Reflecting on 2019

by Lilly Blum

We all can agree – 2019 flew by! It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in the New Year, but 2020 is here to stay. Last year was one for the books as it was filled with celebrations, growth, and change!


Throughout 2019 Inland was recognized for printing excellence and exceeding expectations for our cut & stack, pressure sensitive, and shrink labels. Inland puts time and attention into our printing to go above and beyond for our customers. We received 13 awards throughout last year!


Shrink sleeves’ popularity stuck around again in 2019. Instead of using pre-printed cans that require high volume order quantities, many brands opted to make the move to shrink on cans. This is a great way to achieve a limited edition run or endless flavor options without committing to those large pre-printed volumes.

Hard seltzers.  Need we say more?  It was so popular there was even a shortage in the US. As consumers are steering away from big beer and moving to Ready-to-Drink cocktails and craft beer, hard seltzer’s popularity really ‘spiked’ (see what we did there?) with a growth rate of over 100%.

Of course, we can’t forget about sustainability! 2019 brought many sustainability statements from big brands. Many brands are aiming to have their packaging fully recyclable,  use less/no plastic, or make the full switch to recycled materials. With bigger brands making commitments to sustainability it will push the label and packaging industry to be more sustainable in 2020!

Inland Changes

At the beginning of 2019, we welcomed Jason Berger to the Inland family. He came to us from WS Packaging and is our new Vice President of Operations. “In 2020, our organization needs to drive to have a continuous improvement, metrics-driven culture to be more competitive in the future.  This mindset needs to come from all of our team members, in all areas of our company!  It starts with a focus on safety, people development, quality (Internal and external), speed to market/growth/innovation, improving our cost structure through improved operational efficiencies, improved systems/processes, and working as a team. If we do this we will continue to grow and be successful for another 75 years!” states Jason Berger, VP of Operations. We are excited to see where Jason’s visions for Inland lead us in the New Year!

Early in 2019, we had officially completed our move into our new 60,000 square foot Pennsylvania facility.  As part of our move, we added in a new state of the art K4 seamer. The extra space and new seamer increase our capabilities so we can support growth in our pressure sensitive and shrink business.

2019 was Inland’s 75th year in business. We dedicated June to sharing stories and reflecting on Inland’s history and how we became the global partner we are today. Mark Glendenning, our CEO, visited each of the four Inland facilities to give us his take on the history and future of Inland. In my opinion, one of the highlights was having the chance to get 3 generations of Glendennings in one room to hear their perspective on the past, present and future of Inland. The month of June was filled with employee gifts, cake, and celebrations held at each of our facilities to celebrate this milestone.

We didn’t stop there!  Our PA facility wasn’t the only location that saw new equipment last year. Both our Neenah and La Crosse, WI facilities received new additions. In Neenah, a new seamer was added to help support our shrink business in the fast-growing market. The east Wisconsin facility also received a new facility layout to encourage efficiency and reduce waste. Our Mark Andy press traveled across the state of Wisconsin from La Crosse to Neenah to be included in the new layout. Last, but certainly not least, a new auto cut was installed at one of our La Crosse facilities, which will support our growing cut and stack business. While we installed new equipment we also retired our Zerand press.  Acquiring that press back in the 1980s, marked Inland’s introduction to the world of commercial labels. It was the end of an era to retire the Zerand, but we are excited to see where the New Year takes us!

2019 was one we’ll never forget and as the New Year starts up, we are reflecting on all the reasons we had to celebrate. We are excited to grow our partnerships with existing and new customers in the year to come.   We can’t wait to see where 2020 takes us, and hope to see you right by our side!