Anchor Packaging is a family operated, privately owned company that has been in business for fifty-four years. The focus has always been on packaging solutions, with special emphasis placed on customer service, customer retention, and providing products of the highest quality.
In fact, Anchor Packaging has grown to become the largest provider of polypropylene food packaging. In addition, Anchor launches an average of twenty-five new products each year, which is far more than any of the competition.
It is a particularly interesting time for a packaging company with operations in the New York City market. The polystyrene foam ban has been revived, and went into effect on November 13th, 2017. Restaurant and foodservice operators are expecting to take a financial hit as a result of the new legislation. However, Anchor Packaging might be able to soften the blow.
“Anchor Packaging doesn’t necessarily take a position on the legislation – It’s a matter of law. We do, however, have an opinion on the effectiveness of foam products as a food packaging solution. It’s widely known that foam packaging can fracture and that food can easily spill out of it. At some point, most people have accidentally dropped a foam clamshell or had it tip over in the car. From a marketing perspective, foam packaging appears inexpensive, which many consumers associate with low quality. Implementing better packaging instantly presents the food as better quality, which is the message that operators want to convey to their customers,” explained Mike Thaler, Executive Vice President. Restaurant operators should consider the fact that quality packaging presents as a premium product, which leads customers to return and may even support higher pricing.
Customer service is crucial at Anchor Packaging. The company has implemented a multifaceted customer outreach strategy, which in turn provides great industry insight. First, there are a number of employees that attend a variety of different trade shows. Thaler recognizes the importance of actually going out into the field and making visits at the store level. “We talk to the people that are using the products on a daily basis, and ask them what they like and dislike. We want to know how we can make our products better,” said Thaler.
In addition, Anchor Packaging works with companies such as Technomic. In some cases, Anchor not only uses the Technomic studies, but also sponsors them in order to better understand what’s happening in the market. “We take the information from Technomic and vector it against what we’ve learned firsthand at street level,” added Thaler.
This approach makes Anchor a valued partner for its end-users and distributors. All of the information acquired through their outreach initiatives is used to create several different product solutions. Anchor Packaging offers a product called the Culinary Square, which might be especially attractive to operators in a post-foam ban New York. “We’ve already converted a number of customers in other parts of the country who were previously using foam to the Culinary Square, simply based on their desire to have a better branding and marketing message for their consumers. They didn’t convert to the Culinary Square in response to any mandate. Rather, they decided that foam was not a good way to present food, so they transitioned to the Culinary Square without incurring a lot of costs,” Thaler said.
The Culinary Square is a two-piece polypropylene container available in one and three compartment units, making it a good candidate to replace foam clamshells. In fact, the Culinary Square actually has the same interior capacity as a nine-inch foam clamshell. Additionally, the Culinary Square can be paired with several different types of lids, depending on the type of food being packaged. The price jump to the Culinary Square from the clamshell is certainly financially viable, and in addition to compliance with the law, operators stand to gain a better marketing vehicle for their food. Also, the Culinary Squares are leak-proof and provide visibility of the contents, which eliminates waste caused through wrong orders.
The Nature’s Best product line offers a variety of different oval-shaped items. Anchor Packaging offers their customers multiple tiered products in an effort to provide the most appropriate solution for their businesses. Some of the products are upscale, while others are designed to function as a single use, price sensitive option. “We aim to provide our customers with the right product, that will work best within their particular business. We have some products that were developed for quick service chains, as well as some platters that can be used for both hot and cold food. Also, we’ve created products that can be microwaved or used to house a salad. Having products that provide multiple solutions in a single unit really helps customers minimize their packaging costs,” said Marilyn Stapleton, Director of Marketing.
The Incredi-Bowls product line is another great food packaging solution. There are twelve different polypropylene bowls within that line with a variety of different diameters. The products in the Incredi-Bowls line all have polypropylene lids, are fully microwavable, and are offered at a very attractive price.
Anchor Packaging’s tagline is “innovation worldwide,” and they certainly live up to that mission. The company has created the Crisp Food Technology, which has been built into several of the containers. Customers have found that containers with the Crisp Food Technology can keep French fries hot and crisp for thirty minutes. “Our containers with the Crisp Food Technology are great for keeping French fries or fried chicken hot and crisp. It’s really the only product on the market that will do that,” said Thaler.
Anchor Packaging has received a long list of awards for their clever, innovative, and reliable products. In its capacity as a family owned business, Anchor Packaging can really focus on customer service and help customers to select the most appropriate and advantageous packaging solutions. The New York City foam ban will certainly cause restaurant operators a lot of stress, but Anchor Packaging is prepared to ease that pain. Interested operators can contact their distributors, or even log onto the Anchor Packaging website to have a look at the products. There is an opportunity on the website for interested parties to receive product samples, free of charge. Anchor Packaging provides a full line of strong, reliable, spill-proof and foam-free food packaging solutions to help operators navigate a potential foam ban.
To learn more about Anchor Packaging, visit their website.