2015 Nonwovens Sales: $300 million
Hazleton, PA; McElhattan, PA; Wuxi, China
The latest news coming out of First Quality Nonwovens’ parent company, First Quality Enterprises is the purchase of the Fempro brand of feminine hygiene products in August of 2015. The company already had a strong brand of private label feminine hygiene, baby diaper and adult incontinence brands which are to some degree fueled by its large nonwovens business, which is located at two plants in Pennsylvania.
Fempro Consumer Products, as it has since been known, has 20 years of experience manufacturing private label and national branded feminine hygiene products and absorbent food pads in Canada. Located in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada, Fempro has a 180,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and a workforce of more than 150 employees.
Fempro’s complementary product lines will further diversify First Quality’s feminine hygiene product portfolio. In addition, the acquisition will provide First Quality with a strategic physical presence in Canada from which to expand its product offerings to the Canadian consumer.
While the tight-lipped company has made no mention of what this will mean for its nonwovens business, the company has not announced a new U.S. line since 2007. It has however started operations at its first Chinese line, located in Wuxi. This line is a multibeam Reifenhauser line incorporating the latest technology available. It will allow First Quality to provide premium nonwoven materials to hygiene and medical markets in China and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
In announcing the new site, First Quality reported it would eventually house two lines but so far details on a second line have not been announced. According to executives at the nonwovens producer, which also makes diapers, feminine hygiene items and other consumer goods for the private label market, the company’s investment in China is a clear demonstration of its commitment to the global nonwovens industry and its dedication to satisfying the needs of the domestic Chinese market by providing innovative and high quality products.
According to sources close to the company, the new Chinese line is serving merchant customers in the hygiene and healthcare markets of China. First Quality has not formed any strategy to expand its private label business in Asia.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Great Neck, NY-based company is said to make about 100,000 tons of spunmelt nonwovens at two plants in Pennsylvania where it also reportedly operates two spunlace lines. Much of this output supplies First Quality’s massive private label business, which includes the former Covidien/Tyco diaper business purchased by the company in 2008, as well as its heritage businesses in the private label feminine hygiene and adult incontinence markets.