Commentary & Analysis
Packaging Plants Are on the Rise
While we are waiting for flowers to bloom in the spring, we can admire the recent crop of plant openings or expansions in various segments of the packaging industry.
By Patrick Henry
Published: March 25, 2015
While we are waiting for flowers to bloom in the spring, we can admire the recent crop of plant openings or expansions in various segments of the packaging industry. Here are some sites in growth mode:
Footprint, a Gilbert, AZ company that makes sustainable packaging from molded fibers and polymers, will spend more than $15 million to set up a second U.S. manufacturing plant in the L&C Distribution Park in Richburg, SC. The project, which has received tax credits from South Carolina, is expected to create 115 jobs over five years.
If its hometown approves a tax abatement request, Elkhart, IN corrugated box maker Welch Packaging may spend $16.54 million over three years in an expansion that would create 118 jobs. The Elkhart city council has taken the first step in that direction by designating the proposed site of the expansion as an economic revitalization area. The council takes up the question of abatement approval on April 6.
Fabri-Kal Corp. of Kalamazoo, MI, maker of the Greenware® line of plant-based containers, plans to break ground on a new, $50 million manufacturing facility in Burley, ID, this month. When completed this fall, the plant will employ 50 people and may bring as many as 100 jobs to Burley.
A performance-based grant from a North Carolina business development agency has helped Packrite LLC to go forward with a plan to spend almost $9 million on building and equipment in the city of High Point, where the company was started by Mary and Michael Drummond in 2008. The expansion could lead to the addition of 100 jobs. Packrite, which manufactures high-end fluted graphic packaging and folded paperboard packaging, has been on Inc. magazine’s list of the 500 fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S.
Thermoform plastic packaging manufacturer Plastic Ingenuity of Cross Plains, WI, is putting $2.5 million into expanding the food packaging line at its plant in Maumelle, AK. Ten more employees are expected to join the 50 people already working there. Also made in Maumelle are thermoformed packages for cell phones and electronics.
Big Heart Pet Brands, maker of Meow Mix, Gravy Train, Milk-Bone and 9Lives, and other pet food lines, will build a 70,000-sq.-ft. packaging plant at or near its existing production facility in Topeka, KS. Big Heart, formerly part of Del Monte, recently was chosen for acquisition by JM Smucker.