Primex Design & Fabrication (PD&F; Richmond, IN), a manufacturer of reusable, returnable and recyclable plastic shipping containers and other packaging products, has created a new delivery container for the snack-food industry. The easy-open retail distribution box is made from PD&F’s unique Bubble-X three-layer plastic board with a strength-to-weight ratio that provides enhanced protection for delicate products. The container was designed for Mikesell’s, a regional snack-food company headquartered in Dayton, OH.
The new packaging replaces legacy corrugated paperboard boxes that Mikesell’s route sales drivers have used to deliver products such as potato chips, popcorn and pretzels to retail outlets and wholesale distributors throughout Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. While the paperboard box lasted about four or five turns, according to Mikesell's Executive Vice President Luke Mapp, the new plastic retail box holds the same amount of retail packages, and is expected to deliver at least 150 round trips, providing an immediate return on investment while reducing waste.
In addition to offering better content protection, the Bubble-X is weather resistant, expands branding opportunities, is stackable and won’t tear or puncture.
The Mikesell distribution box measures 24 x 13 ½ x 13 inches, weighs 3.2 pounds and is constructed from 2.66-mm Bubble-X board. Primex commercialized Bubble-X in 2017, and it comes in six standard thicknesses and can be custom manufactured to meet specific requirements.
“We were exploring the idea of replacing our cardboard boxes when I saw a plastic container at the Snack Food Exposition (Sanxpo) last year in Atlanta,” said Mapp. “About the same time, we were approached by Primex Design & Fabrication. They offered custom engineering, a great way to brand our product during the shipping phase, a superior product, and the added convenience and savings of being only an hour from our Dayton facility. We are currently on track to replace all of our cardboard boxes by the middle of this year.”
Primex Territory Business Manager Cleve Campbell, commented, “Our first step in creating the retail distribution box was to gain an understanding of Mikesell’s’ business and how it would use the box. We visited their plant to observe operations, see how boxes were loaded and how route sales drivers used the existing paperboard boxes.”
PD&F’s designers went to work creating prototypes for approval. “Our rapid prototyping operation is one of the best in the business, allowing us to create samples in as few as two days,” added Campbell.
The boxes can be screen- or four-color printed, and most designs are fully assembled but collapsible during shipping. The shipping boxes can be assembled and knocked down flat easily thanks to their innovative design, saving space and freight costs. Boxes also have RFID capabilities for real-time tracking of valuable products.