Rest assured, Berry Global Group Inc. still loves babies.
But America's aging population is creating more opportunities for the company.
The Evansville, Ind.-based company, has grown into a multi-faceted operation over time with operations in three key areas: consumer packaging, engineered materials and health, hygiene and specialties.
Berry is continually pushing for growth in all areas of the company's business, but highlighted one particular market where it sees great potential.
Part of the company's HHS division is the diaper business, where Berry supplies films. Babies typically are out of diapers by ages 2 to 3 or so, which puts a finite time on parents' need to buy those products.
But adult incontinence, CEO Tom Salmon said, provides an opportunity to provide products to people for many more years.
Berry, Salmon said on a recent quarterly earnings conference call, is committing more resources to build that portion of its business as well as "hygiene, specialty filtration [and] the wipes business" within the HHS business unit. "The growth rates in those businesses, certainly compared to baby, are exponentially higher."
"It's just a matter of the pivot and making that happen as quickly as possible," he said. "AI [adult incontinence] runs on the same assets that we can use to make baby care. And as we ultimately take a look at that opportunity, both in North America but also on a global basis, we believe this is the appropriate use of those resources.
"Still love baby. Great space. And we're looking very closely with our end users ultimately to make certain from a differentiation perspective we have the right products in place to meet their news. And we believe those are breathability and softness," he said.
Berry's recent acquisition of Clopay Plastic Products Co., combined with its existing manufacturing abilities, "gives us unique advantage to serve what is a growing market in AI and a market, frankly, that people ultimately are dependent on that product line for many years — [that] can be 10 and 15 years vs. the length of time someone is a baby," Salmon said.
"So the organization's focused on it. That's where the resources have been deployed against," he said. "And the timeliness of the Clopay acquisition actually supports that objective."
The acquisition of Clopay in 2017 beefed up Berry's film making business and specifically added expertise in the manufacture of breathable films, elastic films and laminates, Berry said at the time.
Key Clopay markets include diapers, adult incontinence, feminine care, medical gowns, puppy pads, house wrap, protective garments and surgical drapes, Berry said at the time.