2018 Top 25 Converters: Race to the Top
Packaging innovation, investments and mergers and acquisitions continue to define the top 25 converters in North America.
At first glance, you might think that this year’s Top 25 Converters list doesn’t look a whole lot different from last year’s one. And you’re right, there’s not a ton of variation. But if you read on to see what each converter has been up to in the past year, it’s evident that this list is going to look very different next year. The race is on.
On that note, we present our 2018 Top 25 Converters in North America feature, based off of sales information from the 2017 calendar year. Have a look!
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2017 sales (in billions): $4 / Neenah, Wisconsin
In 2017, Bemis developed a packaging film to produce individually-sized cocktail mix pouches for Bibo Barmaid’s first-of-its-kind at-home cocktail machine. The end result was a pouch that’s puncture-resistant and meets Bibo’s requirements for burst values, shelf-life, portability and convenience. “Bemis is uniquely positioned to provide high-value add film solutions that meet the critical quality requirements of this project. We were able to bring together multiple technology solutions to create a durable film that provides excellent product compatibility, and extended shelf-life to meet consumer demands for portability and ease of use while at home or on-the-go,” Bemis associate market manager, Peter Wright, said at the time.
Bemis | (920) 527-5000; www.bemis.com
2. Berry Global
2017 sales (in billions): $2.9 / Evansville, Indiana
“By changing our name to Berry Global we are portraying a more balanced view of who we are to our customers, our investors and ourselves.” That’s Tom Salmon, Berry CEO, explaining the key behind Berry’s brand revamp that included a name change from Berry Plastics to Berry Global, a new logo and a new set of core company values. While the brand revamp was Berry’s big news to come out of 2017, the company also acquired Clopay Plastic Products Company and joined The Recycling Partnership.
Berry Global | (800) 343-1295; www.berryglobal.com
3. Sealed Air
2017 sales (in billions): $2.8* / Charlotte, North Carolina
Sealed Air’s Charlotte, North Carolina, facilities were officially dedicated in May 2017, marking the first time in the company’s history that its two main divisions and executives existed in a centralized headquarters. Sealed Air also appointed a new president and CEO, as Ted Doheny took over for the retiring Jerome Peribere. Doheny joined Sealed Air as chief operating officer and CEO-designate in September 2017 before assuming the duties of president and CEO months later.
Sealed Air | (980) 221-3235; www.sealedair.com
4. Sigma Plastics Group
2017 sales (in billions): $2.5 / Lyndhurst, New Jersey
Sigma continued to provide its line of stretch films and custom films to customers throughout North America in 2017. With more than 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada, Sigma has a unique ability to quickly deliver films to customers located anywhere in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Sigma Plastics Group | (201) 933-6000; www.sigmaplasticsgroup.com
2017 sales (in billions): $2.48* / Hartsville, South Carolina
Novolex made big news at the end of 2017 when it announced it had acquired Yakima, Washington-based Shields Bag and Printing. “This transaction is very important to our shared future,” NOVOLEX CEO Stan Bikulege said at the time of the announcement. “The Shields team and products are a great fit for Novolex. We are pleased to continue and grow the 82-year legacy of success in serving customers created by the Shields Family. And we are proud to welcome more than 500 Yakima-based employees and their families to ours.
NOVOLEX | (800) 845-6051; www.novolex.com
2017 sales (in billions): $1.3 / Atlanta, Georgia
Printpack released a duo of new packages for the pet food market in March 2017: A large-format, quad-seal polyethylene bag to cater to dry pet food applications and an easy-tear, standup polyethylene pouch for pet treats. Each package utilizes the full spectrum of color graphics in Printpack’s expansive portfolio and completely protects the integrity of the product throughout its lifecycle. Both packages are also prequalified for the How2Recycle store drop-off program. “By offering prequalified solutions, Printpack is aiming to make it as straightforward as possible for brands to meet their sustainability goals for packaging,” David McLain, market development manager, Printpack, said at the time.
Printpack | (404) 460-7000; www.printpack.com
2017 sales (in billions): $1.3 / Cincinnati, Ohio
It was another big year for ProAmpac, having acquired a trio of flexible packaging entities in Trinity Packaging, PolyFirst Packaging and Clondalkin Flexible Packaging Orlando. It also acquired the AB Packaging Group’s North American shopping bag product line. A revamped website, new president of its extrusion and laminations division in Tom Loewald, and more honors for its Westfield, Massachusetts, facility helped cap off a successful 2017 that increased company-wide sales by $200 million from its 2016 standing. ProAmpac also helped with the development of the Fritz Water Vest, a pouch-like water-carrying device to help people in developing countries carry significant amounts of water over large distances.
ProAmpac | (513) 671-1777; www.proampac.com
8. Coveris (now TC Transcontinental)
2017 sales (in millions): $966 / Chicago, Illinois
This year marks the last time Coveris will appear on this list, as its Americas division was acquired by TC Transcontinental in early 2018. Prior to the acquisition, Coveris realigned its operations into four main business units: Americas, Rigid, EMEA, and U.K. Food & Consumer. According to the company, the realignment was designed to enhance how it delivered solutions in response to changing market demands.
Coveris | (877) 447-3539; www.coveris.com
2017 sales (in millions): $820* / Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
In late 2017, Winpak announced that it would be expanding its BOPA films business in North America at its American Biaxis subsidiary. The expansion called for a $40 million investment, with the goal of the expansion concluding in the second half of 2019.
Winkpak | (204) 889-1015; www.winpak.com
10. Mondi in North America
2017 sales (in millions): $685 / Atlanta, Georgia
Mondi celebrated a milestone year in 2017, as it marked the 50th anniversary of the company. It celebrated by touting its capabilities to meet customer needs in the North American market, notably when it comes to flexible packaging, bags and pouches, barrier coatings, technical films and industrial bags.
Mondi in North America | (770) 243-5420; www.mondigroup.com
11. Amcor Flexibles Americas
2017 sales (in millions): ~$602* | Buffalo Grove, Illinois
In Amcor news, CEO Ron Delia announced an initiative to ensure that all of the packaging Amcor produces be recyclable or reusable by 2025. “I’m proud of this commitment,” Delia wrote in an announcement on the Amcor website. “It reflects our aspiration to be the leading global packaging company and to win for customers, our people and our investors, as well as for the world around us.”
Amcor Flexibles Americas | (224) 315-7000; www.amcor.com
12. Hood Packaging Corp.
2017 sales (in millions): $600* / Burlington, Ontario, Canada; Madison, Mississippi
Hood continues to expand its flexible packaging offerings 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 a broad 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 Co.
2017 sales (in millions): $600 / Hartsville, South Carolina
Demand for fresh and natural products, along with the desire for more convenient forms of packaging, have driven change at Sonoco. Recent acquisitions of Peninsula Packaging, Highland Packaging and Clear Lam position the company as an integrated flexible and thermoformed packaging leader in fresh and precut produce, salads foodservice, and meats and cheeses. Sonoco’s new see-through ClearGuard line of packaging offers barrier capability while allowing brands to communicate trust and transparency. And Sonoco Fresh, a partnership with Clemson, is focused on reducing food waste and increasing access to fresh foods through new technologies that optimize the fresh food lifecycle.
Sonoco | (800) 377-2692; www.sonoco.com
14. American Packaging Corporation
2017 sales (in millions): $450* | Columbus, Wisconsin
In July 2017, American Packaging Corporation invested in a digital system for flexible packaging, a move designed to offer its customers greater choice in surfaces, substrates and technical performance. The company says the initiative leverages extensive converting technologies and expertise to accelerate customer speed to market with the look, feel and function brand owners and designers are seeking for maximum shelf impact. Also in 2017, its New York Center of Excellence reached zero waste to landfill status.
American Packaging Corporation | (920) 623-2291; www.ampkcorp.com
2017 sales (in millions): $440 / Deerfield, Illinois
Pregis made waves in May 2017 when it acquired Sharp Packaging Systems in an effort to expand its product portfolio with flexible packaging bagging systems and materials. “We view the Sharp organization and its employees as a perfect cultural fit within Pregis. We believe the product offering and our combined teams strengthen our position as a valued partner to our customers,” Pregis CEO Kevin Baudhuin said at the time of the purchase.
Pregis | (877) 692-6163; www.pregis.com
16. Bryce Corporation
2017 sales (in millions): $375* / Memphis, Tennessee
Bryce continued 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
2017 sales (in millions): $285 | Northlake, Illinois
Scholle IPN celebrated a neat milestone in 2017. Specifically, the company celebrated the 25th million package made for bag-in-box automotive oil. Scholle began offering the product in 2008. “From the outset, we were confident this product line would do extremely well. It was really the right development for a market segment that was thirsty for innovation,” Frank Rice, senior business manager for Scholle IPN, said at the time of the achievement.
Scholle IPN | (708) 562-7290; www.sholleipn.com
18. TC Transcontinental Packaging
2017 sales (in millions): $236 / Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Don’t get too used to seeing TC Trancontinental Packaging this far down on this list. Next year, they’ll make a huge jump thanks to several 2018 acquisitions that include Les Industries Flexipak, Multifilm Packaging and Coveris Americas. But this list is based on 2017 sales – and TC’s 2017 was marked by earning a trio of Packaging Association of Canada (PAC) Canadian Leadership Awards and introducing new packaging formats for seafood and deli applications. It also earned gold Flexible Packaging Achievement Award honors in the sustainability category for its Compostable Peanut Bag.
TC Transcontinental Packaging | (514) 954-4000; www.tctranscontinental.com
19. InterFlex Group
2017 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
2017 sales (in millions): $200 / Richmond, Virginia
Liqui-Box appointed industry veteran Lamy Chopin to its team to serve as technical manager in the R&D department. It also scored a trio of 2017 Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards, earning silver in the technical innovation category for its ApexAspet pouch, silver in the sustainability category for its EcoAsept aseptic pouch film and another silver in sustainability for its FlexFlow film.
Liqui-Box | (877) 267-5949; www.liquibox.com
21. Oracle Packaging
2017 sales (in millions): $200* / Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Oracle continued to grow as a preferred manufacturer of industry-leading flexible packaging laminates, which are relied upon world-wide by leading companies within global markets such as healthcare, pharmaceutical, food, dairy, household and personal care, tobacco and industrial.
Oracle Packaging | (336) 777-5000; www.oraclepackaging.com
2017 sales (in millions): $180* / De Pere, Wisconsin
Belmark continued its growth, which has been consistent since its founding in 1977. In addition to its 800 employees located throughout five plants (a sixth plant is scheduled for completion soon), Belmark also helps high school students interested in packaging with offered internships or apprenticeships, per the company website.
Belmark | (920) 336-2848; www.belmark.com
2017 sales (in millions): $150* / Grand Rapids, Michigan
Oliver-Tolas and Mangar Medical Packaging officially merged in May 2016, joining forces to be known as just “Oliver” in an announcement made in January 2017. According to the company, the Oliver name helps preserve company legacy while helping it move forward to produce innovative healthcare solutions.
Oliver | (616) 456-7711; www.oliverhcp.com
24. C-P Flexible Packaging
2017 sales (in millions): $125 / York, Pennsylvania
C-P Flexible Packaging continues to provide sustainable packaging solutions. According to the company website, C-P continually audits its processes to refine areas of facilities management, source reduction, recycling and conservation in order to promote a more sustainable future for the business.
C-P Flexible Packaging | (800) 815-0667; www.cpflexpack.com
25. St. Johns Packaging
2017 sales (in millions): $110* / 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
Log on to www.flexpackmag.com/top25-converters to view our Top 25 lists of the past and stay up to date on all the latest news from the leading North American converters.