Pots made out of plastic are not just an important part of modern plant production but can also be a useful marketing tool to showcase the latest developments in this field. Pöppelmann, based in Northern Germany in Lohne (Lower-Saxony), is well known for its TEKU®-products. The company produces cultivation systems and a huge variety of plant pots for the horticulture industry. It was founded in 1949 as a cork factory by brothers Joseph and Hubert Pöppelmann and is still a family-owned business.
In the spring of 1955, the brothers bought their first injection moulding machine which was their start into the plastics processing industry. Since then, the company, consisting of five production sites with 550 injection moulding machines, extruders and thermoforming lines, has expanded wildly. It is one of the leading manufacturers in the plastic processing industry employing more than 1,900 highly-qualified employees worldwide and exporting to more than 90 countries.
TEKU® is one of Pöppelmann’s four areas of operation. By continually keeping an eye on the market, the TEKU® division has an in-depth understanding of the industry and customers’ needs, a key factor for their product innovations and sustainable solutions. One of the newest products is the MDF Coverpot series which offers added value and is a marketing tool, as well. The attractive Coverpots fit perfectly around their other plastic pots and make it a very smart pot-in-pot system. The Coverpot has space for storing water at the bottom to reduce watering frequency when used in connection with the Waterwick™ Stick. The water level can be checked easily without removing the inner pot from the MDF Coverpot.
The planting pot series MDF Coverpot offers gardeners attractive visual decoration thanks to the IML-process (In-Mould-Labelling). The pots come in many different designs, some inspired by annual holidays or gift days like Easter or Mother’s Day, others refer to special events e.g. this year’s FIFA World Cup. It is also possible to order pots with a custom design, depending on the quantity required. In addition, there is a special presentation tray available with lower rims which makes it easier to see the eye-catching designs of the pots at the POS.
Another recent introduction is PÖPPELMANN blue®, inspired by the increasing need for sustainable solutions in the industry. The blue resource-saving plant pots are made out of 100 percent recycled material. These plant pots close the raw material loop and the special blue colour makes it easy to identify the pots when they are at the recycling plant.
The RFID (radio-frequency-identification) technology is an invention that facilitates stocktaking by means of a radio frequency label that is attached to the product. Every label can then be scanned as a basis for further quick and easy use of the product data.
A technology partnership between Pöppelmann TEKU® and potting machine producer Mayer is a further step towards innovations that offer solutions for growers. This close collaboration could help increase the level of automation needed to compensate for the lack of labour in the horticulture industry today.
To check the impact of innovations and the improvements of products, Pöppelmann TEKU® works with a market research company. The results of a recent test of different trays and plant pots, for instance, are not only used within the company but are also made available online, together with extra tips and ideas to the trade. These results show interesting ways to add value to a basic necessity such as a plant pot and even show how to turn it into a useful marketing tool.
Author: Anke Bührmann