Michigan Food Manufacturer Conquers New Territory with PACK EXPO International

“For brands looking to advance their business, PACK EXPO is a must-attend event,” said Rani Bookvich, owner of Rani's NutraFoods Inc. (Ann Arbor, Mich.).

After attending PACK EXPO for the first time in 2012, Bookvich can’t wait to discover new technology and network with more experts in the food manufacturing industry at this year’s PACK EXPO International (Nov. 2-5; McCormick Place, Chicago).

“There is so much I’ve learned in regards to the manufacturing and packaging of food,” said Bookvich. “As a business owner, PACK EXPO opened the door to a huge network of resources and solutions that I needed to advance my company.”

Starting from Scratch

Rani’s ‘Yummy’ brand of grab-and-go granola comes in convenient, single-serve packs for the busy consumer. Bookvich has first-hand experience with an “on-the-go” lifestyle. She started Rani’s NutraFoods as a new mom in 2010.

Bookvich explained, “My whole life changed with the birth of my son. It wasn’t just about me anymore. I needed to feed him with food I believed in that was nutritious, delicious, fast, and fun… so I made it for him myself.”

After family and friends praised her wholesome and delicious granola recipes, Bookvich decided to turn her passion for wellness and food into a business. Her vision and drive led the new entrepreneur to her local Whole Foods store with just a product and a concept in hand. Whole Foods, which thrives on bringing new products to the market and opening doors for small vendors, was impressed with Bookvich’s 18 granola flavors.

To stand out among competitors with the strength of a national brand, Bookvich needed to create a compelling new package design for her granola. Rather than following the popular pouch format, she created the first loose-granola single-serving snack pack. The new packaging idea set the product up for success by standing out on store shelves.

In April of 2012, Rani’s Yummy line of granola was launched with a variety of 13 flavors in the Ann Arbor, Michigan Whole Foods store. That was only the beginning for Rani’s NutraFoods Inc.

The Challenge

Soon after she launched the ‘Yummy’ granola brand at Whole Foods, another major retailer expressed interest in her product: Kroger.

Demand for her product grew rapidly, and Bookvich needed to move away from manual operations to automated equipment that would support the demand and her young company’s growth by enabling her to supply product quickly to her retailers.

Because the single-serve packaging format was unusual for granola, finding the right machinery to handle and fill the 2 ½ by 7-inch bag was a challenge. Bookvich needed exposure to the latest innovations in packaging, and being completely new to the food manufacturing business, she searched online for events that would help her do that. It was then that she came across PACK EXPO International.

At the show, Bookvich met with experts in processing and packaging, and engaged in valuable conversations about the latest technologies and the food manufacturing business. After considering several of the potential partners she had met at the show, it became clear that Dura-Pack’s filling equipment would be the best fit for Rani’s Yummy granola.

Support and Accuracy

To streamline the manufacturing of her 13 granola varieties, Bookvich purchased a Model DL-115 Single Feeder Net Weigher filling machine. It’s designed specifically for small, free-flowing products, and has a precision load cell with advanced 20-bit A/D.

“Dura-Pack’s machine is user-friendly, accurate, and efficient,” said Bookvich. “It measures 1.2 ounces of granola with high accuracy, which avoids waste. If a measurement is off by even a gram, it can cost the company a lot of money.”

The machine was not only accurate, but fast, able to complete 5 to 20 cycles per minute. With its help, Bookvich was able to distribute Rani’s Yummy granola to Kroger, and to expand nationally, adding 50 stores to the Rani’s NutraFood distribution network.

Staying Connected

With her eye on future growth — in addition to being equipped with the latest technologies — Bookvich has already marked her calendar for PACK EXPO International 2014.

“Last time, I left PACK EXPO feeling like an expert,” said Bookvich. “This year, I’m excited to connect with the industry once again and see the latest technologies that will help me continue to advance my business.”

See more on Rani’s Granola at www.ranisyummy.com.

Learn more and register for PACK EXPO International 2014 at packexpointernational.com. You can also contact PMMI’s Show Department at 571.612.3200 or email expo@pmmi.org.


About PMMI
PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, is a trade association representing over 600 packaging and processing supply chain companies that provide a full range of packaging and processing machinery, materials, components and containers. PMMI actively brings buyers and sellers together through programs and events such as The PACK EXPO family of trade shows, packexpo.com, PMT Magazine, PACK EXPO Show Daily, networking events and educational programs.

PMMI organizes the PACK EXPO trade shows: PACK EXPO International, Pharma EXPO, co-located with PACK EXPO International and presented jointly with the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE); PACK EXPO Las Vegas, PACK EXPO East, EXPO PACK México and EXPO PACK Guadalajara, connecting participants in the packaging and processing supply chain with their customers around the world. Coming Up: EXPO PACK México 2014, June 17-20 (Mexico City, Mexico); PACK EXPO International 2014, Nov. 2-5 (McCormick Place, Chicago); Pharma EXPO, co-located with PACK EXPO International 2014; PACK EXPO East, debuting Feb. 16–18, 2015 (Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia); EXPO PACK Guadalajara 2015, March 10-12, 2015 (Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico).

Learn more about PMMI and the PACK EXPO trade shows at PMMI.org and Packexpo.com.