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Give your dog a home-cooked meal with Warm Ups

Give your dog a home-cooked meal with Warm Ups

The exploding demand for premium pet foods, coupled with a desire for convenience packaging, has opened a new arena for pet food manufacturers. And it is the latter that is driving the development of innovative solutions in packaging.  Ease of use in storage, preparation and disposal are all features that compel a consumer to make a purchasing decision.  

With the ever-growing abundance of premium dry pet food choices available on today’s retail shelves, deciding what to feed your pet has become a tough job.  Despite veterinarians’ recommendations of dry kibble instead of wet food for optimal pet health, one third of dog owners already introduce wet dog food mixed with dry food to ensure their pet gets the nutrition they need and the taste they prefer.

A dog’s brain is 10 percent the size of a human brain; however the portion of their brain that controls the sense ofsmell is 40 times greater, making their sense of smell 1000 times more sensitive than that of human. Adding heat and moisture heightens the smell of dry food which increases their appetite.

In a control group of 100 dogs, research showed that nearly 100 percent of those dogs immediately ran to the bowl with a warm moist additive as opposed to the same bowl of plain dry food without any additives. High scores such as these are very unusual in consumer testing and are typically achieved only when a product is radically different from existing products.

 The pet food industry is just beginning to welcome new advances in packaging that offer better performance than either the standard multiwall paper bag or metal can options that have been prominent for decades. Already familiar to consumers in various human food markets, the rigid cup with a peel-off adhesive lid offers several serving sizes for pet food. Rigid plastic packaging is lightweight, portable, and easy to use at home or on the go. For consumers, it is safer than metal cans or glass because there are no sharp metal ends and no breakage.

Benefits for the pet food manufacturer include a full coverage 360° image area on the shrink label with additional area on the lid for showcasing high impact graphics. By using this packaging technology, pet food manufacturers are able to distinguish themselves from the typical bagged, pouched and canned items of their competition.  Additionally, the rigid container format is ideal for extending shelf life.

The introduction of a heated, moist supplement for dry dog food in an easy-to-use package creates a great new option for dog lovers who desire to feed their dogs a warm meal.
Creating an experience
Wexford Farms is an emerging privately owned pet food company founded by veterans of the pet care industry. With a combined 75 years experience in the pet food business, the founders set out to make a huge impact in the way consumers care for their beloved animals.

Being pet owners themselves, the innovators at Wexford Farms understand that today’s dog owners treat their pets like children, concerned about their physical comfort and emotional well-being.  They embarked upon a project to revolutionize the pet feeding experience. Their efforts resulted in Warm Ups Dog Food Enhancers, an oatmeal-based product made with all-natural ingredients and essential vitamins and minerals to help create a warm, wholesome meal that dogs thoroughly enjoy.

Pet ownership is increasing, and the way people care for their pets is becoming more involved.  Many pet owners are actively seeking out smaller pet food companies that sell products with higher quality ingredients. They are choosing foods for their pets that resemble their own food in appearance and preparation.  Pets have become more than just animals; they have become family.
Creating a powerful brand presence
Introduced in March 2013, Warm Ups is the first creation launched by Wexford Farms.  Recognizing the importance of creating a brand presence, Wexford Farms turned to Printpack ( for all of their packaging needs including the rigid cup, lidding and flexible shrink sleeve.

With 57 years of experience, Printpack, a manufacturer and converter of flexible and specialty rigid packaging, works with its customers to optimize their packaging and go-to-market strategies.

Packaged in a rigid polypropylene cup with a high-gloss shrink label and easy-peel barrier lidding, this product pops out as something new on the pet food aisle. Images of dog breeds that are similar to the pets of the company founders and recognized by pet owners across the U.S. are pictured on the package. With oven mitts in mouth, the dogs look happy to have a “home-cooked meal.”

Printpack designed the polypropylene cup with the strength to withstand hot temperatures without warping or loss of structure. The lidding offers protection and shelf stability by creating a tight seal.  It also doubles as a canvas for creative graphics. Shrink sleeves contour to the cup to create a high-gloss, visually appealing brand identity.
Nurturing with convenience
Cooking for our loved ones has long been a family tradition. Warm Ups now allows you to extend that tradition to your dog.

Warm Ups Dog Food Enhancers facilitate the experience of “cooking” for your pet.  The bowl offers the appropriate serving size without the hassle of measuring and there is no need to wash a dish. The product never has to touch the stove, microwave or any other heating mechanism which makes cross contamination of dog and human food a low risk.

With innovations from Printpack, the cutting-edge package design was created to provide an uncomplicated cooking method and effortless disposal. The rigid bowl and easy-peel barrier lidding forms the framework for a container that allows a dog owner to prepare a meal in three easy steps:
1.    Peel off the protective lid and add hot tap water to the mix.
2.    Pour or spoon Warm Ups over your dog’s regular food.
3.    Serve.

Then, just watch your dog enjoy his warm meal. The dog leaves a spotless, licked-clean bowl, and the container can be disposed of or set aside for recycling.
By placing a proven dog food concept in a functional and convenient package, consumers are able to nurture their pets with a no-fuss, no-muss approach. And with four different formulations, there is a specific solution for any dog’s nutritional needs.
Collaboration is the key to success
There is a wealth of opportunity for all parties when a quality pet food manufacturer and an experienced packaging solution company collaborate to address consumer trends. An original product can be brought to life with innovative packaging that meets marketing needs and performance satisfaction.

Printpack is a major converter of flexible and specialty rigid packaging with a more than 50-year history of innovation.  Every product Printpack designs and produces addresses a real-world marketplace challenge for its customers.
 This extensive knowledge of the packaging world compelled Wexford Farms to connect with Printpack early in the research and development stage. Utilizing Printpack’s expertise in machine knowledge, graphic design and packaging technologies, a complete packaging concept was created.  

 “Already having an established, trusted relationship made this project a pleasure to collaborate on,” says Printpack Account Manager Charlene May. “It was refreshing to work with Wexford Farms from the inception of their new idea to the introduction of their company to the pet food market. We were able to provide a total packaging solution along with the technological knowledge needed to launch this great new product.”

Printpack’s solutions run the gamut from advancing customer needs for dynamic new products, to repositioning sales channels, to optimizing performance and value across a wide spectrum of consumer goods markets. Printpack’s comprehensive experience with packaging and print technologies allows the company to tailor solutions for each individual customer’s requirements.

“Printpack has been a great partner and the convenience of the one-stop shop streamlined the process of launching Warm Ups. By providing all of our packaging needs, we expect to increase brand awareness with innovative packaging ideas,” says Rich Rothamel, COO, Wexford Farms.

Printpack’s next project for Wexford Farms is to use the same packaging concepts from the first product to create packaging for their second product line. This product will be a cup of dry dog food with the Warm Ups Dog Food Enhancers already included. Four different serving sizes will be available to fit the needs of every breed. This item was revealed at SuperZoo 2013, and is expected to be another groundbreaking development in the pet-care world.

Source: Printpack

Anecdotes and other tall tales

Anyone who has worked in packaging for any length of time probably has stories to tell. Like when the in-line filler didn't shut off during a press conference demonstration and water spilled over the bottles, down the conveyor and onto the floor. Or when a photo shoot moved to the roof of a hi-rise in New York City and the view of man's architectural accomplishments spurred deep thoughts about my own career aspirations.

Well, pull up a chair, grab a cup of brew and enjoy these chronicles from those on the front lines.

Stephen Birtsas, senior manager, Kalypso
Remember when label copy and artwork files were mounted on art boards, stuffed in folders and passed around like pre-school Valentine's Day cards? How many times did they come back battered, worn and wearing someone's lunch?

Oliver Campbell, director of procurement, packaging, Dell
I actually ate our Dell mushroom packaging on China TV. As much as I like Dell products, in this case, it really needed some soy sauce. I still smiled though!

Alan Blake, executive director, PAC NEXT
Anecdotally, I'm always impressed by the tremendous synergy of great product and package design to deliver a winning market proposition. My personal favorite was Downy Simple Pleasures (2004) combining brilliant product colors and perfumes with a transparent PET bottle with twist neck feature.

Michael Richmond, vp, Packaging Technology Integrated Solutions
What's in a name...

We knew when writing our book that it would be important for all parts of the value chain and wanted to ensure we got the point across to the potential readers so they would pick up the book. We pushed ourselves to make the title really compelling. It took days going back and forth with the internal team and the publisher to get the right title. 

However, we think we finally got there with the title "Creating Value Through Packaging: Unlocking a New Business and Management Strategy." It sounds so simple but it sure took a long time to get there.

PMMI staff on 50 years of packaging and processing stories

• Sweet!
Tom Egan, vp industry services: When I was heading up an OEM's sales and marketing efforts, we had a customer who was launching a new brand of gummy candy, and I just knew it would be a winner. 

The way I knew was that every time we had a meeting about the production line we were building for them, the client would kindly bring samples along. Everyone in the room would take the obligatory gummy candy (we didn't want to insult the client)-and then would start eyeing the leftovers. While the meetings didn't quite come to fisticuffs, based on our response to the candies, it was clear that this product was going to be a success. Many years later, this candy is still an active brand.

• 9/11—What now?
PMMI Staff: On Sept. 11, 2001, the industry was at PACK EXPO Las Vegas, and we awoke to one of the most horrific news stories of our time. Because the PMMI offices are outside of Washington, DC, the emotional connection for our staff was particularly strong. As exhibitors and attendees straggled to The Sands Convention Center, the PMMI staff and leadership had to make a decision: Stay open or close?

PMMI decided to keep the show open-after all, where would anyone go? The country's airports were closed. And so began a surreal event. We placed TV monitors throughout the exposition halls and lobby, and watched as attendees and exhibitors alike were mesmerized by the news coverage. 

When the show was over, about 30 PMMI staff members rode a chartered bus from Las Vegas to Washington, DC—an unforgettable two-day journey. Among the many lasting effects of the whole ordeal: To this day, PMMI staff reviews meeting spots and action plans, and new staff members receive a flashlight for navigating dark corridors prior to every PACK EXPO—just in case of emergency. It taught us what it really means to be prepared!

Maria Ferrante, vp education & workforce development: On the morning of 9/11, we had an OMAC meeting scheduled, and I was on the agenda to speak to the group about PMMI's PackLearn initiatives. My husband and my son, then 6 months old, had traveled to Las Vegas with me, but because of my schedule, I left the hotel long before they did. 

Once we learned the shocking news of the terrorist attacks, we weren't sure whether to hold the meeting or not, but ultimately decided to go ahead with the meeting. Everyone was already there, and there was really nothing else for folks to do but gather and be together.

Just before we were scheduled to start the meeting, my husband showed up at the meeting room with Jacob in his stroller. This was the first opportunity I had to see the two of them since I left my hotel room and since we heard the news. I went over to them, grabbed my son and gave him a big hug—and everyone in the room broke out in a round of applause. Then they all wanted to meet Jacob! I still work with many of those packaging professionals, and while it's in a different capacity, they still ask about Jacob even now, 12 years later. It was a bit of humanity on a very tragic day.

Tom Egan, vp industry services: At the time, I was a PACK EXPO exhibitor and PMMI member, but not PMMI staff. I rented a car with three business friends. We left Las Vegas on Friday for our first stop, the Denver airport. One of our group hoped to get a flight back to Italy, his home. If not, he reasoned, he could rent a bicycle for a few days and see Denver and the Rocky Mountains. We found out later that instead, he stood on line every day until the following Wednesday, when he was able to get on a plane. No bike riding for him.

We remaining three drove from Denver to the home of Passenger #2 in Indianapolis. His wife kindly offered us sandwiches, which we accepted, and a place to nap, which we did not, for fear of sleeping for days.

And then we were two. From Indianapolis, Passenger #3 and I drove to Lynchburg, VA, where I dropped him off at his home. It was around 10:00 p.m. Saturday night, and I was now in the home stretch! I arrived at my home in the Washington suburbs around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday.

My takeaway? The 37.5 hour, 2,500-plus mile cross country drive fulfilled an item on my bucket list. I always wanted to drive across the country and our experience definitely cured me of that!

• Fore...
PMMI Staff: The day before PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2009, the wind was so strong that when the golfers got off the bus for the PMMI Education & Training Foundation Golf Tournament, they made a beeline for the pro shop. There they purchased sweatshirts, jackets, and anything they thought might keep them warm—there were no questions about prices or colors, just the need to get warm. A good time was had by all...after they bundled up!

• We are family
PMMI Staff: Mark Jacobson of Econocorp was an active and much-loved PMMI member. In 2011, when we learned he'd been diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer, it was just a few years after his best friend and partner in crime, Mark Garvey, had succumbed to a different type of cancer. 

It was a difficult time, but no one wanted to sit by and wait. Instead, the industry banded together and started Jaunt for Jake—an 80+ mile bike ride as part of the Pan Mass Challenge, which raises funds for the Dana Farber Cancer Center. That first year was amazing. Mark and his family were touched by the support and the outreach by the community, and everyone who was there was overwhelmed with emotion. PMMI members, friends and family all came out to support the cause. Mark lost his battle with cancer in 2012, but Jaunt for Jake, now in its third year, is still raising thousands of dollars for cancer research and still bringing our industry together to support a great cause and remember some very special people.

• We've come a long way, baby!
PMMI Staff: 50 years ago, the Packaging Machinery Show, sponsored by PMMI and held in Detroit, welcomed 10,000 attendees and 205 exhibiting companies with a total of 97,000 sq ft of exhibit space. 

In 2014, PACK EXPO International is expected to have 50,000 attendees, 2,000 exhibiting companies and more than 1.1 million net sq ft of exhibit space. 

A lot has happened in between!

- In 1971, the Packaging Machinery Show (sponsored by PMMI since 1956) becomes PACK EXPO, exhibits annually and becomes the central event of National Packaging Week.

- In 1974, PACK EXPO goes biennial, and the American Management Assn. ends its annual show and partners with PMMI. PACK EXPO becomes the sole national tradeshow for U.S. packaging machinery manufacturers.

- In 1990, Chuck Yuska is hired as PMMI's president/CEO.

- In 1993, PMMI adds Canadian members and opens its Latin America office in Mexico City.

- In 1994, PMMI sponsors EXPOPACK México as a joint venture with OPREX.

- In 2000, PMMI opens its China office.

- In 2004, PMMI acquires 100 percent of EXPOPACK México.

- In 2006, PMMI adds the Supplier Membership class.

- In 2007, PMMI adds Materials & Containers Membership class.

- In 2009, PMMI adds the Processing Membership Class, and represents the entire packaging and processing supply chain.

- In 2011, PMMI adopts a new strategic plan and launches the Alliance for Innovation & Operational Excellence.

- In 2012, PMMI opens general membership Mexican firms.

- In 2013, PMMI:
-- Launches EXPO PACK Guadalajara;
-- Announces PACK EXPO East, to debut in Philadelphia in February 2015;
-- Announces Pharma EXPO, a joint venture with the Intl. Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers, co-locating with PACK EXPO Intl. 2014;
-- Unveils its new logo and its new identity as PMMI, The Assn. for Packaging and Processing Technologies.

There's still half a year left!

Andrew Manly, communications director, Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Assn. (AIPIA)
• The second PPMA Show in Telford, U.K. (Pack Expo British style), was partially held in a 15,000-sq-ft tent, which, due to the uneven surface of the ground was on 11 feet of scaffold. The gods decided to cook up a storm on the first day of the show. With 80-miles-per-hour gusts of wind, the tent (with 100 tons of machines and 500 people) was swaying at the top and, when the wind hit the sides, it sounded like a shotgun. Scared...were we! You could not have written the script!

• India 1991, trade mission to Mumbai and surrounding areas. A visit to a bakery was organised. We were greeted by the rats on the flour sacks who all waved hello. Then to the packing hall where we came across the man carefully wiping the top of the (sweaty) loaves with a rag he carefully placed on the rat-dropping-infested floor after each batch of loaves passed. The loaves were packed by hands, ambient temperature about 110deg in the room. One of our number asked, naively, "Don't they wear gloves to pack the loaves in the bags?" There was much wagging of heads, then the answer came: "Ah, but this shift does not have sweaty hands."

Joe Elphick, president of 3C Packaging
We're an independent privately-owned packaging solutions company specializing in the design and manufacture of custom folding cartons, printed literature, inserts, outserts and unit-dose compliant packaging.

We once faced the challenge of producing five separate components from the same top-five pharmaceutical company over the course of a weekend—totaling more than half a million units in approximately 36 hours.

We knew it would be tight—but not that tight. I think that project stepped right up to the brink of physical impossibility. There was enough time to print the units and ship the units—and that was it. The execution needed to be absolutely flawless for us to achieve our standards of quality and timeliness.

It was the work that was done ahead of time that mattered. Collaborative meetings, a thorough review and re-review of product specifications, and having the equipment available at a moment's notice were just the beginning. From there, we performed trial runs of various launch components during the scant downtime between other pressing projects, and implemented a raw materials plan incorporating not only quality, but quantity and physical location of each quantity—all toward the goal of saving as much precious time as possible without sacrificing exemplary customer service. 

And in the interest of going the extra mile, we executed an all-hands-on-deck manpower strategy—including sales executives, customer service representatives, graphics teams, pressmen, folding crews, quality assurance specialists, shipping personnel—that ran full shifts not only over the weekend, but what was, essentially, a holiday as well. 

It was Super Bowl weekend. Now that's dedication.


TCL leads by example with apprentice program

TCL leads by example with apprentice program
A qualified apprentice at TCL Packaging in Telford

A qualified apprentice at TCL Packaging in Telford

TCL Packaging of Telford, supplier of packaging films has just seen two more employees complete work-based apprentice training schemes. The newly qualified apprentices work in conversion, pre-press and print support, taking the total to seven completed, or going through the scheme at TCL. This represents almost 15 percent of the workforce.

"If the whole of the packaging industry committed to employing 15 percent apprentices, what a difference it would make to youth unemployment statistics," says Mike Golding, manager director. "There are some remarkable young people out there who just need a chance to prove themselves. With the right training and support, we find apprentices quickly develop skills and deliver a measureable contribution."

TCL says the scheme has both social and commercial benefits and Golding believes there are advantages for everyone if handled in the right way. "We take our time, with the help of a good local training provider to identify young people with good potential. The Government funds the training element and we find competency and performance levels after just one year are amazing. This leads to on-going employment opportunities at the full market rate with TCL and makes it a win for all involved."

Source: TCL Packaging


Cement bag designed for arctic climate

Cement bag designed for arctic climate
Mondi at South Pole

Mondi at South Pole

After the successful implementation of Mondi's Advantage Select sack kraft paper in 2-ply cement bag solutions in Asia and Africa, Mondi Kraft Paper is now up for a new challenge—the South Pole/Antarctica.

Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, and driest place on earth. It has a desert climate, air humidity near zero, and it almost never receives rain. The average annual temperature is -47°C, with lowest temperatures possible at -89.2°C. In short, it is one of the most inhospitable places on earth.

The prime focus of life in Antarctica is scientific research. The population is transient, consisting of scientists and networks that support them, living in research stations across the continent. Cement is needed in the construction, maintenance and expansion of these research stations.

When Taemyung Industrial Co. Ltd. was requested to produce a 40 kg cement bag for Ssangyong Cement Industrial Co. Ltd. to be delivered to the South Pole/Antarctica, the consistent performance of the bag was imperative. In fact, a cement bag has to contend with a wide range of temperatures and climatic challenges. In addition, the bag is handled, moved, carried and dropped throughout the supply chain up to 10 times, needing to survive multiple drops from packers, trucks, pallets and warehouse stacks with heights ranging from 1 up to 3 meters. 

Taemyung Industrial already had extensive experience utilising Mondi's sack kraft paper grade Advantage Select in the South Korean cement industry. So according to Mr Gyung-Min Kwon, Director of Taemyung, "the only choice was Mondi's Advantage sack kraft paper."

2-ply cement bag solutions using Mondi Advantage Select have superior tensile energy absorption (TEA) combined with high porosity. On top the replacement of 3-ply constructions has resulted in lighter bags with material savings of over 25 percent. Gerry Gosen, managing director Mondi Packaging Paper Sales Asia, says: "These 2-ply bags are the strongest in the marketplace which means two things for our customers: reduced breakages, and more efficient dust free filling on the rotopacker as bags no longer require perforation." 

With companies worldwide looking for cost savings along with innovations to grow business, Mondi Kraft Paper works closely with key stakeholders in the cement industry to provide such solutions. 50 kg and 40 kg bagged cement* has become the norm throughout much of Asia. Over recent years Mondi has co-operated with major cement organisations to develop cement bags that are superior both cost- and functionally-wise. 

* Typical are currently 50 kg, 2-ply, 80 gsm and 40 kg, 2-ply, 70 gsm bag solutions.

Source: Mondi


September Promising Packaging Patents

Patents-Bottle TopBottle closure controls flow, prevents spills (shown)

The patent meets an unresolved need for a bottle top apparatus that regulates and controls flow of liquid or solid contents from a bottle while preventing spillage of the contents upon opening and during use. It is aimed at many membrane-sealed bottles for products (engine oil, for example) that only offer fully closed or fully open positioning. The bottle top apparatus comprises a top closure connected to a lower end of a twisting member that conforms to a second closure integrated to the bottle top and that can slide over the latter closure.

Improved heat-shrink labeling using a three-zone tunnel
In pointing to problems with conventional heat-shrink labeling methods, this patent filing from SKC Co. proposes a hot-air tunnel system comprising a preheating zone, a labeling zone and a cooling zone. Each zone is equipped with fan heaters on both sides and on the bottom and is also equipped with an air circulation system on the top. This arrangement is said to minimize labeling defects when polyethylene-based containers are labeled with heat-shrinkable labels. The preheating zone minimizes the expansion of the product to be labeled; the labeling zone allows the heat-shrinkable label to shrink uniformly around the product; and the cooling zone prevents loose labels.

Update on the Vented Bottle
Packaging Digest conducts an exclusive Q&A with Matt Dufala and Shane Gowans, patent holders for The InVent Vented Bottle, which is associated with two patent filings including a "Liquid container with multiple openings." The principals discuss the hurdles to commercialization; identify the three versions of the bottle they envision; name approximately two dozen vendor and consumer packaged goods companies they have been in contact with; and share their lessons learned along the way about patents, packaging and the packaging business. Lastly, they note the next step on the path toward getting the package on shelf.

Container with crimped tamper-evident locking
This invention addresses problems in ensuring the security of products in transportation, such as produce and other foodstuffs in hinged containers, as well as medical products used in care-giving situations. A container has a top and a bottom member and at least one cooperating locking means that comprises an upstanding post and an associated opening or recess formed in the flanges of the top and bottom members. A weakened fault zone is formed in the immediate region of each post or of each cooperating opening or recess. The container is locked in its closed position after it has been filled by crimping the end of each post so as to mechanically deform the post. Any attempt to disengage a crimped post will result in failure of the respective weakened area and may be construed as tampering prior to first use by the consumer.


Packaging Corp. of America to acquire Boise

Packaging Corp. of America to acquire Boise
Packaging Corp. of America

Packaging Corp. of America

Packaging Corp. of America (PCA) and Boise announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which PCA will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Boise for $12.55 per share in cash, for an aggregate transaction value of $1.995 billion, inclusive of $714 million of outstanding indebtedness of Boise. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013 with committed debt financing, but is subject to certain customary conditions and regulatory approvals. 

The combined companies generated $5.5 billion in sales and $879 million in EBITDA (excluding special items) in the last twelve months ended June 30, 2013 (LTM). The combined packaging business generated 75 percent of sales and 83 percent of EBITDA over the period, with the remainder generated by Boise's paper business. 

PCA's containerboard capacity will increase to 3.7 million tons from its current level of 2.6 million tons (a 42 percent increase) including the announced expansion of paper machine number 2 (D2) at Boise's DeRidder mill. PCA's corrugated products volume will increase by about 30 percent as a result of the acquisition, and PCA's market presence will expand into the Pacific Northwest. 

Synergies are estimated to generate pre-tax benefits of approximately $105 million and are expected to be fully realized within three years of closing. The synergies are projected to come from mill grade optimization, sales mix and cost reductions, lower transportation costs, corrugated products optimization, and SG&A cost reductions. 

The purchase price represents a multiple of 6.7 times adjusted LTM EBITDA of $297 million (excluding special items) and including the $105 million in benefits from synergies, the purchase price represents a multiple of 5.0 times LTM EBITDA. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to earnings immediately.

PCA Executive Chairman Paul Stecko said, "The acquisition is an excellent fit, both geographically and strategically, with unique and substantial synergies. It provides the containerboard that PCA needs to support our strong corrugated products growth. The DeRidder containerboard mill is low cost, located in a very good wood basket and, after the D2 machine conversion, provides almost one million tons of primarily lightweight containerboard. The combined company is expected to generate strong financial results and strong cash flow which will be used to pay down debt as well as to continue to return value to our shareholders." 

PCA CEO Mark Kowlzan says, "This acquisition allows us to apply our operating and sales expertise across a much larger system and provides significant growth potential. We look forward to working with the employees of Boise as we integrate our businesses. I am confident, that together, we will achieve significant operating benefits."

Boise Board Chair Carl Albert says, "Our Board and management team have thoroughly evaluated a broad range of strategic options for Boise, and we believe this transaction is the best way to maximize value for our shareholders." 

Boise Chief Executive Officer Alexander Toeldte says, "PCA's desire to acquire Boise is a testament to the performance delivered and dedication shown by our employees in our five years as a public company, and the value we have created in a very challenging economic environment. We have been committed to serving our customers with distinction and this transaction will enhance opportunities for even stronger customer service." 

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, an affiliate of PCA is required to commence a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Boise's common stock for $12.55 per share in cash. The boards of directors of both Boise and PCA have unanimously approved the agreement. Boise's board of directors expects to recommend that shareholders tender their shares into the offer once it is launched. The tender offer is required to be commenced within 10 calendar days and to remain open for at least 20 business days after launch. Any shares not tendered in the offer will be acquired in a second step merger at the same cash price as in the tender offer. 

BofA Merrill Lynch acted as exclusive financial advisor to PCA and provided committed financing for the transaction. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Boise. Mayer Brown LLP acted as legal counsel to PCA, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as legal counsel to Boise. 

Conference Call to Discuss Transaction 

Paul T. Stecko, PCA's executive chairman, Mark Kowlzan, PCA's CEO, and Rick West, PCA's CFO, will discuss the transaction during a conference call on September 16, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

Conference Call Information:

WHAT: Conference Call: PCA's Acquisition of Boise

WHEN: Monday, September 16, 2013
8:30am Eastern Time

NUMBER: (866) 655-9758 (U.S. and Canada) or (973) 935-8718 (International)
Dial in by 8:15 a.m. Eastern Time
Conference Call Leader: Paul Stecko

PASSCODE: 64775457


Source: PCA


Pouch fitments/spouts

Pouch fitments/spouts
Pouch fitments spouts

Pouch fitments spouts

For flexible packaging applications, choose from a range of stock pouch fitments/weld spouts. The company's engineering staff can help design a custom product to fit your needs, and rapid in-house prototyping allows for quick response time. Prototype fitments can be sealed onto pouch samples, and graphics can be digitally printed on film, laminated or converted into a small quantity of pouches for test markets, focus groups, sales presentations, photos shoots and more. Seal fitments are done in house to complete the prototype.

HQC Inc., 630-820-5550


Survey shows shoppers prefer 'Made in the USA' products

Survey shows shoppers prefer 'Made in the USA' products
'Made in the USA' labels

'Made in the USA' labels

Results from the latest shopper research survey conducted by Perception Research Services (PRS) indicate that shoppers are motivated by "Made in the USA" claims on packaging as most say that they are more likely to purchase a product after noticing the "Made in the USA" claim on it. This claim has resonated with baby boomers in the past, and is now influencing Millenials more so than in prior years.

According to the Boston Consulting Group's (BCG) Center for Consumer and Customer Insight, U.S. Millennials are receptive to cause marketing and are more likely than non-Millenials to purchase items associated with a particular cause (37 percent versus 30 percent). Consistent with 2012, the PRS study shows that the primary reason shoppers claim they are more likely to purchase "Made in the USA" products is to "help the economy." Considering that Millennial shoppers may still be feeling the effects of the last recession, it makes sense that they want to reinvigorate the U.S. economy. 

Another reason many shoppers claim to prefer "Made in the USA" products is because they are perceived to be higher quality and worth paying more for. According to the BCG, "when considering similar products made in the U.S. vs. China, the average American is willing to pay up to 60 percent more for U.S. made products." 

However, this may vary greatly based on the specific product category. Recent sales data suggest that many apparel shoppers are willing to forgo some level of product quality in order to pay less. According to industry analysts at NPD, many T-shirts that are bought today are lighter than they used to be since manufacturers had to take things out to keep the price the same. 

But Wal-Mart, for one, is pushing to have it both ways—maintain low costs while still providing American made goods. Walmart asserts it is giving its suppliers added incentives that would increase sourcing of American-made products by $50 billion over the next 10 years and create more than 1,600 American jobs. 

A wide range of companies such as Apple, General Electric and Brooks Brothers are also experimenting with making more products in the U.S. However, the shift to more American-made products may not be entirely patriotic. For many, manufacturing abroad no longer makes sense. Either it is becoming too costly or they feel they are lacking a competitive edge. In some cases they want to meet consumers' desire for American-made goods, or they simply want to get merchandise from the design phase into stores within weeks rather than months in order to be "of the moment". 

Importantly, for the shoppers in our study, the majority of products they say they would prefer to purchase if American-made are food, medicine and personal care items—suggesting that quality and safety may be the true motivating factors. This may be, in part, because for these lower priced items, the cost savings may not be substantial enough to sacrifice quality.

"Manufacturers of American-made products would do well to clearly state this fact as it is a meaningful point-of-difference. This is certainly true if all else is equal, and in some cases, could provide a sufficient level of quality assurance to justify a higher price," says Jonathan Asher, evp of PRS. "As Millennials enter their peak purchasing power years, it will benefit manufacturers to provide more "Made in the USA" products, and overtly tout this claim," Asher continued, "as this group is likely to be increasingly interested in buying American."

This research for "Made in the USA" was conducted in July 2013 among over 1500 consumers, aged 18+, drawn from a nationally representative online sample in the United States.

Source: Perception Research Services



Study: Consumer decisions dependent on crowd size

Study: Consumer decisions dependent on crowd size


Recent research in the American Marketing Association's Journal of Marketing Research finds that, as the environment becomes more socially crowded, consumers show an increased preference for products with safety connotations. A crowded environment causes consumers to process marketing messages differently and actually appear to become more averse to risk in general.

Whether shopping for groceries at a supermarket, making investment decisions on a trading floor, or eating at a restaurant, this study concludes that many important consumption decisions are made in environments that vary in crowd size. The authors explore the consequences of that crowdedness on how individuals make decisions and find that, as crowdedness increases, individuals show a greater preference for safety-oriented options, preferring, for example, to visit a pharmacy rather than a convenience store.

Moreover, consumer's susceptibility to marketing messages is also affected, with prevention-framed messages (e.g., the harm of not eating vegetables) becoming more persuasive than those with a promotion frame (e.g., the benefits to eating vegetables) as the level of crowding increases. Even our likelihood to gamble is affected, with individuals in a crowded environment being markedly less willing to take part in a simple real money gamble.

Among the authors claims are that the effects are attributable to an automatic avoidance state invoked by crowded environments.

According to the authors, "We believe this research has potential implications in decision making environments as diverse as retail stores, trading floors, courtrooms, and political rallies...The bottom line is that if you are in a setting that varies in how crowded it can be your decision making process might be influenced."

The primary takeaway is that people appear to automatically think and behave differently when in crowded environments. They become more safety oriented, more risk averse, and more persuaded by message that focus on the negative consequences of inaction.

Source: AMA