ProAmpac intends to double its sales from about $2.5 billion to $5 billion within three to five years, said CEO Greg Tucker, who met with news reporters during PACK EXPO International in Chicago on October 24.
Since 2015, the privately held company has quickly grown, largely due to acquisitions, which will continue and include looks at Southeast Asia, Tucker said. ProAmpac now has more than 6,000 workers at 50 manufacturing sites, which include moves into the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland in recent years.
The company also plans to offer a sustainable alternative for all of its products by 2025, he said. Growth plans will include looking at targets where ProAmpac can mesh its growth goals with its sustainability efforts. That combination should not make it more difficult to continue to expand at a steady pace, he added.
“It will make it easier,” Tucker says.
Going into 2023, the headwinds for the flexible packing industry include the overall economic conditions and uncertainty in the wider economy, Tucker said.
He also said some flexible packaging companies will miss their sustainability targets for 2025. The runway is getting short for companies to make moves that will allow them to accommodate changes, such as finding new supply lines and still meeting deadlines. And companies will need to be increasingly careful about how they talk about sustainability efforts or risk getting the attention of government regulators who might question sustainability claims, he added.
Aluminum tariffs on China, which the Biden administration might extend to South Korea and Thailand, will continue to be an issue, Tucker said. That situation increasingly will force companies to look for alternatives, he added.
Research and Development
The company’s growth in recent years can be partly attributed to its investment in research and development, said Tucker and Chief Commercial Officer Adam Grose.
Cincinnati-based ProAmpac, which is owned by Pritzker Private Capital along with management and co-investors, opened its global Collaboration & Innovation Center (CIC) in Ogden, New York, in the summer of 2021.
“The Collaboration & Innovation Center is one of the proudest achievements we made since becoming ProAmpac,” Grose said. The center allows the company and its customers to test new sustainable products on a vertical or horizontal line and do so in one place. “Prior to this facility, we were distributed around the country, and frankly, we didn’t have the capability to do filling equipment testing in-house.”
The company now can operate horizontal and vertical filling equipment at the CIC, and it is using these assets to accelerate the commercialization of new product offerings, he added
Customers can see how new products will work before running production lines at their plants.
“It saves everybody time and money,” Grose said.
In addition, ProAmpac developed relationships with Clemson University, Rutgers University, Polytechnique Montreal, and Rochester Institute of Technology, which is near the CIC.
At the meeting with reporters in Chicago, Tucker announced a partnership with the nonprofit Recon2, a spin-off company from the University of Manchester in the UK. That collaboration will support a patented technology quantifying recycled content in plastic products and packaging.
The collaboration is in response to new legislation to increase recycling efforts in the European Union and the UK. ProAmpac will work with researchers and Recon2 to incorporate a “breakthrough technology for quantifying recycled content into flexible packaging platforms,” the company says in a news release.
“In an effort to address recycled content that did not previously have quantifiable capabilities, we believe the Recon2 technology has the potential to provide a clear indication of the quantity of recycled content in packaging where today there is no method to quantify,” said Robert Crowe, ProAmpac’s technical director for blown films in Europe, in a news release. “This promotes accountability and transparency within the PCR supply chain and showcases ProAmpac’s dedication to the impact of our sustainability initiatives.”
Thomas A. Barstow is the senior editor at FlexPack VOICE®.