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Specialty Markets Continue to Intensify Focus and Fragmentation

Kelle Vandenberg

Mark Howley
CEO / President

The specialty markets continue to get more fragmented and specialized as the years go by. I can’t help but think back to years ago when pet food and other markets were homogeneous and boring…not anymore!

I set my “Google news” to track a variety of markets, such as specialty coffee, specialty pet food and specialty foods. I try to take time to review articles on a regular basis, but I can’t get through all of them - I could spend all day. I am amazed, and I get excited by the intensity and detail of the target marketing. In some cases it is crazy.  As an example, in the pet food market, I see headlines like “Dog food has to be people food now.” There are also links and articles in abundance related to diets for specific breeds, ages and more.  Other headlines are funny: “A man is arrested for shoplifting specialty dog foods” or “A dog caught on video stealing from a store” (great one!). 

Articles pertaining to the specialty foods industry growth in Indonesia, Venezuela, etc. attest to export opportunities for American companies.  There are also sections on the almond industry, California pistachio growers, new markets for hazelnuts, the ongoing issues with pesticides and insecticides. Lastly, the specialty coffee section has conversations and articles abound on flavors, barista buddy competitions, new single serve opportunities, the perfect green coffee bean, “specialty coffee is the new wine,” and on and on and on!

All this makes me realize that packaging plays a significant role in the communication to today’s consumers.  We see this in custom printing, where designs and products are marketed to narrowly defined audiences.  On the stock bags side of our business, our labeling and other application services are growing because customers need packages that “speak” to different end-users, such as product lines that target different flavors, ingredients, health issues, etc.

Our Vice President of Technical, Bill Walters (pictured left below), and our Executive Vice President, Glenn Sacco (pictured right below), are on the lookout for new ideas presented by customers and our vendor base.  I am confident that Pacific Bag is prepared for the trends toward short run, targeted packaging.

Bill Walters

Bill Walters

Glenn Sacco

Glenn Sacco