For those looking for distinctive custom mesh packaging that does not look like what is normally seen in the produce departments these days, Baldwin Park, CA-based Pacon, Inc., is your answer.
The company was founded in 1977 by Robert Austin when his long-time employer closed the plant where he worked, and he was looking to keep things going. It didn’t take long for Austin to use his experience to create something that was much needed in the industry.
“He was able to quickly establish converting and then manufacturing both paper and plastic products to take care of regional customers in need as a result of that [plant] closing,” said Mark Chadwick, Pacon’s vice president of sales.
Mark Chadwick, Vice President of Sales, Pacon, Inc.
Over the past four decades, continuing vertical integration has allowed Pacon to be in control of all facets of the manufacturing process and to grow nationally. The company did everything from extrusion to film blowing to printing to bag conversion. An in-house art department with printing plates and inks made on-site helped Pacon grow and provide fast turnaround times.
Over the past four decades, continuing vertical integration has allowed Pacon to be in control of all facets of the manufacturing process and to grow nationally.
Austin developed a philosophy for his company, which is still in play today: “to provide fresh ideas that result in attractive packaging for customers using excellent customer [service] and manufacturing skills to provide solutions on time and on budget.”
That philosophy is why organic customers have been drawn to Pacon’s products. Chadwick noted that organic companies' need to distinguish their products from those of other providers that are using chemicals and pesticides is a big driver of demand for Pacon's products.
Pacon, Inc. packaging equipment
“The ability to use our package to push [their product], to offer a big billboard in a label that states their organic and marketing message, to help steer consumers their way, that’s a big key to the success [of Pacon],” Chadwick said. “We’re a company that understands the need to address sustainability and are doing everything we can to come up with solutions for today and tomorrow.”
Today, Pacon’s line of products includes drawstring mesh bags, pouch-style bar seal bags, labels, netting, and protective sleeves. The company’s versatile header bags can be utilized for a wide range of organic produce as well.
“We’re a company that understands the need to address sustainability and are doing everything we can to come up with solutions for today and tomorrow.” -Mark Chadwick
All Pacon’s mesh products are recyclable, which is also a big selling point for organic customers, who look to work with sustainably minded companies that care about the earth. Pacon is also completing requirements to be certified to offer compostable netting.
Pacon, Inc. bar seal bags
“Tying into organics’ earth-friendly idea is that Pacon products typically are the lightest-weight packages available, leaving a small carbon footprint while also being among the most cost-effective package options on the market,” Chadwick said.
As it looks to expand its organic customer base, Pacon leaders have been attending the Organic Grower Summit in Monterey each year, and they make themselves available to talk with anyone who has questions year-round.
"Pacon products typically are the lightest-weight packages available, leaving a small carbon footprint while also being among the most cost-effective package options on the market." -Mark Chadwick
“We are continuing to push the message of our uniqueness and the fact that organic shippers need to distinguish their products as organic and that our packaging does that by simply looking different at stores,” Chadwick said. “We’re working on increasing capacity to be able to better serve both new and existing customers."
Pacon, Inc. header bags
Looking ahead, following a year where organics saw a big rise in demand due to people looking for healthier food options during the pandemic, Pacon sees plenty of opportunities for growth.
“We’re hoping to capitalize on increased demand for food packaging in general,” Chadwick said. “Our products ... help reduce the physical touching of produce, add convenience for the consumer, and help achieve shorter, efficient shopping experiences, which benefits often-crowded stores.”