Sonoco expands US flexible packaging business targeting candy and bakery

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Flexible packaging Packaging Technology Baking Sonoco Us

PPI makes flexible packaging for confectionery such as hard and soft candy. Photo: PPI.
PPI makes flexible packaging for confectionery such as hard and soft candy. Photo: PPI.
Sonoco has acquired Plastic Packaging Inc. (PPI), which makes flexible packaging for confectionery, baked goods and frozen products, among others.

Based in Hickory, North Carolina, US, the firm makes seasonal products for confectionery including promotions, heat-sealed chocolate packaging, and hard and soft candy. It also has a facility in Forest City, North Carolina.

Pouch & bag forming technology

Through the acquisition, Sonoco gains additional lamination, wide and narrow web flexographic printing and pouch and bag forming technology.

Rob Tiede, senior VP, global consumer solutions at Sonoco, said the acquisition will expand its flexible packaging in the southeast US, adding short-run capabilities for additional specialty and customization.

PPI complements Sonoco’s existing technologies and leverages our expertise in flexible packaging, while expanding our customer base in complementary markets​,” he said.

PPI, which has over 170 employees, expects sales of approximately $42m in 2016.

Biodegradable, renewable, compostable and recyclable films

According to Preston Bryant, VP manufacturing, PPI the company has spent over $23m in capital expenditures and improvements in the last four years including a two 10-color, 59 inch and one 35 inch Fischer & Krecke gearless press as well as Fischer & Kreche gearless press with Smart GPS (Graphic Positioning system) technology.

This allows the press to automatically set impression and registration, which decreases costs  and reduces film waste.

It works with suppliers to evaluate biodegradable, renewable, compostable and recyclable films and is evaluating Nano technologies to replace PVDC (monolayer shrinkable films extruded using polyvinylidenechloride) coated films.

ConfectioneryNews reported Sonoco acquired Weidenhammer Packaging Group​(WPG), a European provider of composite cans, drums and rigid plastic containers, for $360m in 2014.

The company, which caters to the processed foods, powdered beverages and confectionery markets, among others, is based in Germany and has 13 production facilities and plants in Belgium, France, Greece, The Netherlands, UK, US, Chile and Russia.

It was also the first of its kind to launch a DivvyPack​, combining thermoformed technology with a sliding lid.

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