Mr. Ice Bucket gains flexibility with in-house injection molding

By Kerri Jansen
Staff Reporter

Published: June 23, 2014 3:07 pm ET
Updated: June 23, 2014 3:17 pm ET

Image By: Jackson Plastic Corp. The acquisition of the hospitality business of Lancaster Colony gave the owner of Mr. Ice Bucket more opportunities for production with in-house molding.

Related to this story

Topics Consumer Products, Mergers & Acquisitions, Injection Molding, United States

Acquiring an injection molder in Jackson, Ohio, gave New Brunswick, N.J., home products company Mr. Ice Bucket more flexibility in the production process and opened doors to expansion.

Mr. Ice Bucket began shifting production to Jackson Plastics Corp. after its owner, Frederick Haleluk, bought the plant through a separate company he created, Lancaster Commercial Products LLC. That 2013 deal also included competing hospitality product lines under the Lancaster Colony name.

For Mr. Ice Bucket, the acquisition was also about reclaiming business lost to its competitor when a series of fires — three in 10 years — caused sales delays, said Robert Haleluk, Frederick’s son and vice president at Jackson Plastics.

“We were essentially getting back those accounts that we lost at the same time as growing our own business and becoming a much larger player in the hospitality and restaurant business,” he said.

Lancaster continues to operate as a separate company, serving primarily the hotel and restaurant industries with its well-known Wescon line, with Mr. Ice Bucket continuing to cover the retail and home products markets.

“Mr. Ice Bucket is still its own company, Lancaster is its own company, but we have Jackson in the middle of all this,” Haleluk said.

With in-house manufacturing, Mr. Ice Bucket is able to tweak designs and solve manufacturing challenges faster and more cheaply than working with a third-party molder.

“We were looking to have more control over some of the items that we knew we could make better,” Haleluk said. “… It was easier for [Lancaster] to pull the trigger along the way to make those changes and transitions, whereas Mr. Ice Bucket was always working with a third-party molder or somebody else that would have to recommend changes or suggestions to a tool. But now that we have that in-house on the Mr. Ice Bucket side, it’s allowing us to do a lot more.”

Image By: Jackson Plastics Corp. Jackson Plastic Corp. makes injection molded products both for Mr. Ice Bucket and sister company Lancaster.

Commonalities between the lines, now under the same roof, allowed Mr. Ice Bucket to expand its offerings, adding a new size of ice bucket by repurposing a Lancaster liner, for example.

“Now we’re realizing we can make Wescon items adapt to fit Mr. Ice Bucket items, so we’re getting all these added benefits,” Haleluk said.

In addition to producing items for Lancaster and Mr. Ice Bucket, Jackson Plastics is able to pursue contract molding, and is currently working on adding thermoforming capabilities to produce a line of disposable cups for an outside client.

“We’re in the process of rethinking our strategy a little bit as far as how to maneuver things around the floor and make this dedicated line fit into our footprint,” Haleluk said.

It’s Jackson Plastics’ first large-scale project outside of Lancaster and Mr. Ice Bucket products. But while the added flexibility has been beneficial to the Mr. Ice Bucket business, it may not be as practical for businesses where the molded items are not a primary product. Mr. Ice Bucket’s products — wastebaskets and serving trays, for example — don’t require extensive assembly; for other industries, such as electronics and automotive, “It might be easier to just have an outside molder do it,” Haleluk said.

“Not everyone necessarily wants to be in the molding business,” he said. “We’re more entrepreneurial. We like to figure out how to grow the business and be more in tune with the production and manufacturing part of it.”


Comments

Mr. Ice Bucket gains flexibility with in-house injection molding

By Kerri Jansen
Staff Reporter

Published: June 23, 2014 3:07 pm ET
Updated: June 23, 2014 3:17 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Investment firm buys Ontario cap molder

October 23, 2014 2:01 pm ET

A company whose varied interests include food and refrigerated transportation businesses is now moving into plastic caps.    More

Image

Toyoda Gosei's growth strategy places a big focus on North America

October 23, 2014 1:21 pm ET

Sometimes, knowing your weaknesses is just as important as knowing your strengths. And if 2014 is any indication, automotive supplier Toyoda Gosei Co....    More

Image

FTC warns bag makers to take care before making biodegradeability claims

October 23, 2014 12:30 pm ET

Makers of oxodegradable or oxo-biodegradable plastic bags should consider themselves on notice, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.    More

Image

Report: Private equity companies may seek to buy Bayer MaterialScience

October 23, 2014 10:56 am ET

A number of investment groups are reported to be interested buying Bayer AG's MaterialScience operation, valued at around 10 billion euros ($12.6...    More

Image

Bergen International adds manufacturing space, extrusion line

October 22, 2014 3:42 pm ET

Chemical foaming agent manufacturer Bergen International LLC recently doubled its manufacturing capacity, added an extrusion line and laboratory space...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events