A new way of merchandising

Ask the Experts - Tags and Labels

Aaron McDonald, senior business manager at WestRock, introduces the company’s new environmentally friendly corrugate merchandiser options.

April 21, 2021

Greenhouse Management: What makes WestRock experts on tags and labels?

Aaron McDonald: Our start as The John Henry Company brings over 100 years of horticulture expertise first as the John Henry Company, then Multi Packaging Solutions and now part of the WestRock family. Being part of a true leader in the global print and packaging industry has helped the horticulture group expand product offerings. Plant tags have always been a key part of our business, however, labeling is specialty of WestRock, and we continuously supply more and more labels to the industry. In North America, we have five tag facilities producing tags, and nine label facilities producing labels.

GM: What are the latest trends in tags and labels?

AM: Tags and labels have become a critical piece in the supply chain. Whether it be an affixed tag or a label, these products are now holding all information in one, including NIST, barcode, price point, plant care and branding so it can be used in all facets, from the greenhouse to the end consumer. Having this information all in one place makes it particularly easy for the consumer. Being able to quickly find the brands they love, along with plant information and price quickly are all key in their buying decisions.

GM: With WestRock’s expanded capabilities, what new products have you introduced for the horticulture industry?

AM: WestRock is known for its corrugate and we’ve been able to bring that into the horticulture space. In the market currently, most shippers are one-way wood shippers that are difficult and time consuming to build at the grower and difficult to dispose of at the retail level.

“Our new Half Pallet Merchandiser replaces the classic wooden or steel shipper, providing a recyclable option that also serves as a merchandiser at retail.” — Aaron McDonald

Our new Half Pallet Merchandiser (shown here) replaces the classic wooden or steel shipper, providing a recyclable option that also serves as a merchandiser at retail. It’s cost effective, providing superior retail display, recyclable and reduces labor costs. Being fully customizable print with up to 4 color graphics, it acts as a silent salesperson providing additional branding and information that can complement the plant tags and labels. These merchandisers can be easily moved throughout a retail space and even be placed in areas outside the garden center to encourage sales.

GM: How does WestRock’s new corrugate options stand out amongst others in the industry?

AM: We’ve spent the last two years making these options more recyclable. Currently, many merchandisers and shippers in the market are wood or steel, and they are treated as a single-use shipper and disposed of, which creates a lot of waste. WestRock’s merchandisers have less CO2 emissions and are recyclable which allows growers to be better stewards while using this product.