The Bryce Corp. prides itself on tradition. Family-owned and operated since 1969, the company’s values are deeply entrenched in the practices of service, excellence and innovation that were William H. Bryce Jr’s foundational tenants.
Enter Sean Bowie and Stephen Perkins, the fourth generation of Bryce Corp.’s owner/operators. Married to current owner Thomas J. Bryce’s two daughters, Mr. Bowie and Mr. Perkins have brought their combined business experience of more than 20 years to lead the family-owned company. It is through this dynamic combination of new leadership that Bryce finds itself in the midst of revitalization.
“Our objective is to continue to drive our business forward in order to accommodate the needs of the next generation of snack food manufacturers while we maintain the spirit of responsive service and innovation that our company has built its reputation on,” Mr. Perkins said.
Added Mr. Bowie, “We are always investing, researching and looking for better ways to serve our customers. In business you have to do that. Our snack customers have focused their growth outside of the snack aisle, across the entire grocery store and into dramatically different market channels. Bryce has focused its innovation and its capabilities to support those changing needs. We are not looking to just be responsive; we are looking to be proactive — all the while maintaining the personal service and accessibility we are known for.”
The snack food market is the cornerstone from which Bryce Corp. has built its business and remains both an integral part of their customer demographic and a major point of pride.
Its expertise in the production of salty-snacks bags has shaped the evolution of the package, from its initial waxed paper design to the sophisticated structures of today. The company has successfully produced polypropylene, polyethylene and polyester laminations for use in this market and continues to strive for advances in these packages.
“Without the snack food market, we would not be the company that we are today,” Mr. Bowie said. “We value our relationships with our customers and have been investing to maintain our leadership role in this market for years to come.”
While the change in the past 20 years has been dramatic and fast-paced from both a materials and technology standpoint, and although the core technology is not likely to change, Bryce remains committed to finding synergies between manufacturers and consumers. The goal is an end-user experience that is visually stunning and highly functional, Mr. Bowie added.
The company’s active participation with the Snack Food Association (SFA) is no small part of this equation.
“There are so many developments that occur as far as the wants of the consumer base that have a profound effect on our business and our customers’ businesses,” Tom Bryce said. “The SFA provides an unparalleled platform for us to get all of our customers in one association and allows us to have those personal and business relationships that are so important to us. Through this venue, we have the unique opportunity to collaborate very effectively so that we can continue to provide the highest level of innovation and service.”
While the company has diversified and moved into markets beyond salty snacks, it has done so in order mindfully to take the innovations they develop in other markets and utilize them among their snack food colleagues.
“The most exciting aspect of developing technology for markets outside the snack food industry is that we’re able to provide even more unique packaging solutions to our customer base. We take what we learn in other industries and apply them here,” Mr. Perkins explained. “Our goal is not just to be responsive to our customer needs; we want to be proactive in introducing new technology that a customer might not be aware of yet. We don’t just want to be a customer’s converters and printers of film; we want to be a collaborative partner.”
This is just another example of the evolving spirit of the Bryce Corp.
According to Sean Shanley, Vice President of Business Development, “Our business has always prided itself on our commitment to responsiveness and service, and we will continue to honor that commitment. The fact remains that in today’s ever-evolving business landscape, we have more opportunities to become an indispensable resource to our customers, and we will keep seizing those opportunities. Any service we can provide to enhance our customers’ product lines, we will. Snack foods are sold in more places in a grocery store than any other product. The place where differentiation begins on that grocery store aisle is with innovative packaging.”
While it’s easy to label the things that have happened at Bryce Corp. as “change,” Mr. Perkins and Mr. Bowie were reluctant to see it in such simplistic terms.
“The new leadership, new facilities, new organizational structures signal a change, yes,” Mr. Bowie acknowledged. “But what we’ve always done so well — the service, the quality, the innovation — we’ll always continue to do. It’s that we’re going to do more, do it better and lead. We’ve always been known as leaders in this industry, and we will continue to lead aggressively. We just have a few new pairs of feet on the ground.”