Sonoco investments designed to boost consumer packaging business, CEO tells shareholders

Sonoco told shareholders at its annual meeting yesterday that the company is making substantial investments to expand its consumer packaging business.

President and CEO Jack Sanders said Sonoco is spending $20 million on a new laminator for its Franklin, Ohio, plant to boost growth in the hot-fill pouch market and sophisticated lamination structures. He also said the company’s patented easy-open and re-close technology will benefit from a new 11-color rotogravure press at Sonoco’s Waco, Texas, plant.

Both the triplex laminator and rotogravure press are scheduled for startup in the second quarter of 2016.

Sonoco is also investing nearly $12 million in a research and development studio that will use consumer feedback to develop new packing products. The center is scheduled to open on the company’s Hartsville, South Carolina, campus.

Sonoco recently acquired a majority interest in Graffo Paranaense de Embalagens S/A (Graffo), a closely held flexible packaging business in Pinhais, Curitiba, Brazil, with sales of $35 million (USD) last year. Graffo serves the confectionery, dairy, pharmaceutical and industrial markets in Brazil, and Sonoco expects to add to the operation’s lamination capacity in 2016.

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