Released by Jamie Matusow, Editor-in-Chief 07.20.22
Premium Labels & Packaging Solutions (PLPS) was formed in 2021 to bring together a group of independent converters with decades of experience in the packaging industry. The new company’s capabilities include pressure sensitive labels, shrink sleeves, flexible packaging, and specialty labels and services.
The formation of PLPS allows each of the locations in the network to offer faster turnaround times and an extensive suite of products that range from traditional prime labels to highly specialized packaging solutions, typically not offered under one roof. This model allows the company to support clients throughout an entire project from package prototyping to market testing to full production runs. Converters in the PLPS group include Overnight Labels, Luminer and Label Graphics.
Here, Dan Kroger, Vice President of Sales, Premium Label & Packaging Solutions (PLPS) shares his vision—and his intent for the new company, and its brand partners—with Beauty Packaging’s Jamie Matusow.
Jamie Matusow: There is a lot more focus on the importance of the packaging industry and especially labels. Why now?
Dan Kroger: The label industry has been thriving for a few years and there are several reasons why. Increasingly brand owners are using packaging as a way to differentiate their products from the competition. Additionally, consumers are more focused on the environment, and sustainable packaging is a huge part of that conversation. Finally, digital printing has created new opportunities like lower minimums and functionality such as smart packaging.
JM: There seems to be a lot of M&A activity in the packaging and label industry, which includes PLPS. Tell me about the company and what led to launching now?
DK: The label industry has accelerated over the last few years in order to meet the growth of key markets including beauty, personal care, and wellness products. Premium Label and Packaging Solutions (PLPS) was formed by a group of small to mid-size converters looking to merge the personal touch of a small business with the infrastructure and financial capabilities of a large organization.
While we are very focused on service and deeply committed to the craftsmanship of package printing, we are driven by innovation and have the ability to purchase state-of-the-art equipment and maintain a large inventory of materials.
JM: What makes PLPS different from the competition?
DK: Our acquisition strategy is to expand our products, services and areas of expertise. With this model, we can support clients throughout an entire project from package prototyping to market testing, full production runs, and even post-printing services like offline folding and gluing, kitting, product packaging and collation. This extensive suite of products ranges from traditional prime labels to highly specialized packaging solutions typically not offered under one roof. Overall, we specialize in premium services with a personal touch.
JM: What companies are included—and what capabilities does the group offer as a whole?
DK: Several of our locations are well-known in the beauty and personal care industries. Label Graphics, Overnight Labels and Luminer have worked with major global and independent brands including Rusk, Redken, Matrix, Carol’s Daughter, Sally Hansen, Victoria’s Secret and Colgate. Recent acquisitions include HP Mile, Privateer and Label One. Our offerings include labels, shrink sleeves, flexible packaging, extended content labels, laminated tubes and specialty labels.
JM: What makes you the ideal person to act as the liaison between beauty brands and the label suppliers included in this conglomerate?
DK: I actually grew up in the label business! My father and grandfather were founders of Kroger Packaging, which specializes in the beauty industry. I worked there after school, so my label “education” began while I was still a teenager. When the business was sold, I spent six years in the military, but eventually found my way back to label converting about 20 years ago.
My time in the military, along with being mentored by some of the best in the printing business, has made me a strong manager and problem solver. I strive to achieve excellence for my clients and enjoy collaborating on creative ideas to help my clients’ packaging stand out from the competition.
JM: Can you name a few of the beauty brands you’ve worked with?
DK: It’s a long list but some of my favorite brands to work with have been Victoria’s Secret, Shiseido, Nars, Bare Escentuals, Laura Mericer, Parlux Fragrances, Too Faced and Origins.
JM: Reflecting on your many years of experience in labels and packaging for the beauty industry, what major trends have you seen—and how is the market different today?
DK: With the advent of social media, thousands of “unboxing” videos are uploaded daily showing consumers commenting on product packaging. It’s become more integral to the connection that consumers have with beauty products, and will continue to play a major role in branding and the overall buying experience.
Innovation will continue to drive growth. We will see an increase in packaging personalization/customization—and smart packaging will be a key component in building customer loyalty, tracking inventory and diminishing counterfeit items. I also believe that advancements in sustainable materials will improve performance and bring costs down.