Asda, Britvic, ALDI, Avon, Beiersdorf, Coty, GSK, Harrods and Jaguar Land Rover were just some of the major names attending this year’s Packaging Innovations, Empack and Label&Print. Visitors flocked through the doors to hear the latest trends, solutions and innovations in the packaging and print market. They were treated to 300 exhibitors plus over 30 hours of educational content, from leading names including Innocent, Amazon, Mintel, Jaguar Land Rover and Lucozade Ribena Suntory. The show, which has been hailed a success by both visitors and exhibitors, also successfully launched four new show features.
James Drake-Brockman, Divisional Director of Easyfairs’ Packaging Portfolio, commented: “This is my first taste of Packaging Innovations, Empack and Label&Print, and it’s been an incredible show. The world of packaging is fast moving and constantly evolving, and it’s great to be at the heart of such a dynamic industry. This show enables professionals spanning the whole packaging spectrum to see the latest trends and newest innovations before everyone else. There were lots of new additions for this year including an Innovation Showcase with onsite interactive voting, an Inclusivity feature and the Pentawards display, revealing the cream of packaging design. With an astounding 76% onsite exhibitor rebook for next year, I’m sure the 2018 show will be the biggest yet.”
The Ideas Factory, a new theatre within the content programme, gave visitors unique access to leading experts from non-packaging based companies who discussed their insights and innovations which could be applied to the packaging market. Brands passing on their knowledge included British Gas - Hive, Mintel, Cambridge University, Blippar and Knowledge Transfer Network.
Tom Guy, Product Director at Hive, British Gas, discussed how to use technology to solve a specific problem. Guy commented: “We at Hive wanted to be a disruptor to the marketplace, whilst also adding value to British Gas. We had to make sure the whole brand clicked, from the innovative products and the very latest technology, through to brand design and the unboxing process. Technology has allowed us to design the product, adapting and learning from our customers as we go, creating a consistent, frictionless, simple integrated customer journey.”
Inclusivity was a key talking point at the show. Cambridge University, in partnership with DRW Packaging Consultants, hosted a new show feature, which examined how packaging can be made more inclusive at the design stage. Ian Hosking, Senior Research Analyst, at Cambridge University was pleased with the number and calibre of people keen to discuss the topic: “Our objective is always quality not quantity, however on this occasion we managed both. It is fantastic to see people are really starting to think about their packaging, looking how they can turn it into an advantage. We have been explaining to visitors just how important the role of packaging is in independent living, and its commercial benefits. We have started the ball rolling. The job of us, and everyone else, is to keep it moving forward.”
Also new for 2017 was the Pentawards Display, which showcased the 2016 Diamond, Platinum and Gold Pentawards winners. Visitors voted for their favourite packaging, from the likes of Dominos, Marc Jacobs, Imayotsukasa Sake Brewery, Chivas Regal and Sony, with Holika Holika being crowned champion. In addition to this, Campden BRI, the UK’s largest independent food and drink research body, hosted a series of intimate and topical sessions for the food and drink industries.
Running alongside the show features was a full programme of inspirational content across five dedicated theatres. Sustainability was one of the show’s hot topics, with Simon Reid, Sustainability Manager at Innocent, kicking off day one with his keynote session ‘Leaving things better than we find them’. He announced that the next generation of Innocent bottles will be created using plant based renewable sources, an exciting innovation for the brand. During his session, he also discussed Innocent’s packaging criteria which includes ‘looking great on the shelf, feeling great in the customer’s hands and being sustainable’. Simon outlined the difficulties of balancing these criteria and the failures the brand has had in trying to do so, including its unsuccessful 2006 100% recyclable bottle. ?
Continuing this theme, Amazon discussed its e-commerce fulfilment journey, highlighting three tiers of its Amazon certified packaging - Frustration-Free Packaging, Ships in Own Container and Prep-Free Packaging - which allow for innovative e-Commerce packaging that reduce the company’s environmental impact, by removing excess packaging materials.
Brent Nelson, Senior Manager of WW Packaging (CPEX) – Sustainability at Amazon, commented on his experience at Packaging Innovations: “What an excellent reception for me and my colleague, Justine, and what a well-attended show. We had a packed theatre, and a queue of people waiting to ask us questions at the end, which is always fantastic. I’m thrilled we were able to be part of it.”
Alongside these educational opportunities, the show hosted over 300 leading exhibitors presenting their latest innovations and services; with 70% of suppliers using the show to launch new products. Ivo Maasdam, Sales and Marketing Director at FlexPet, commented: “As a first-time exhibitor we were not completely sure what to expect, but we have had a fantastic show. The quantity, and more importantly quality, of visitors to our stand has been fantastic. Our business is experiencing growth in the UK, so it seemed like the perfect time to exhibit at Packaging Innovations, and we have not been disappointed. In fact, we have already rebooked our stand for next year.”
Visitors also had a productive show, Helen Tobin, NPD Manager at Montagne Jeunesse International commented: “We are currently looking for suppliers in different fields to which we currently operate, so we came to the event because it provides a great opportunity to meet these people, and to see what’s new in the market. There was such a good spread of exhibitors for us to network with, it really was the perfect platform for us to do business.”