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CINNCINNATTI -- Kroger Manufacturing, a division of The Kroger Co. based here, named Crown Holdings, Inc.'s food packaging U.S. subsidiary with its "Distinguished Supplier Award" and was also named the chain's overall "Corporate Supplier of the Year."
Philadelphia-based Crown, which supplies a range of metal cans to Columbia, S.C.-based Pontiac Foods, a manufacturing plant for Kroger's private label coffee products, was chosen for the "Distinguished Supplier Award" based on its high merits in overall quality, customer service, technical support and logistics.
The "Corporate Supplier of the Year" award was given to Crown in recognition for its superior support during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Facing product shortages due to manufacturing issues after the storm, Kroger instituted a special coffee promotion to help maintain revenue. Crown's Suffolk, Virginia facility, which manufactures the coffee cans for Pontiac Foods, increased production to accommodate the new volumes required by Kroger.
During the promotion, the Suffolk plant was struck by lightning, temporarily reducing production capacity. To ensure Kroger continued to receive the number of cans needed for its special promotion, Crown immediately implemented its contingency plan. Crown sent several technicians from the Suffolk plant, along with the coffee can molds and tooling, to its Hanover, Pa. facility to supplement production. Crown kept the Hanover plant operating through an entire weekend to keep to the agreed-upon delivery schedule and ensure Kroger did not miss any product commitments to its stores.
"Crown clearly demonstrated its ability to go beyond the role of packaging supplier to a dependable partner that could respond to our business needs during a difficult time," said Dennis Meyer, director of manufacturing procurement for Kroger Manufacturing. "They looked at every available option to keep production levels where we needed them and involved us in every decision that was made."
"The trust and satisfaction of our customers is paramount to Crown," comments Raymond L. McGowan, president of Crown's U.S. food packaging division. "Earning that trust involves more than just providing consistently high-quality packaging. It also means being willing to go the extra mile to provide the service and support needed to sustain our customers' business. We are pleased we were able to make such an important contribution to Kroger and look forward to continuing our relationship."