Fish Mart

Fish Mart of W. Haven, CT. has been a customer of Hudson Poly Bag for over 10 years. Owners Laura (Peach) Reid and Glen Fettes oversee the operation, the Northeast’s largest wholesaler of tropical fish, pets and selected supplies to retail pet, aquarium, and garden stores, as well as public aquariums.

When shipping exotic fish, the packaging is critical and makes the difference between a live or dead fish when it reaches its destination (which is anywhere in the U.S.). Typically, the fish is placed in a water-filled poly bag and pressurized with oxygen before being clipped closed and placed in a styrofoam shipping container. If there is a pinhole in the poly bag, chances are that it will result in the fish being DOA. Obviously, when shipping living, expensive and exotic tropical fish, the quality of the poly bag is of the utmost importance.

During the mid-nineties, the re-formulation of material from resin suppliers caused Fish Mart to experience field failures with some of their bags in some of their shipments, a problem for such a high-volume operation. Fish Mart approached Hudson Poly Bag with this problem and asked for help, as they needed a “zero tolerance” attitude about inferior bags and potentially injured or dead fish.

The immediate solution was to increase the gauge of material from .002″ to .003″, which provided immediate, albeit more costly, relief. We went back to the drawing board and reformulated a different material blend for this application. After a couple of trials, the previous LDPE/EVA blend was abandoned for the new proprietary blend. During the development stages, the gauge was gradually decreased from the .003″ to the new blend thickness, which utilized the previous .002″ packaging criteria. The lab results were outstanding (see extrusion page), and a careful monitoring process of a particular, popular poly bag size was started.

During this monitoring phase, it was noted that 250,000 poly bags (of this specific configuration) had been shipped to customers without a reported failure. Amazingly, Fish Mart’s customers actually started calling about the new packaging. The retail customers were accustomed to simply ripping the poly bags apart to place the newly arrived fish in the tanks. The new proprietary material produced poly bags that were so strong, that they had to be cut open with scissors due to their toughness. “Peach” and Glen’s customers started inquiring where they purchased the poly bags, so they could replicate the same quality packaging to their retail customers. After all, if you sell a fish worth $35-70, the last thing you want to happen is to have the poly bag fail! This is particularly critical when you are selling fish with spiny fins.

Fish Mart, recognizing an opportunity, made the decision to begin stocking and selling the poly bags to their customers. Glen added the poly bags to his normal advertising literature, and the response rate has been excellent. Fish Mart thus became a successful distributor!

Read the Product Manager’s Letter here

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