For the second year in a row, Packaging Strategies News is presenting a list of the fastest-growing private packaging companies in North America. Like the famous Inc. magazine list, we endeavor to recognize some of the most intriguing—and unheralded—players in the industry.
The criteria were similar to last year. To qualify for the list, companies had to post at least $1.0mn in revenue in 2014. Packaging, material, equipment, service, and converting suppliers were eligible as long as they were independent and packaging functions accounted for at least 50% of revenue.
We established the ranking by taking the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over five years. For our list that appears on page 8, we recognize six companies with growth over the years of 10% or more.
This year’s list is dominated by smaller companies of under $5.0mn in revenue, although one company is over $90.0mn. The majority are flexible suppliers, not surprising since this type of packaging is growing faster than other forms.
Another interesting fact: Two of the top three on the list are minority owned companies.
Here is rundown of this year’s honorees:
Our No. 1 company, Pacsense Corp., was founded in 2008 by Su Y. Han, whose family was in the packaging industry in South Korea. Educated in the U.S., she started her company to focus on Asian food packaging, because she found North American materials weren’t always appropriate.
“I couldn’t find film that was different from what was used in salads,” she says. Some Asian foods, such as bean sprouts, must be contained in anti-fog but oxygen-resistant bags. Rice, a specialty for Pacsense, needs a variety of types from stand-up pouches to large laminated bags.
Pacsense sources materials from Korea and the U.S. In addition to flexible, the company supplies rigid trays and clamshells.
Over the five years, Englewood, NJ-based Pacsense recorded 29.3% growth.
ABC Packaging Direct, based in Avon, OH, is a company small entrepreneurs can turn to for custom packaging. Much of the industry is geared to long runs—minimums of 50,000 pieces—but ABC has found a sweet spot by allowing minimums of just 5,000 pieces.
Team members work closely with small business to create, market, and expand their product lines. Tammi Olle, VP of operations, spoke at the 2014 Global Pouch West conference, along with one of its customers, Barnana. ABC helped Barnana create a stand-up pouch within three months of the dehydrated banana maker landing contracts with Wegman’s and Whole Foods.
ABC secured the No. 2 spot with 23.4% growth.
The No. 3 company, Sixto Packaging, is familiar to readers of our sister publication, Flexible Packaging. Felipe Sixto, director of sales and marketing, is a regular contributor, and has spoken at Packaging Strategies Group conferences.
Sixto is the grandson of Felipe and Carmen Sixto, who fled Cuba in 1960s after their pasta business was confiscated by the new government. Settling in Florida, they eventually, along with their three sons Felipe, Emilio, and Andres, started a packaging business out of their garage. Sixto Packaging, based in Opa-Locka, was incorporated in 1972.
The company specializes in flexible, for a market that extends from the eastern seaboard to the Gulf Coast. It does a lot of work for major food companies such as JM Smucker, as well as private label for Costco and Trader Joe’s. While small, it can offer many services such as zippers on rollstock, laser perforation, as well as printing and laminating.
For now Sixto says his mission is “to continue to grow” the family legacy and “American story from a garage. We have no intention of selling.”
No. 4 is Primeflex Labels Inc. of Englewood, CO, with 13.7% growth. The label and package printer founded in 1997, focuses on food and beverages, personal care and household products. President and co-founder Tom Cummings has decades of experience in the printing industry; co-founder and VP Michael Martin held a number of leadership positions in the packaging industry.
Primeflex provides custom-printed labels as well as flexible pouch printing and candy wrappers.
In fifth place is GreenSeed Contract Packaging with 12.6% growth. GreenSeed, of Batavia, IL, is a packager of healthy food and nutritional products, in stick packs and pouches.
True to its name, GreenSeed focuses on partnering with flexible film suppliers who specialize in recyclable materials.
Flair Flexible Packaging Corp. has 200 employees and headquarters in Calgary, AB. The company has been featured in a number of industry publications for some of its innovative packages, such as a pouch with a built-in coffee filter, into which hot water can be poured. It has also made refillable baby food pouches.
The company makes many portable, resealable or single-serve packaging sizes for on-the-go occasions. An integrated supplier, Flair can provide custom engineering, design, production and rotogravure printing in Canada and at its U.S. location in Appleton, WI.