Consumers buy with their eyes, so packaging is as important as the product inside. But a package has to be as much about performance as appearance, and Fox Packaging Inc. of McAllen, TX, has learned much about both in its almost 50 years of business.
The family-owned-and-operated company began with used equipment and borrowed space in the back of a South Texas carrot shed almost a half-century ago, and three generations of Foxs are active in the operation. In the intervening years, Fox has become one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of bags for the produce and retail industries.
Fox now operates one of the larger single-plant capacities in the world for mesh and film produce bags, with multiple dedicated lines for Fox Fresh Mesh, Fresh Mesh Wicketed, Fox Fresh-Mesh Combo, Fox Combo Ultra Shield and Leno bag production. The company makes continual investments and upgrades in equipment technology — more than half of the Fox’s manufacturing equipment is less than five years old.
Additionally, Fox has representation or distribution in Chile, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico, and opened its first overseas manufacturing facility in South Africa in partnership with a prominent industry supplier there in 2010.
Ever innovative, Fox has won several global patents in bag design, including one for its unique “Ultra-Shield” poly material, which allows less than .01-percent light transmission and significantly reduces damage to light-sensitive products. The company also developed a new proprietary heat seal technology that is tested to exceed several times specified bag weights, resulting in significantly less failure. Special resin formulations and a patented Combo bag process optimize the heat seal to ensure a clean, reliable closure without deforming the packaging materials or damaging content.
“Our goal is to provide produce packers and shippers with packaging solutions that not only achieve streamlined operations but also boost their bottom line with innovative designs that create demand from retail buyers,” said Vice President Aaron Fox. “We’ve spent the last four decades pioneering one-of-a-kind bag options that reduce product damage, showcase the natural beauty of the product and provide a beautiful foundation for branding and artwork.”
Much of that artwork comes from Fox’s own team of in-house graphic designers, with state-of-the art hardware and software technology to optimize performance.
The Fox approach extends to delivery. To ensure availability at any time, the company operates its own fleet of trucks providing strategic coverage to all major U.S. crop areas and utilizes an experienced network of independent distributors that operate as extensions of the Fox home office.
While Fox makes and delivers bags, the company also follows through as consultants to make sure customers know how to fill bags most efficiently through proper machine selection and bag-closure systems. As a supplier to numerous supermarket chains in North America, Fox understands how to deliver packaging solutions that meet the stringent needs of retail buyers, and it also offers extensive technical knowledge about the respiration and ripening process of various fresh produce items, which translates to top-quality packaging solutions.