OH SNAP! Pickling Co.’s initial foray into stand-up single-serve pickles had strong results.
After more new products were introduced, management last year decided to invest in constructing a new manufacturing plant in Little Chute, Wis., to handle the rapidly growing business.
That led to the need for new high-speed, end-of-line packaging machines, and the company is in the final stages of installing two new ones from SOMIC.
The first of the 424 W3 wraparound case packers for retail ready packaging has begun handling the collating and case packing of almost 2 million single-serve pouches per week, which company President Ryan M. Downs expects to far exceed by this time next year.
OH SNAP! has delivered big results in a short amount of time. A division of progressive food producer GLK Foods in Appleton, Wis., it was formed in 2015 to produce refrigerated single-serve, brine-less pickled vegetables such as pickles, carrots, green beans, snap peas and jalapeños. GLK is the largest producer of sauerkraut in the U.S. and was looking to build off the success of its fermentation process for kraut.
The new facility of nearly 70,000 sq. ft. began brining product in March, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was starting to spread in the U.S. But demand has remained strong as workers are now producing finished goods, and the company is running three shifts around-the-clock, six days a week.
The company first hear about SOMIC through its corrugated supplier sales representative at PCA. “I remember thinking that if the OH SNAP! line ever did the volume to support the purchase of a SOMIC machine, we would have really created something special. We’ll soon be purchasing our third,” Downs says.
The company looked at two or three other solutions. “None was as compelling as the SOMIC offering. We loved the simplicity of its design, its compact nature, and the references we received could not have been more glowing. We also learned through our references that startup would be very quick, and it indeed it has been.”
The SOMIC 424 W3 wraparound case packers are flexible, high-performance systems that use decentralized servo drives. To satisfy distribution to retailers such as grocery, big box and C-stores—plus vending and hospitality outlets—throughout North America, and widening the channel to include Europe, OH SNAP! plans to have the machines collate and case pack up to 160 pouches per minute. Product is being divided into three formats of six-, 12- or 18-count display cartons.
Both machines will be online as the company expands from 68 employees to 94 for the annual, six-week Wisconsin cucumber harvest that begins July 10.
“At this time, we will be producing between 1.5 to 2 million pouches per week,” Downs says. “We are already planning an additional 40,000 sq. ft. to our facility to accommodate growth of the brand. By the time it is completed next summer, I expect us to far exceed what we are currently producing.”
For more information, visit www.somic.us.