CBS pivots into ready-meal packaging

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A pandemic-induced pivot for family owned and operated Australian commercial print business CBS Printing has led to the establishment of a thriving one-stop-shop food packaging business.

Growing market: ready made meals
Growing market: ready made meals

CBS Printing has been providing commercial printing, design, and distribution services to the Macarthur area in NSW for 40 years. Printing is the company’s core business, with an established fleet of Ryobi four-colour UV presses and Heidelberg die-cutting machines in situ at the Smeaton Grange facility.

The advent of the pandemic, however, saw a downturn in business from regular customers who were unable to operate due to Covid-19 restrictions. At the same time, demand was spiking for printed packaging to service the burgeoning ready meal sector.

Until that time, the company had been supplying printed materials for packaging, but saw an opportunity to service a rapidly growing customer base of food service start-ups and small food companies who found themselves having to quickly move into home delivery and retail – uncharted territory for most of them.

Included in this customer base were companies already supplying ready meals to retail, but who now had to service increased demand for a wider range of products.

The snap decision was made to invest in an in-line DGM Smartfold 800 SL folder gluer machine, supplied by Graph Pak, which would enable CBS to convert flat printed sheets into ready meal sleeves.

Big demand: ready made meals
Big demand: ready made meals

Joshua Wilson, head of the new packaging division, explains that beyond the packaging line installation, CBS has created a full service, end-to-end solution for food manufacturers.

“We saw a huge gap in a full-suite service for these companies, who were faced with the major challenge of entering a market that was new to them – retail – and setting up their supply chain. Many didn’t know where to start, sourcing ingredients, finding a manufacturer, finding packaging that aligned with their sustainability values, the works,” Wilson said.
“We’re extremely pleased to be able to help these new food businesses, and as well, pass on new business to our network partners”

Wilson says the packaging business has taken off so well that the company is looking to brand it as a separate division of CBS Printing.

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