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OPN Connect Newsletter 177 · July 30, 2020

Fox Packaging Champions Sustainable Packaging Design


Fox Packaging began as a vision of ingenuity with humble beginnings. The McAllen, Texas-based company first started with its bulk package Leno bag, and the Fox product line expanded as it continued to understand customers’ needs and how packaging could effectively fill that gap for fresh produce products. 

The company has lent five decades of expertise to the fresh produce industry through dynamic partnership and innovative packaging designs. Operations have expanded with the addition of supporting state-of-the art equipment for competitive lead times and fleets for direct distribution.

Keith Fox, President, Fox Packaging

Campos Borquez October 2

Keith Fox, president of the company, noted that their Fox teams are progressive with a sense of urgency toward quality and customer service and now more than ever, the company is continuing to research and develop solutions that serve customers, retailers, and ultimately, fresh produce in a positive manner.

“In being a leader in flexible packaging specific to fresh produce, we have a sincere sense of urgency to actionable improvement of packaging systems, materials management, and recycling while maintaining our most crucial mission, protect fresh food and contribute to lifespan extension,” Fox said. “Through research, promotion, and collaboration, stakeholders can challenge these contentions of plastic by using our resources wisely, eliminating toxic effects, and recovering more materials.”

Fox Packaging Leno bag

Black Earth Humic October

Fox Packaging even joined the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) to showcase the How2Reycle iconography on its packaging. Fox explained by doing so, the company stays transparent in its product offerings and in its overall sustainability efforts.

“The store drop-off method of recycling is important, as these collected materials will be sent directly to a material recovery facility (MRF) that has the infrastructure to effectively process flexible packaging,” Fox said. “Recycling this application by other means can cause equipment downtime in other systems that are not suited for thin films used in flexible packaging.”

Fox Packaging pouch bagger

In addition to flexible packaging, Fox Solutions was developed to streamline operations and efficiently automate packaging design in a way that reduced product loss and increased production speeds. Today, Fox Solutions offers equipment solutions through Pouch and Wicketed bag machinery that can be integrated into any existing line.

“In being a leader in flexible packaging specific to fresh produce, we have a sincere sense of urgency to actionable improvement of packaging systems, materials management, and recycling while maintaining our most crucial mission, protect fresh food and contribute to lifespan extension." -Keith Fox

Chelan Fresh October

Fox noted that finding effective sustainable packaging for organic produce may pose itself as a challenge as there are strict guidelines posed by the USDA on how organic produce can be described via their packaging labels.

“Selecting a packaging application that first protects the commodity and its shelf life is priority, and second, a package that communicates a brands dedication to sustainable practices,” Fox said. “What most buyers need to understand is that sometimes the packaging that they are currently in is that most sustainable packaging application for their product. As partners, we review one’s current packaging and its components to understand where improvements can be made in relation to the natural properties of the commodity itself.”

Heliae October

The company has noticed an upward trend in stand-up pouch bags and an increasing interest to transition products into this application as a sustainable packaging option. Fox Packaging’s patented Stand-Up Combo design incorporates a mesh panel to permit airflow in support of the commodities’ natural respiration requirements.

“Because companies are working to maintain and communicate their brands with honesty and transparency, you will see packaging design that is less embellished, moving toward a more straightforward presentation to combat marketing pizzazz as believability is priority,” Fox said. “The universal appeal of flat design, which includes primary colors, with simple, two-dimensional illustrations with easy-to-read type has continued to grow as focus has been set on function, rather than perceived aesthetics and full photography, and ultimately helps a consumer find the information they need on their packaging faster.”