Based in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Touch Industries set out to manufacture products to make everyday life a little simpler. The distributer of single-use products for the food service, medical, dental and retail sectors, Touch Industries products “make life easier,” says Marketing Director, France Guay. With over 800 products such as toothpicks, stir sticks, cutlery, coffee cups, gloves, straws, etc., the reader may be already familiar with Touch Industries products without even knowing it. Found in retail giants such as Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro, Safeway, Shoppers Drug Mart, and more, Touch Industries’ products are likely already in your home.
25 Years’ of Growth
Touch’s focus on innovation and safety has propelled the company to the choice of retailers. The company’s policy of encouraging open dialogue with its customers has been the key to its longevity. Listening to feedback has helped Touch Industries to create products that complement the end-users’ lives; made to “rigorous regulatory specifications,” means Touch products are reliable, trustworthy and safe.
“We’re expecting continuous and steady growth within Canada because we’re a one-stop-shop and our clients appreciate the fact that we have a very wide range of products,” says Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Pierre-Alexandre Morier. “It is easier for them, it is more efficient, and it is one of our main advantages.” Guay says Touch can also credit its competitive edge to the diversity of its product line. “It is important that we offer quality products so that our clients can offer their customers quality products, across all of the different product categories, so being a one stop shop is a competitive edge. We have a very strong brand in Canada and that is another advantage for us.”
The company is ever-expanding its product lines, and with the acquisition of Covermate Covers in 2012, a small, American company with an innovative product, Touch has just launched its Canadian twin called Multi-Flex (known as Covermate in the U.S.), and is strategically looking to develop a variety of client segments with specific offers. “For food service, we’re looking at restaurants, schools, hospitals, catering services, etc., and on the retail side, we have high growth and we’re with the top retailers like the major grocery chains,” says Guay “We’re also looking at possible line extensions in arts and crafts and hardware stores with specific, customized orders, as well as pharmacies, plus online stores as well, because our products are good products for virtual stores and online buying. These are everyday products that people know so it is a good fit with online shopping.”
Touch Industries is growing physically as well. This year, the company expanded its warehouse capacity for the fourth time, expanding to a fully modern space with state-of-the-art manufacturing technology that will ostensibly double its space to 2.8 million cubic feet. The new warehouse space will help for Touch to increase its presence in the U.S. market, which is a main strategic focus for 2014. Building on the success of the Covermate product, the company is preparing to launch it Touch line in that market, and next the European market. Perpetually looking for new areas of growth, “Even in Canada we still have places to go and areas where we can increase business, with new clients and with our existing customer base,” Morier continues.
Touch Green Products
“Always mindful of the environment,” customers looking for environmentally-friendly, compostable, recyclable or biodegradable products can turn to Touch for Green products. Touch carries a wide range of products made from recyclable polypropylene, including its cutlery, plates, bowls, straws, single-serving containers, and beyond. Polypropylene plastics fall into Class 1 to 5 recyclables, making it easy to introduce them into the recycling chain.
Another ecological alternative is Touch’s biodegradable cutlery. Visually, this cutlery closely resembles regular plastic cutlery except that it incorporates a very low percentage of plastic, accelerating the biodegrading process and creating less impact on the environment.
Touch’s bagasse plates and containers are made from a residual sugarcane fibre which is pressed and baked to make a strong material very similar to wood pulp. Derived from a renewable resource, items made of bagasse are grease and moisture resistant, and designed to meet both quality expectations and ecological concerns.
Products like the Touch Green line are examples of how Touch responds to the changing needs of its clients. An exemplary Canadian success story that, by empowering its customers and being committed to customer service, has proven it has the Midas touch. With continuing expansion into Canada and international markets, Touch will continue to make everyday life easier by providing the essentials.