Key Insights From 2016’s Packaging Innovations Event
Packaging Innovations 2016, which took place in February, brought together the packaging industry in order to foster positive relationships, inspire developments, and showcase new innovations and approaches. The latest trends in the industry were on show, while new technologies wowed the crowd.
As the UK’s most wide-ranging packaging event, Packaging Innovations attracted hundreds of exhibitors to the NEC in Birmingham. Ecopack, Contract Pack, and Empack events also took place, demonstrating environmental innovations and allowing packers and manufacturers to share the services they offer. Suppliers were plentiful, so businesses could speak to specialists about their precise needs.
What events were held at Packaging Innovations 2016?
Attendees could go to free seminars and a range of symposia was available including the Retail Symposium and the BIG Print Debate. The Great Innovation Debate was chaired by the Retail Institute, looking at how innovation in the packaging industry arises, and sharing innovative products and services. The event also hosted a Rising Star Scheme, focused on brands looking to work with younger and smaller businesses.
Speakers included Weetabix, Innocent Drinks, Britvic, and Taylors of Harrogate. Additionally, there was a ‘Learnshops’ programme, designed to “cover the full packaging spectrum; providing visitors with practical and pioneering insight that just might help their business or packaging idea evolve”, according to Gerry Sherwood, Event Director at Easyfair.
Innovation at Packaging Innovations
With innovation being the key word here, there were some new products introduced by a range of brands, including:
- Roisbros’s ‘Special Delivery’ series of boxes for salads, hot and cold food portions and oily products.
- Fantastak’s SuperRoller, an adhesive tape application that holds 75 metres of double-sided tape with a cartridge refill, leading to faster changing and no threading.
- Hydrozorb (H-PET), introduced by Waddington Europe, which reduces surface tension and offers improved shelf life.
- CS Labels’ new stand-up pouches, which use Xeikon technology to print.
Essentra’s new Design Hub
One notable advance that was introduced to the industry was Essentra’s new Design Hub service. Essentra plc is a FTSE 250 company that focuses on supplying packaging for food, beauty, and premium beverages. It also works in technical design and print, speciality tapes, and fluid handling. Its Design Hub draws together packaging design, including structural and creative elements, with its worldwide manufacturing capability in order to make the supply chain less complex and deliver solutions that are engaging to its clients.
The company’s global category director, Tiffany Overstreet, explained, “We have significantly increased our focus on delivering integrated consumer packaging that enhances customer brands on-shelf, while at the same time simplifying the steps from idea to finished piece and reducing time to market.”
Spectra’s new design trends
Spectra Packaging took advantage of the Packaging Innovations event to unveil its new range of packaging design that really achieve the ‘wow’ factor that many clients and customers now desire.
Using innovative packaging designs and print technologies, diamond-shaped packs made of glass polymer and flat designs with a twisted profile and angular neck, they are seriously taking the packaging world by storm. The latest in print finishing was also demonstrated, with a Braille-embossed print that reduces the need for custom moulds, while Spectra’s Chameleon print changes colour in different lights.
The Women in Packaging UK initiative
One of the initiatives launched at the Packaging Innovations Event was Women in Packaging UK, recognising and supporting the women in the industry who may otherwise be overlooked or undervalued. This new scheme, designed to support female employees in the packaging industry, will hold continuous networking events around the country.
Headed by Joanna Stephenson (former VP of LINPAC Packaging) and Debbie Waldron-Hoines (Avant-Tout Ltd), Women in Packaging UK has already hosted two highly successful networking events, and has three main aims:
- To connect women across the packaging industry
- To deliver a mentoring programme, including education and training support
- To create recognition awards to support high achievers and create role models.
Joanna Stephenson told Packaging Today, “We have some really great role models right across the breadth of our industry but there is a lack of opportunity for women to network, collaborate, and to learn. The intention is to address some of the gaps we see in networking and mentoring, as well as provide opportunities to recognise success and celebrate those who are leading our industry to show what a great sector we work in!”
This initiative comes in the wake of statistics demonstrating that just 17.3% of FTSE 100 directorships and 13.2% of FTSE 250 directorships are held by women and 7 of FTSE 100 company boards and 67 of FTSE 250 company boards are all-male. Women still earn £300,000 less than men over the course of their lifetime, so innovations like Women in Packaging UK could make a notable difference to women in the industry who want to support and mentor each other (they plan to build out mentoring and coaching programmes), as well as meet with like-minded colleagues.
With these insights we can see that the packaging world is going to get a significantly more advanced and quickly. However, as Essentra have shown, it still all begins with getting the supply chain rights. For tips on exactly how to do that, head over to our Warehouse & Logistics section to find out more.