Jabil Packaging targets European food

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

JPS worked with Kraft Foods in the US on its new pack design for Philadelphia cheese
JPS worked with Kraft Foods in the US on its new pack design for Philadelphia cheese

Related tags: Technology, Supermarket

Jabil Packaging Solutions (JPS), a US-headquartered smart rigid packaging specialist that works “below the radar” with some of the biggest global names in branded food and drink, is on a mission to raise its profile and grow its business in Europe as it progressively rolls out the next generation of “connected” technologies and more sustainable pack materials and designs.

While reluctant to divulge specifics about its European expansion plans, JPS clearly has big ambitions to service what it said was unmet demand from brands in the European market and take on established packaging players here.

“We have two facilities in Europe right now [in Spain and Hungary] and you are going to see us moving to have more rigid capability and more locations to service our customers,”​ said JPS chief commercial officer Joe Stodola.

However, one of the obstacles for the company in growing its business is confidentiality restrictions on talking publicly about what it does. “Our customers view us as competitive advantage​,” said Stodola. “We are not allowed to talk about many of the innovations we do for our customers.”

‘Interactive’ packaging

Not only does JPS plan to further grow markets using its considerable expertise in rigid plastic packaging, it also hopes to work with new customers on the next generation of smart and intelligent “interactive”​ packaging using connected internet technologies for online fulfilment that consumers are increasingly calling for, said Stodola.

“We have these capabilities,”​ he said. “We are super-active in this space. You are not talking to a company any more that just needs to put a package on a​ [supermarket] shelf … people are choosing to have things automatically replenished and sent directly to their homes. That’s a whole new channel.”

Neil Court-Johnston, senior business unit manager – with responsibility for food and beverage, confirmed JPS already worked closely with global brands such as Unilever, Nestlé, Kraft Heinz, Mondelz, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Lactalis, but had set its sights firmly on increasing the number of companies it worked within Europe.

‘Meaningful sustainability’

“In discussions with brand owners across the globe, we have identified they need help innovating in three areas: enabling ‘meaningful sustainability’ in their packaging – in areas such as new recyclable barrier packaging; leading-edge e-commerce solutions; and, lastly, connecting with their consumers through smart packaging,”​ said Court-Johnston.

For existing sales channels through supermarket stores, JPS hoped to prove its capabilities to food and drink manufacturers in the use of smart packaging technologies to reduce the cost of traditional supply chains.

“Many customers tell us they have ripped the heart and soul out of costs; they are value engineered to the hilt. So, how next to create value and demonstrate a brand’s worth to supermarkets?”​ added Court-Johnston.

“An immediate opportunity is to reduce waste and grow the category care of smart packaging – which is revolutionising replenishment and availability from stock. The ‘watch-out’ for any luddites resisting – look at the Fortune 500, 52% of companies that were here in 2000 are now gone.”

Related topics: Packaging materials

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