CHICAGO - Zeta Consumer Products Corp. plans to capitalize on its recent purchase of Tucker Housewares by introducing Tucker-brand trash bags and Renew-brand trash containers. Zeta hopes the cross-branding will play on both companies' strengths - Tucker is a large manufacturer of trash cans, while Zeta is a significant player in the trash bag market with its Renew, Stuffers and Good-sense brands.
As a result, Zeta plans to add blown film extrusion equipment to Tucker's 600,000-square-foot molding plant in Kingman, Ariz., said Zeta President Raj Bal. Zeta also may expand Tucker's blow molding capacity for trash cans.
Adding film extrusion in Kingman helps fulfill Zeta's goal of adding film extrusion capacity on the West Coast, Bal said.
The plan will be to grow to three large film lines at the Kingman plant, Bal said in an Aug. 13 interview at the National Hard-ware Show in Chicago. The project is now in the planning stage, and Zeta expects to announce details in four to six weeks. Bal added that it was too early to say how much the project will cost, but competitors expect it to easily run over $1 million.
Tucker will probably start with one or two extrusion lines, probably Battenfeld Gloucester models similar to those in Zeta's Wash-ington, N.J., plant, Bal said.
The firm plans joint promotional programs that will feature Tucker trash bags with its injection and blow molded refuse containers. Tucker bags should hit stores by the end of the year.
A lot of people recognize the Tucker brand name. It's very popular in the outdoor waste category,'' said Yolanda Angulo, product manager for Zeta, which is based in Little Falls, N.J.
Zeta bought Tucker in June from Mobil Corp., which also was a large producer of trash bags. Mobil sold its Hefty brand, as part of its Plastics Division, to Tenneco Inc. in October.
Zeta will have a more aggressive posture with Tucker than Mobil did, said Eric Bosshard analyst with Midwest Research/ Maxus Group Ltd. of Cleveland. They will turn up the heat on Rubbermaid. Zeta's announcement at the Hardware Show was similar to, but overshadowed by, Rubber-maid Inc.'s bombshell that it will begin marketing Roughneck brand trash bags manufactured for the Wooster, Ohio, housewares giant by North American Plastics Corp. of Aurora, Ill.
Somebody copying you is the best form of flattery, Bal cracked.
The companies are targeting different market segments. Tup-perware plans to pursue the high end, going head-to-head with Hefty and First Brand Corp.'s Glad line. The Tucker bags will tackle the value-price segment.
The Tucker name won't take Zeta to the high end, said David Kerlagon, executive vice president for North American Plastics of Aurora, Ill.
Tucker's Renew trash cans will be made from 100 percent post-consumer polyethylene, which is also a feature of Zeta's Renew trash bags. The cans are the first product introduced following Zeta's acquisition of Tucker.
This is a natural product extension that Mobil didn't go to, Angulo said.
Bal said Tucker will make all of the Renew cans internally using recycled milk jugs and detergent bottles. He expects to add blow molding capacity next year if the product takes off in the market.
In other news, Zeta is expanding its recycling operation in Washington, N.J., adding one large line that will approximately double the plant's capacity to about 50 million pounds per year. The operation recycles a variety of film, including dry cleaning bags and stretch wrap, for use in the Renew trash bags.
We're expanding to keep up with demand for recycled content, Bal said. Zeta also has recycling capacity at its Macomb, Ill., plant.