May 4, 2023

Innovation, durability key to Triangle Packaging’s 100 years of operation

Triangle Packaging Co., a founding member of the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), celebrated its centennial anniversary on May 1.

Founded by Louis R. Muskat in 1923, the Chicago-based company began as a contract packaging company. In 1926, Muskat developed his first packaging machine and sold six from blueprints alone, according to a news release from Triangle.

Drawing on his experiences as a co-packer, Muskat introduced the company’s first carton sealer.

four male leaders, dressed in suits, from Triangle Packaging hold a plaque
Paul Muskat (left to right), Bryan Muskat, Jim Pittas, and David Muskat at PACK EXPO 2022. Photo: Triangle Packaging Co.

Now in its third generation of family leadership, the vertically integrated company is known for long-lasting designs and sanitary machinery. Its full line of machines includes VFFS baggers, bag-in-box cartoners, multihead weighers and pre-made pouch machines.  

Throughout the last century, Triangle has fostered long-term relationships with Fortune 500 companies and smaller contract packagers. One of the company’s oldest customers is National Biscuit Co. (popularly known as Nabisco), which purchased its first machine from Triangle in July 1929.

Other long-time customers include Goetze’s Candy Co., A. Zerega’s Sons Inc. and Tootsie Roll Industries.  

“All dry pasta companies in the 40s, 50s, 60s were using Triangle equipment,” said Jay Vermylen of A. Zerega’s Sons. 

Todd Goetze, president and chief operating officer at Goetze’s Candy, credited Triangle’s durable equipment for the businesses’ long partnership.

 “The machine we had from the early 1960s was literally just replaced at the end of 2021,” Goetze said. “The machinery clearly is built for a long life and holds up.” 

In the 1970s, following regulation changes such as the Sanitation Programs administered by the FDA in 1969, Triangle began focusing on providing sanitary packaging equipment suitable for products being scrutinized for food safety, including shellfish and food service products. 

In the 1980s, under the leadership of L.R. Muskat’s son, Robert Muskat, Triangle developed and introduced the industry’s first vertical zipper applicator. Over the years, Triangle has further developed this technology and is the longest running partner of Zip-Pak, an industry leader in reclosable packaging.

Bryan L. Muskat is currently Triangle CEO, with brothers Paul Muskat (vice president of business development) and David Muskat (vice president of manufacturing, safety and environmental services) also in company leadership positions.

According to PMMI, Triangle is the oldest member still run by its founding family, the release stated.

“It is an honor to be part of this momentous occasion,” Bryan Muskat said. “We simply would not be here today if it were not for the foresight of L.R. and Robert and our loyal and dedicated customers and employees.”

Innovation continues at the company. Triangle has become a leader in online support and, in anticipation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, introduced the X-Series platform of sanitary VFFS baggers in 2009. Most recently, Triangle developed its hygienic Delta Series of baggers in 2021. 

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