Bako Sweet Produce: California GrownRainier: Wholesome to the core®

Out-Foxing Time

It all comes down to the clock in our industry—to be fresh is, essentially, to win a race against time.

“As soon as a product is picked, the clock starts ticking. Our operations must be in peak condition to support our market. We have our in-house fleet which, ultimately, protects products during transit and ensures timely deliveries,” Keith Fox, President of Fox Packaging, says. “We are in an industry of efficiency, always looking at the numbers, working to manufacture the best product in the highest quality the fastest. There is always new technology, and combining that with our years of expertise gives us an advantage.”

Technology has continued to shape and evolve the category, eventually necessitating a solutions branch to help keep the family-owned company ahead.

“It is in the advantage of our customers that we not only provide a proven packaging product, but a system that supports that product and conclusively addresses concerns; this ultimately embodies our mission to protect the interests of our customers while ensuring quality and solutions,” Aaron Fox, Executive Vice President, earnestly shares. “The collaboration of Fox Packaging and Fox Solutions offers vast options and opportunities to our customer base. We feature in-house capabilities on various fronts of our industry: graphic artists, fleets, and, through Fox Solutions, top-of-the-line machinery—all invested in with our customers in mind, protecting their product and, essentially, their bottom line.”

In 2007, Aaron recognized a need beyond packaging. In response, he established Fox Solutions, a manufacturer and distributor of packing machinery, which supports packing operations.

Fox Packaging operations, in turn, have expanded to meet flourishing demands, enabling a greater capacity for production. This has facilitated reduced lead times.

“We have continued to challenge ourselves to understand our customers’ products and processes. I hold a responsibility to them and am a representative of their concerns and hopes in production and sales meetings. At the end of the day, we have made our customers a guarantee, and it is our duty to consistently uphold that promise,” Jacob Fox, Sales, adds while his quick eyes analyze a mock-up.

“Through continued research and product evolution, we have devoted countless core projects to spearhead these green initiatives, understanding that it is our duty to keep our bags in alignment so that our customers’ products can stay on store shelves.”

—Aaron Fox Executive Vice President, Fox Packaging & Fox Solutions

Fox Packaging operations are continuously moving—no moment wasted and every possible opportunity taken. To say the founding family of this thriving business is focused seems an understatement. The team’s passion is tangible in how their ideas are expressed, their sense of urgency, and in the way they conduct business.

Headquartered in South Texas, Fox Packaging is a poster example of manufacturing in the United States, exemplifying a strong spirit and drive toward innovation. In its over 50 years of operation, Fox Packaging looks to have hit its pace as a leader in flexible packaging solutions, which highlight its signature Fox Fresh Mesh®.

All packaging is produced using high-quality, virgin resins, which the team explains to me are optimal for food-grade products. Keen on the attributes of its packaging, Fox has worked diligently to establish, maintain, and highlight the unique features of its product line, constituting industry standards. Upholding that standard in every aspect of the company’s practices are members of the founding family, now in their third generation.

“We are thrilled to have our third generation active and involved within the company. They have brought new enthusiasm, insight, and an intricate vision as to how they foresee Fox Packaging expanding,” Craig Fox, Executive Vice President, beams as he talks about what is to come in the near future. “We are in the business of solutions. We creatively and technologically support our customers’ product, keeping quality and trends focal, while providing the utmost service.”

With efficiency and technology to help win the race against time, packaging is now hitting another evolution—renewability—or, in increasingly popular terms, sustainability.

Retailers have announced changes to their packaging criteria in motivation of sustainable solutions. In this season of growth, the Fox team tells me there have been substantial proposals to control plastic production, waste, and recyclability.

“Fortunately, we foresaw these parameters and have taken deliberate measures to align our packaging to meet and fulfill these specifications. Through continued research and product evolution, we have devoted countless core projects to spearhead these green initiatives, understanding that it is our duty to keep our bags in alignment so that our customers’ products can stay on store shelves,” shares Aaron.

As we talk about current factors influencing how manufacturing companies navigate plastic consumption and social responsibility, Craig adds that Fox has had an incredible ride with the Fox Fresh Mesh Combo® bag and still appreciates the popular demand.

Packaging is a key component to keeping produce healthy while in transport and display

“In the midst of this green movement, we are eager to promote our Stand-Up Combo® bag, which highlights the reusability of our products. We are sensitive to the issues of waste in the world; single-use packaging is not the answer,” Craig elaborates.

Keith emphasizes that retailers and consumers need to understand that, beyond the branded labels and convenient functions, these bags directly benefit extended shelf-life. “Packaging is a key component to keeping produce healthy while in transport and display. It’s an issue bigger than that alone—40 percent of food in the U.S. goes uneaten and, regrettably, ends up in landfills. That’s billions of annual dollars and countless hours of labor spent in the field, operations, production, and packing, just for good food to ultimately rot.”

And, he adds, packaging makes a substantial contribution to food safety.

“At the end of the day, we have made our customers a guarantee, and it is our duty to consistently uphold that promise.”

—Jacob Fox, Sales, Fox Packaging

“During production, employees are required to adhere to strict food safety regulations. Shouldn’t this apply in stores as well? Our bags keep food safe from the many dangers faced in bulk display, reducing damage and increasing the likelihood of produce being sold and consumed,” Keith concludes.

Ingenuity has kept and continues to keep Fox Packaging and Fox Solutions at the ready. Production Manager and third-generation of Fox Packaging Lucas Fox tells me that other challenges, however, require a bit more faith in the path the team has carved out as the future unfolds.

“Now, our significant hurdle is establishing a transparency throughout our entire process, so our customers can rely on a system built on a rigid infrastructure,” he shares. “There is a reason we have made it this far. The market is there, and the innovation is here, not only businesswise, but resourcefully—we look forward to the next 50 years.”

Time waits for no man, and for no product, but when delivered in the right packaging, produce stands a better chance.