, Ontario, Canada; Madison, Wisconsin
According to the company website, Hood has continued to expand its flexible packaging skills into paper, plastic and woven packaging substrates as more advanced technology has developed for these products. The company’s plastics division has eight production locations with the broadest possible selection of structures and unique applications. The cross-selling of products allows Hood to develop unique product and supply arrangements.
Hood Packaging Corporation | (905) 637-5611; www.hoodpkg.com
13. Sonoco Products Company
2016 sales (in millions): $450 / Hartsville, South Carolina
In 2016, Sonoco acquired Plastic Packaging Inc. (PPI), a privately held Hickory, North Carolina-based flexible packaging company. Through the acquisition, Sonoco gained additional lamination, wide and narrow web flexographic printing, and pouch and bag forming capabilities. Sonoco also opened a new $12 million Innovative Packaging Solutions Studio dedicated to R&D and connecting consumer and market insight to new packaging solutions.
Sonoco | (800) 377-2692; www.sonoco.com
14. Pregis LLC
2016 sales (in millions): $440 / Deerfield, Illinois
It was a busy 2016 for Pregis, a year that included a $17 million pledge to expand production space and acquire new flexible packaging manufacturing and production equipment at its Grand Rapids, Michigan, facility. Pregis purchased the facility, formerly Eagle Film Extruders, in 2015, renaming it Pregis Films. “We are seeing demand from industrial, e-commerce and other segments, such as flexible packaging, requiring higher quality materials,” said Kevin Baudhuin, Pregis president and CEO. “Investing in this facility will help us meet market segment expectations for package performance and provide vertical integration for some of Pregis’ other products.”
Pregis LLC | (877) 692-6163; www.pregis.com
15. American Packaging Corp.
2016 sales (in millions): $437 / Rochester, New York
In 2016, American Packaging Corporation (APC) completed construction on a second Rotogravure Center of Excellence and announced an additional Flexographic Center of Excellence to begin production in early 2018. APC is confident in its position in the flexible packaging industry and is committed to expanding through strategic reinvestment. This includes acquiring equipment with the latest advancements, investing in new technologies and attracting the best people in the industry.
American Packaging Corporation | (800) 551-8801; www.ampkcorp.com
16. Bryce Corp.
2016 sales (in millions): $375* / Memphis, Tennessee
According to the company website, Bryce is continuously improving its processes to achieve competitive advantages in quality, productivity, cost and profit targets for sustained growth. Bryce Corporation strives for innovation in flexible packaging and continues to expand its capabilities to remain a leader in its industry. It continually reinvests in the development of its people and its processes, bringing state-of-the-art equipment and proven best practices to its organization.
Bryce Corporation | (800) 238-7277; www.brycecorporation.com
17. Scholle IPN
2016 sales (in millions): $285 / Northlake, Illinois
In February 2016, Scholle IPN unveiled a new company logo designed to represent the four major characteristics that drive its brand: safe, natural, economic and sustainable. It also released a Refresh Urn Liner designed for brewed beverages.
Scholle IPN | (708) 562-7290; www.scholleipn.com
18. InterFlex Group
2016 sales (in millions): $200 / Wilkesboro, North Carolina
According to the company website, InterFlex Group continues to utilize a capabilities-based advantage within its operations. This advantage is comprised of six pillars: speed, flexibility, strategic focus, quality, people and capital resources.
InterFlex Group | (336) 921-3505; www.interflexgroup.com
2016 sales (in millions): $200 / Richmond, Virginia
Liqui-Box had a busy 2016, as it acquired the engineering and flexible operations of Cape Town, South Africa-based Maverick, and continued its expansion into Europe with the purchase of Madrid, Spain-based bag-in-box maker Conotainer. Domestically, it announced the allocation of $4 million to upgrade plants in Ohio and California.
Liqui-Box | (877) 267-5949; www.liquibox.com
20. Oracle Packaging
2016 sales (in millions): $190 / Winston-Salem, North Carolina
In April 2016, Oracle Packaging doubled its extrusion capacity with the installation of an additional line at its Winston-Salem, North Carolina, facility. Company officials said the new line was the company’s largest investment in recent years and positioned it for significant growth in several key markets. Oracle also launched a redesigned website last year.
Oracle Packaging | (336) 777-5000; www.oraclepackaging.com
21. Shields Bag & Printing Co.
2016 sales (in millions): $180* / Yakima, Washington
Experience and innovation continue to propel Shields Bag & Printing Company. According to the company website, Shields has incorporated the latest technological advances to its manufacturing processes, enabling it to produce high-performance films and versatile converted products. It continues to operate as a custom film extruder, printer and converter, manufacturing more than 100 lines of flexible packaging products across a variety of industries.
Shields Bag & Printing | (800) 541-8630; www.shieldsbag.com
22. TC Transcontinental
2016 sales (in millions): $150* / Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
TC Transcontinental makes its debut on this list following its July 2016 acquisition of Robbie Manufacturing. “This acquisition is great news for the ongoing development of our flexible packaging division, an important area of growth for the corporation,” said Francois Olivier, president and CEO of TC Transcontinental. “The acquisition of Robbie Manufacturing is strategic in two fronts: It allows us to enter into two new packaging niches, while also creating opportunities for synergies with our existing facilities nearby.”
TC Transcontinental | (514) 954-4000; www.tctranscontinental.com
2016 sales (in millions): $148* / De Pere, Wisconsin
Another new company on our annual Top 25 Converters list, Belmark is a converter that continues to grow. Currently with five production plants, a sixth is under construction and expected to be operational by 2018. Belmark is also focused on employee health and wellbeing. Its De Pere headquarters has an on-site fitness center and complimentary health clinic for workers.
Belmark | (920) 336-2848; www.belmark.com
2016 sales (in millions): ~$145* / Grand Rapids, Michigan
Formerly known as Oliver-Tolas Healthcare Packaging, the company’s parent company, Oliver Products, acquired Mangar Medical Packaging in May 2016. Following the acquisition, the two companies joined forces and are now known as Oliver. Also in 2016, the company expanded its adhesive coating operations at its Hamilton, Ohio, facility.
Oliver | (877) 283-3431; www.oliver-tolas.com
25. St. Johns Packaging
2016 sales (in millions): $115* / Quebec, Canada
Wicket bags, pouches and printed roll stock continue to be the bread and butter of St. Johns Packaging. According to its website, St. Johns specializes in being lean and offering short lead times to its North American customers.
St. Johns Packaging | (800) 567-8773; www.sjpack.com