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EMAILED ON August 8, 2018 BY Wes Schlagenhauf

The only paper straw producer in the US gets slurped up by new owner

In the thick of the anti-plastic movement, the US’s favorite only paper straw maker, Aardvark, just got a whole lot more popular.

Now, the Indiana-based company has been acquired by Hoffmaster Group, a Wisconsin-based firm that makes premium disposable paper napkins and other tableware.

While the terms of the deal have not been released, the Hoffmaster plans to increase Aardvark’s efficiency and kick production into high gear as it struggles to keep up with booming demand.

A good problem to have

Within the last year, cities like San Francisco, Seattle, Fort Myers, Florida, and Vancouver, B.C., have all nixed the use of plastic straws.

And, the environmental friendly fun don’t stop at the city level: Companies including Starbucks, American Airlines, Disney, and others have also announced their indefinite plastic straw sabbatical.

Look who’s laughing now, paper straw h8ters

Of course, starting a paper straw business is exactly the type of idea ripe for the ribbing from friends upon initial pitch, but in the 10 years since Aardvark’s launch, they’ve proved their staying power.

Aardvark’s paper straws debuted in 2007, and, according to the company’s global business director, David Rhodes, the company’s year-over-year growth has doubled each year since.

And, 2017’s growth was astronomical, at a whopping 5k%. Meaning, the company currently has a lead time (or rather, lag time) of “several months” for orders.

So how will the acquisition help them keep up with demand?

Hoffmaster reportedly has a 6- to 9-month plan to expand and ramp up Aardvark’s production.

According to Hoffmaster, the acquisition will give Aardvark the necessary resources to fulfill orders faster — because darnit, the people need their paper straws!

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