ABA PACKAGING: The Strongest Bridgehead Yet For Europe In The USA!
LUXE PACK New York 20th Anniversary Pioneers
We are thrilled to be showcasing a very exclusive group of exhibitors who have been part of the 20 year LUXE PACK New York lineage. We are honored to have them continue be part of the invaluable industry legacy that solidifies them as long running industry packaging players. We would like to introduce them to you individually and therefore welcome you to hone on the special editorial content developed to showcase their own industry legacy and how they plan to continue to contribute to the industry’s next 20.
Articles written by Jean-Yves Bourgeois, co-founder, LUXE PACK & Founder of Formes de Luxe Magazine.
The company was one of the first pioneers to exhibit at the Luxe Pack show in New York, which is quite natural considering that they are truly part of the history of beauty packaging in the USA. Aba Packaging has been firmly established in the United States since it was founded in 1984. “We are more than just a distributor” insist the company’s directors. Over the years, we have progressed to occupy a widely recognized place as leader in our field, thanks to our unique portfolio of packaging designed for the Beauty industry, as well as our high standards of quality and service level. Most suppliers are European, followed by American and of course Asian companies. Michael Warford, Director of Business Development, explains.
Question: Over 40 years in the Beauty industry on the American continent is quite an accomplishment! Your longevity is built on solid foundations…
Michael Warford: Yes, for sure! Especially as we offer the same level of packaging service and expertise to start-ups who buy a few hundred items from us as we do to medium-sized business that buy thousands or big companies buying millions. And our customers know that.
Leonardo (“Leo”) Marchese founded ABA Packaging in 1984. Prior to that, he worked for Richford American, a large manufacturer of packaging for the cosmetics and perfume industries. An American success-story, where he started work in the warehouse and ended up vice-president of operations.
At the start of the 1980’s, Richford was bought out, and so Leo Marchese took this opportunity to start his own packaging company. His wife Angela joined the company as well as his son Charles and ABA Packaging was born in 1984!
Question: What was the Marchese’s family roadmap at the time?
Michael Warford: From the beginning, they promised to provide excellent customer service and high-quality products to small and large customers in North-America. That roadmap is still valid today. In 1984, ABA Packaging was supplying glass packaging and accessories for the cosmetics and perfume industries. Over the years, we have broadened our offer to include a wide variety of primary packaging products in glass, and also in plastic and aluminum. So much so, that we quickly became a recognized leader in good-quality innovative packaging solutions, both for standard products and for custom products for a number of industries, such as cosmetics, perfume, personal care and spa.
In 2016, Charles Marchese’s daughter Liana joined the company as a full time employee after some years of interning. She started as a sales coordinator and was elevated to a Sales Manager for ABA, and most recently became Director of Sales.
Question: Could you please describe your organization today?
Michael Warford: Currently we have a team of around 25 people and cover all of North-America. We also have an office and a warehouse in Holtsville, just over an hour from New York. Before the Covid pandemic, we even had an office and a showroom in Los Angeles, but the travel restrictions in recent years obliged us to close it temporarily. However, now that the restrictions are being lifted, we are looking to re-open that location.
Question: Which are the key markets you are currently present in?
Michael Warford: The main markets we have targeted for the sales of our primary packaging products are the cosmetic, perfume, personal care and spa industries. We are looking to extend this though, and include nutraceutical products and also another emerging and fast-growing industry, that of cannabis-based products. We have a lot of stock, with over $1 million of glass and plastic products ready to ship from our Holtsville warehouse. To complete our product lines, we offer a full decorating service for our plastic, glass and metal products. We can also cut plunger tubes for dosing pumps. We are also able to assist our customers in packaging design and regulatory matters.
Question: What is your approach to a topical subject such as the environment?
Michael Warford: About eight years ago, we were contacted by a Spanish manufacturer of aluminum packaging, the Envases group, to represent them in North-America. At that time, aluminum packaging was scarcely used in our industry and we weren’t sure of the market potential. However, we were impressed by the talent and expertise of this supplier and so we decided to partner with them to develop their richly decorated aluminum packaging lines in the US market. This helped us to boost our sales and has become an important part of our business. We have also expanded our aluminum product line to include capping systems, as well as continuing to be a major distributor of glass bottles and jars. This is partly due to the “sustainable” trend. Our glass product partners, many of which are based in Europe, offer PCR-based products that obviously enhance our ECO offer. This also applies to the plastic bottles, jars and caps we offer that have a certified PCR label.
Question: Are you always present at the Luxe Pack shows?
Michael Warford: We have been one of the most active exhibitors of these shows and have exhibited in nearly if not all of them. Every time they are a great success for us!
Question: One last question. What does the name “ABA” come from?
Michael Warford: You’ll probably laugh at the answer… These three letters were chosen because it’s the best way to figure at the top of all the lists in alphabetical order! And that’s worked for us for the last 40 years!