Skip to main content

- Advertisement -

Kurt Zuhlke & Associates heading to CPMA to talk sustainable packaging

By
Keith Loria

Kurt Zuhlke & Associates, a leading innovator of Polyethylene Terephthalate (commonly referred to as PET) packaging for the produce industry, is headed to the Canadian Produce Marketing Association’s 2024 Convention + Trade Show, where it will exhibit at booth No. 524.

The Easton, PA-based company is a regular at the show, proudly displaying its latest packaging innovations.

“It’s always great to see everyone you know and get back to personal greetings and seeing everyone face-to-face,” said Kurt Zuhlke, president of his namesake company, who travels to the show with his wife each year. “The way it’s set up is great. They start later on in the day and the people of Canada have a great structure with the show.”

The company creates approximately 40 different packaging molds, plus custom individual ones for several customers — and many of these will be on display at the booth.

“Our company’s motto is to ‘recycle and reuse’ and taking the product out there, once it’s been used, we clean it, grind it and create new product,” Zuhlke said. “Many growers and suppliers use our products to pack according to their customers’ specifications, but many retailers today repack at the store level in order to customize their offerings. This means that all levels of the industry are important to us.”

The company is coming off a solid 2023, following a number of post-pandemic strong years, and its owner feels like 2024 when all is said and done, will see just as similar good numbers, even though the first quarter of the year was slower than usual.

“There’s a little bit of a slowdown because of material costs when it comes to developing new product lines,” Zuhlke said. “The costs of everything are up, so we’re seeing a lot of hesitation from the consumer.”

He is pleased that more customers are interested in PET products in an effort to save the environment, and although it could be more expensive, he’s hoping it’s a trend that keeps growing.

Clamshell packaging also continues to gain in popularity, and these too are made out of all recycled material, so Zuhlke is happy to see the interest.

“This packaging offers exceptional protection of produce, and at the same time, allows consumers to see what they’re buying,” he said. “That has meant strong business since the pandemic.”

He noted there are tons of recyclable water bottles on the market, and when recycled, it maintains a certain amount of flow of material, so the company is able to buy it and use it over again for pints, quarts and other sorts of packaging for strawberries, blueberries, apples and other produce items.

“It’s a clear-, clean -looking package and the product sells itself,” Zuhlke said. “There are no cartoons to attract a child who is not going to eat it anyway. It’s really designed for ‘mom and dad’ who are paying for something and want to see it.”

Photo: Kurt and Cynthia Zuhlke

Keith Loria

Keith Loria

About Keith Loria  |  email

A graduate of the University of Miami, Keith Loria is a D.C.-based award-winning journalist who has been writing for major publications for close to 20 years on topics as diverse as real estate, food and sports. He started his career with the Associated Press and has held high editorial positions at magazines aimed at healthcare, sports and technology. When not busy writing, he can be found enjoying time with his wife, Patricia, and two daughters, Jordan and Cassidy.

Tagged in:

- Advertisement -

June 12, 2024
The spring is shaping up very well at D’Ottavio Farms, thanks to a combination of cooler weather earlier in the season and warmer weather later on. Officials at D’Ottavio, which was founded in 1903… Read More

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -