Packaging Therapy with Jessie Schwartz, The Packaging Therapist

In this episode of Beyond the Shelf, 'Packaging Therapist' Jessie Schwartz, CEO and founder of Strategic Packaging Partners, shares her journey in the industry as well as her expertise in data-driven decision making.

Posted on 
February 27, 2024
Laura Foti
CMO, Specright

In this episode of Beyond the Shelf: The Product & Packaging Podcast, Laura Foti  has special guest Jessie Schwartz, CEO and founder of Strategic Packaging Partners. Known as the packaging therapist, Jessie specializes in listening to manufacturing problems and applying her packaging knowledge to increase profits. We are excited to have her on the podcast to discuss her journey in the industry and her expertise in data-driven decision making.

Below are some highlights from our conversation – you can listen to the full audio on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Soundcloud. And be sure to subscribe to our channel to get the latest episodes as soon as they drop.

Jessie's Journey in Packaging

Jessie didn't initially start her career in packaging. She graduated college with a degree in education but found herself drawn to the world of packaging when she joined General Mills. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Jessie saw an opportunity to provide dynamic resources for packaging engineers and started her own contracting company, Strategic Packaging Partners, in 2019. Her goal was to address manufacturing problems by leveraging her expertise in packaging.

The Power of Data-Driven Decision Making

Jessie understands the importance of data-driven results. She emphasizes the need for curiosity when facing a problem and highlights the significance of testing various solutions to find the right fit. Collecting accurate data and making informed decisions based on that data became a crucial part of her approach.

Data plays a significant role in packaging, providing insights into areas such as plant trials, material specifications, and pallet utilization. However, many companies lack foundational data, which leads to inefficiencies and missed opportunities for improvement. Jessie suggests that even without sophisticated data management systems, companies can start by organizing their packaging specifications into Excel spreadsheets. This simple step allows them to identify redundancies, streamline their processes, and make more sustainable choices.

Private Label's Impact on Packaging Complexity

Private label brands have significantly contributed to increased complexity within the packaging industry over the past two decades. Jessie highlighted how private label brands started as startups, unsure of their market potential. These brands worked closely with vendors to customize their packaging and differentiate themselves in the market.

As private label brands grew in popularity, they expanded their product lines, leading to a multitude of customized products from various co-manufacturers. While this allowed private label brands to fill their lines, it also introduced inherent complexities within the system. The industry is now recognizing these inefficiencies and moving towards a more collaborative approach that focuses on overall efficiency rather than individual brand identity.

Elevating the Role of Packaging Professionals

The role of packaging professionals has evolved over time, with companies recognizing the strategic value they bring to supply chain operations. Packaging professionals are no longer last in line during product development but are involved at different stages, providing valuable insights and advice.

To succeed in this evolving landscape, Jessie suggests that packaging professionals cultivate curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. By asking questions and seeking answers from various stakeholders within the organization, packaging professionals can become knowledgeable resources who understand the interconnectedness of different departments. Additionally, staying updated with industry trends and advancements in materials is essential for staying ahead in this rapidly changing field.

Embracing the Future of Packaging

Jessie's journey from teaching to packaging highlights her passion for problem-solving and her commitment to data-driven decision making. As the role of packaging professionals continues to evolve, it is crucial for individuals in this field to embrace curiosity and stay informed about industry advancements. By doing so, they can contribute significantly to overall operational efficiency and drive innovation within their organizations.

Listen to the full podcast episode here for more valuable insights, and connect with Jessie Schwartz on LinkedIn here.

To listen to more episodes of Beyond the Shelf, click here.


Laura Foti

Laura leads marketing and investor relations at Specright. Prior to Specright, she led advertising and analytics at GE Digital, GE’s Industrial Internet software business. Before that, she was a consultant at Deloitte Digital working in enterprise digital transformation, where she helped clients design and deploy eCommerce experiences, develop revenue-driving mobile apps, and reimagine their global digital marketing strategy. Laura was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for marketing and advertising and Brand Innovators 40 Under 40 and 100 Women to Watch lists. She graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She resides in Newport Beach, CA.

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