golf foil helium balloons indicating the year 2019

2019 Year in Review – Look Back With LeKAC

Happy new year to our dear readers! It’s great to be back, and boy do we have a lot to share with you in this upcoming year. Before we get into what’s up our sleeves, let’s recap what went on in 2019, shall we?

Single-use plastics ban

Perhaps most importantly in 2019, was the announcement of the single-use plastic ban in Canada.

On June 10th, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced that Canada would be joining a myriad of countries in restricting the use of harmful plastic products. When it was first announced, everyone was a bit confused and a lot of questions were asked:

  • what constitutes single-use plastics?
  • why are they even banning plastics?
  • when will the ban go into effect?

Single-use plastics are essentially what you think – plastic products created with the intention of being used one time. Theoretically, some plastics such as water bottles and cutlery can be washed and re-used, but in reality very few people are willing to go the extra step to do that.

In Canada, less than 10% of all plastic ends up getting recycled and spend multiple years in the environment, breaking down into micro plastics and ending up in our bodies through the consumption of water and food. While nothing is being immediately banned, the government’s goal is to have decisions on which products will be banned by 2021.

image used to represent the single use plastics ban announcement in 2019

Some examples of harmful, single-use plastics are:

  • grocery bags
  • drinking straws
  • stir sticks
  • disposable cutlery and plates
  • water bottles
What Can We Do?

While we don’t have all the specifics yet, the best approach to the impending ban is simple: reduce your plastic usage starting now.

In terms of packaging, there are many alternatives to plastic bags, bottles, and more. Swap out plastic bags for a non-woven or Kraft paper bag. Instead of using a plastic bottle, consider using a long-lasting replacement: glass jars, reusable heavy-duty plastic tumblers and ceramic jugs are just some examples.

Some blog posts that might be of interest:

Kraft Paper Bags: Everything you Need to Know, Folding Cartons – What They Are and How To Use Them, Cooler Bags are the Future of Packaging – Here’s Why

extension into various industries

Another significant part of our strategy for the year of 2019 was the decision to approach specific industries. This decision led to multiple new products in our packaging line. By focusing on one industry at a time, we were able to determine what each type of business needs and what their products are like.

Not only did this approach help us develop new packaging items, it also allowed us to get valuable feedback on existing products to help serve our clients better!

3 completely different industries were tackled: seafood and meat, farming/fruit-picking, and fresh flowers. So what was the outcome?

Seafood and Meat

This industry saw one clear winner: our insulated cooler bag. There are many options in terms of customisability, leading to perfect uniqueness for each company.

We were also able to develop special waxed and unwaxed butcher paper in different colour options and logo placement. This paper enhances the company’s brand image and we saw a lot of interest in this product specifically.

Other products that benefit this industry are:

  • Kraft paper bags
  • Corrugated boxes
  • Non-woven reusable bags
  • Rigid boxes

LeKAC page you can read: Seafood and Meat Industry Page

Farming industry

Our farming industry approach focused mostly on the Pick Your Own businesses. We noticed one main product missing from our extensive line – the picking basket. In an effort to replace the plastic baskets available at these farms and reduce plastic consumption, LeKAC created a corrugated fruit basket which is water-resistant and sturdy enough to handle substantial weight.

Another popular packaging option within this industry was the reusable bag with transparent siding, which allows consumers to see the contents of the bag without having to unpack it. This proved especially popular with apple-picking farms!

These weren’t the only products useful to this industry, some others being:

  • Hemp rolling bags
  • Bamboo bags
  • Drawstring bags
  • Corrugated boxes
  • Kraft paper bags
  • High density polyester bags
  • Solid non-woven bags

LeKAC pages you can read: Fruit-Picking Industry Page, Blog – How to Use Sustainable Packaging in the PYO Industry, Blog- Interview with Watson Farms

Strawberry customized white basket, fruit picking box, custom box with handles showing industry it is used for
Fresh Flower Industry

This was definitely the most challenging industry that the LeKAC team approached within the last year. Why? Well, we realised that we were seriously lacking in packaging options for fresh cut flowers. Of course our existing products would serve these companies just fine, but we really wanted to go the extra step and create unique and sustainable options for them.

This sparked a complete overhaul of our packaging product line. We were able to successfully introduce paper vases, paper flower cones, corrugated baskets and folding carton rose boxes to the Canadian market.

Not only that, but we realised that our accessories needed further customisation options, and identified the 3 main accessories that could be used to replace the ever-popular cellophane – ribbons, stickers, and tissue paper.

LeKAC pages you can read: Flower Industry Page, Blog – Watch Your Business Bloom

Attendance at 2019 Trade Shows + Team Growth

The LeKAC sales team went above and beyond at each trade show last year. There was constant preparation required throughout the year, with valuable lessons learned and information garnered. Some trade shows attended were:

The best part about participating in multiple trade shows? Everyone in our team was able to attend a show and gain firsthand experience of what the sales team goes through, which means a stronger overall team at the end of the day.

Speaking of our team, we have expanded and will continue to increase team members. In 2019, we added 4 permanent players with intriguing ideas and significant work ethic:

  1. Gabrielle Ho – Strategic Marketing Planner; our resident content creator who is in charge of social media platforms, marketing strategies and organisation for the company.
  2. Jennifer Lin – Business Development Consultant; a superstar salesperson who has dedicated hours to ensuring our clients are 100% satisfied with their orders and is constantly innovating.
  3. Abhiroop Singh – Lead Graphic Designer; the person responsible for the majority of our graphic work on this website, social media platforms, client viewings and more!
  4. Mia Miao – Production & Logistics Coordinator; the reason your orders are delivered on time and without problems. She’s the behind-the-scenes angel that gets everything done for our clients.

What’s Next?

So 2019 is officially behind us… what will we be doing in 2020? We’ve already got a lot of things on track and we’ll be revealing everything soon!

Make sure you’re following us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date and be the first to hear of any developments!

Andy Feng
andy@lekac.com
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