Inbound Logistics | March 2022


TOYING WITH RESHORING A U.S.-based toy industry may be possible as manufacturers face continued facility closures, freight issues, and rising costs. Some toymakers are ready to explore reshoring and nearshoring, says a report from Highlights from the report include: Challenges: While nearly 70% of American consumers would prefer to buy and pay more for products labeled “Made in the USA,” the toy industry faces several roadblocks. Opening a new U.S. factory requires upfront capital investment, machines sourced from overseas, and environmental considerations. A new facility must be operated by a workforce that’s hard to come by during a labor shortage. Possibilities: In 2021, Walmart committed to purchasing $350 billion in products made, grown, or assembled in the United States as well as uniting businesses with economic development groups to create regenerative supply chains. Simplay3 collaborated with Walmart to develop its Monster City Extreme Wheels Track in just 17 weeks, because the design, engineering, and manufacturing all took place in Ohio. Classics coming home: Hasbro sold its facility in Massachusetts to the Cartamundi Group back in 2015, but the companies formed a partnership in which Cartamundi manufactures select Hasbro products, such as Monopoly, Clue, and Play-Doh in the United States. Know the nuances: Toymakers cannot put “Made in the USA” on their labels unless all final assembly and processing occurs in the United States, and virtually all components are made and sourced in the United States, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Qualifiers include wording such as “Made in the USA of U.S. and China components,” or similar labels that are truthful and not misleading. Upcoming plans: New Jersey-based LaRose Industries, maker of Cra-Z-Art and RoseArt products, opened a 315,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Florida. Cra-Z-Art now maintains more than 1 million square feet of space dedicated to producing toys, art supplies, craft kits, and school supplies in the United States. Toymaker Starplast USA plans to invest nearly $18 million to open a second U.S. manufacturing facility in Virginia. “WE DECIDED THAT NOT ONLY WERE WE GOING TO PRODUCE OUR PRODUCTS IN THE UNITED STATES, BUT THAT WE WOULD ALSO SUPPORT U.S. SUPPLIERS OF COMPONENT PARTS.” — Brian McDonald, vice president of sales and marketing, Simplay3

McDonald’s is making its supply chain more sustainable by manufacturing its Happy Meal toys with signicantly less plastic by the end of 2025. The fast food chain will make some toys, such as board game pieces, with plant-derived or recycled material. Super heroes and movie characters will be 3-D cutouts rather than plastic gurines. In the past, lower-plastic options included Pokemon cards and books. The chain is also looking into switching from plastic wrapping to plant-based and certied ber packaging. The newer options will be cost-neutral for franchisees because the effort was designed with the existing price in mind, the company says. McDonald’s has already been learning from feedback in France, the U.K., and Ireland, where the toys have rolled out. The goal is to make sure they are safe and sturdy enough for children. It’s also looking to recycle the old plastic toys in its restaurants. Its U.K. and Japan locations have reused the plastic for playgrounds and restaurant trays. More than 100 countries worldwide sell Happy Meals at McDonald’s locations. The toys have become a marketing strategy for movies, TV shows, and more through partnerships with Disney, Warner Brothers, and Hasbro. DO YOU WANT SUSTAINABILITY WITH THAT? McDONALD’S SELLS MORE THAN ONE BILLION TOYS PER YEAR THROUGH ITS HAPPY MEALS. — CNBC Report

16 Inbound Logistics • March 2022

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