in 2014, the company opened its first US manufacturing site for the food industry in Pennsylvania, US, creating 128 jobs.
The Austrian company paid for a lease for an 113,871-square-foot building in Pittston Township and invested nearly $17m in manufacturing, computer equipment and furniture to produce cups, lids and K3 (plastic/cardboard combination) packaging.
It also acquired a 51% majority in Teknik Plastik and Teknik IML from the Özata Group, in Turkey two years ago.
Teknik Plastik produces mainly packaging for the dairy industry, and Teknik IML specializes in In-Mold-Labeling (IML) technology. Both firms are headquartered in Istanbul.
Jörg Sabo, marketing director, Greiner Packaging, told DairyReporter it is well aware of the current political changes and what this means for the industry.
“In regard to Brexit, it is quite a challenging time for our sites delivering to the UK from the EU. We are suffering from losses due to the exchange rate,” he said.
“The change in the US presidency does not affect us, as we are producing directly in the US, for the US market. There are no impacts on our current US business because at the moment we do not produce any packaging outside the US that is afterwards being imported into the US.
“We are however dealing with active, intelligent packaging on a daily basis and we consider it an essential trend that will have a major impact on the communication possibilities a packaging has to offer. That’s the reason why the topic was the key focus on our last innovation day.
“Last year’s topic was “smart packaging”, where experts shared their views – from the point of sale becoming more digital to the needs and demands of barrier packaging and the shipment of food ordered online.”
According to Sabo, Interpack 2017 in Dusseldorf, in Germany, (May 4-10) is an opportunity to meet the entire packaging industry in one place over seven days. It will use the time to connect with existing customers and discuss current topics and to get in touch with new potential customers in the countries where it has recently set up production sites.
Greiner Packaging future packaging trends
• Reduction of food wastage: Barrier packaging
• Rising demand for light packaging: Plastic replaces metal and glass
• Increasing ecological awareness: Cardboard-plastic combinations
• Increasing urbanization: Diverse product range
• Desire for versatile convenience products: Innovative packaging solutions
• Ageing population: High-quality healthcare packaging
• Increased globalization: Commitment to foreign markets
“We are now responding to current social trends and showing how packaging changes as a result, and what added value it can offer in the future: for example, reduction of food wastage in barrier packaging; rising demand for light packaging where plastic packaging replaces metal and glass; increasing ecological awareness has seen a rise in cardboard-plastic combinations; increasing urbanization sees demand for a more diverse product range.
"An ageing population calls for high-quality healthcare packaging and increased globalization as led to commitment to foreign markets.
“Besides these trends, we will pay attention to the development of smart packaging, as we are sure it will have a huge influence on our industry,” Sabo added.
“Sustainability has already been an essential topic for us during the past years and it will continue to be one in the upcoming years – on various levels: on a process level, we want to achieve a more sustainable production, we will reduce the plastic content and are testing recycling material as well as bio-based plastics.
“We want to show we are well-prepared for changes in the future, that we know in which direction trends are developing, and how we as packaging specialists can handle these in the best possible manner. Whether they be about longer food shelf life, creative design ideas, or our new sites in Turkey or India.”
Greiner Packaging’s exhibition booth at Interpack will feature a virtual reality room at Interpack this year, where existing and potential customers can see for themselves how the production process works.
“We are using the virtual application, to demonstrate to our customers we are using technologies that play an important role today, but also in the future,” said Sabo.