February 10, 2022
Scholle IPN will be attending ENGAGE: The Contract Packaging and Manufacturing Experience, an annual event hosted by the Contract Packaging Association (CPA). The CPA is a non-profit trade organization that provides support and educational resources for contract packaging firms and industry-adjacent businesses. This year’s ENGAGE, held in Clearwater, Florida, will highlight trends and new technologies shaping the future of contract packaging.
This is the first year Scholle IPN will be at ENGAGE—our acquisition of equipment manufacturer Bossar has opened up what we can offer businesses and contract packagers. We spoke with Monte Kimball, Director of Retail Business Development; and Jackie O’Dea, Marketing Generalist; about ENGAGE and how Scholle IPN can help businesses explore new packaging solutions.
MK: We view contract packaging as an excellent way to form partnerships.
On one end, we help brand owners who are just starting to incorporate flexible packaging options into their product line. We help people that might be new to the format and pair them with contract packagers who can meet their needs and help them get into the flexible packaging market. If a company wants to explore flexibles but don’t have the capital or space for a full filling system—or simply want to test flexible packaging as an option and see how their customers engage with a new format—contract packaging is a good solution.
On the other end, we provide fillers to contract packagers and can help them refine and expand their capabilities. Some co-packers are very focused on a particular market segment, and we can help identify what the right filler might be for a given project—perhaps they’re designing a system for a brand owner they’re already working with, or they want to expand their offerings and pursue new customers.
We bridge the gap between businesses and packers. In doing so, we make it easier for brand owners to enter the flexible packaging market. We can direct brand owners to potential contract packagers and place fillers to help co-packers expand. It’s a bit of a perfect trifecta where all parties get what they need. It’s a win-win-win all around, and we’ve worked across sectors setting up successful partnerships.
JO: We want to learn how we can better support our co-packing partners. We also want to learn how we can grow the market and help more people get into flexible packaging.
We want to make the process as easy as possible, and ENGAGE will help us identify hurdles and listen to consumer concerns.
MK: There will be a lot of networking and sharing our past successes. We’re hoping to get feedback and insights from potential customers and alleviate some of their worries.
MK: There’s a number of things to think about. We have a lot of potential partners whose business model is ingrained in bottle making or buying and filling bottles or other rigid formats. The concept of replacing this system for flexible packaging is daunting—but we know flexible packaging can help them grow their business.
We don’t look at flexibles as just a substitute for rigid formats. It’s a way to move forward and grow, and the key is to find the right contract packaging partner—and I think we’ve been able to do that for a lot of brand owners. For example, let’s say a brand wants to diversify their flexible packaging solutions and wants to do small runs in a number of flexible formats (pouch, bag-in-box, etc…). By working with a contract packager, they can get their products out to market quickly and utilize existing resources.
JO: We are bringing a lot of our retail-focused packaging options, like pouches and bag-in-box, so people can see what their product might look like on the shelf compared to what’s currently out there. We’d like potential partners to see how their packaging can stand out more.
MK: This is a very diverse show. Along with retail purveyors, there will also be food manufacturers, many of whom package in pails or buckets, so we’ll be showcasing different flexible packaging solutions for people working across different sectors. Be sure to visit us at table 17!
JO: We work to make sure we know what’s on the horizon and share that with our partners. We know what’s happening in the market, especially as a lot of markets are experiencing supply chain issues. The great thing about flexible packaging is it uses similar resources as a lot of the rigid packages that most consumers are used to, but flexible packaging uses significantly less materials to package more. A brand can reduce their reliance on raw materials since flexible packaging consumes less.
Flexible packaging also offers more sustainability benefits. We’re seeing consumers become more familiar with a lot of the flexible packaging options out there. They’re interested in refill packaging—flexible packaging offers great solutions for refills—and flexible packaging offers solutions with a lower carbon footprint, which is what the end consumer is looking for.
MK: We offer total packaging solutions. While that means we can offer companies complete ownership over their packaging processes, that also means we can offer it piecemeal and meet brand owners where they’re at. Perhaps a brand is looking to package a new product aseptically. We can provide our expertise, pair them with a contract packager, and as they grow, help them slowly incorporate the tools to take production in house. We can take people through the entire journey.
Come visit us at table 17 and find out how Scholle IPN can kickstart your flexible packaging journey.