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Biofoam: Snacks to loose fill

A major feature article in Inc. magazine could jump-start a small Phoenix, AZ, packaging supplier. The October issue of Inc. included a story on Biofoam, the company and product name for starch-based loose-fill.

The article reports the company's founders had initially been trying to develop a snack food from grain sorghum; it didn't sell, so now the product is a packing material that's ready to do battle with expanded polystyrene foam peanuts. The article also points out that Biofoam has yet to make a profit, has been sued for patent infringement, and has had little success in placing its production equipment inside its customers' plants (one way Biofoam says it can make the product cost-competitive with EPS). As well, the article identifies some Biofoam customers and helps position the total loose-fill or protective packaging business, estimated at from $150 million up to $1.4 billion.

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