Posted on 22 September 2016.
This year’s Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging London had it all, with speakers from the House of Commons to the Los Angeles packaging design community, visitors from the world’s leading brands and retailers, and exhibitors launching everything from innovative new packaging products to brand new packaging companies. With visitor numbers up it really was a case of quality and quantity.
Visitors to the show included Lucozade & Ribena Suntory, Harrods, Dairy Crest, Burberry, Adidas, Avon, and Chanel, with many exhibiting and visiting brands booking stands live on the showfloor, resulting in an 84 per cent uptake for next year’s show.
The exclusive two-day event, which took place at London Olympia, on 14 & 15 September 2016, opened with a keynote session by Mark Pawsey, MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Packaging Manufacturing Group, who commented: “The UK packaging manufacturing industry has a turnover of £11 billion, generating 85,000 jobs, which is 3 per cent of the UK’s total manufacturing workforce. This shows just how important the role of packaging is within the UK, it does not get the credit it deserves, so I am here to stand up and say well done.
“Looking around it’s clear to see just how fantastic the level of innovation on show is. We have innovative products, high end and high quality offerings, which to me shows the industry to be in great health. One of the greatest challenges the packaging industry faces is turning these ideas into mass-market products. This show is a fantastic shop window into the future of packaging, but we must ensure these innovations go on to change the way we work.”
Meanwhile, the first ever UK edition of The Dieline Conference explored a mixture of packaging and branding topics, from major names including Coca-Cola, The Hershey Company, Wagamama and Elmwood, all presenting the very latest cutting-edge subjects currently challenging the world of design.
Emma Stapleton, Head of Client Relationships at Elmwood, remarked: “We have to change the way design is viewed, as it’s experiences that drive behaviour and all experiences need to be designed, packaging is just one piece in the 21st century FMCG jigsaw.”
Stapleton cited ‘Anchor X-Ray Casts’ campaign as an example, that invited children to decorate their casts with a special X-Ray sticker, which they could scan instore to obtain free milk while their bones healed.
Visitor, Steve Rowe, Creative Director at Agency Spring, enthused: “It’s my first time at the show, and it’s really great to get out of the office and see all of the innovation that’s available, particularly for the FMCG and retail sectors. I’ve just been to one of the talks and it’s pretty cool to be at a show like this and feel inspired by your peers.”
Arun Thomas, Packaging Technologist at Lucozade & Ribena Suntory, also visiting commented: “It’s interesting to see such a range of products for the food and beverage industry. I have seen a lot of innovation that is really interesting and the talks have been so informative. It’s also good to network with others in the industry about some topical issues.”
The highly rated two-day conference programme, included speakers from Britvic, Young’s Seafood, Neil Farmer Associates, Iggesund and Milroy’s of Soho.
One of the speakers, Ann Dunne, Head of Food Technology and Development at Harrods, shared her insights on emerging trends within the luxury market said to visitors. “We’re seeing more of a craft feel, for instance letter press being used in the wine and spirits field. There’s a move towards keepsake items, plus we’re seeing use of contrasting materials such as woods and metals. There are also some interesting trends around size – with smaller sizes coming through in some categories.”
With innovation at the heart of the show, it was no wonder that The Great Innovation Debate was packed out. Chaired by Stefan Casey, Business Innovation Manager at The Retail Institute, commented on the debate: “Once again sustainability has come across as a big part of innovation, as consumers are looking for simplicity in design combined with honesty. They want to know where their products are coming from – are they ethically made and environmentally friendly – as a result brands are trying close loop recycling, and by applying circular economy principles from the onset to product design and packaging, it’s driving brands to be more innovative giving them a competitive edge.”
Speaking at the Beauty Forum was Tom Szaky, CEO at Terracycle, who said: “Everything around us will become waste, the vast majority of beauty products can’t be recycled, the reason being economics – not that it can’t be done – just that it costs more than it’s currently worth, so we need to design things differently.”
Szaky referred to the JOHNSON’S® Baby ‘Wipe Out Waste’ initiative that helped reduce the amount of baby wipes packets going into landfill, enabling consumer to do something they hadn’t before – recycle. The packets were collected via a free post address label and then ‘up-cycled’. “Not only did more wipes get recycled, but sales increased by 40 per cent as a result”, remarked Szaky. “It is clear consumers are craving these things and we need to reinvent waste.”
Back by popular demand was The Drinks Report, which saw Catherine Monahan, Founder and CEO of Daemon and Genius, look at creating an emotional link between the consumer and the product. She said: “We mustn’t fit in; we must stand out! Have you done your homework? Has your brand got integrity? Can you stand up and shout about your product? If the answer is no, then you are doing something wrong. We must take our ‘tribe’ on a journey, and to do this we must fully understand what we want to achieve first.”
As well as a show stopping line up of speakers, more than 170 exhibitors presented their latest products and services with over 100 new product launches. New products to market included Swedbrand’s next generation technology of bag-in-box wine, called Topflow; Segura’s latest cloud-based software and KTEC Group’s new LX500e Color Label Printer.
Exhibitor, Jacqueline Redman, Group Strategic Marketing Manager at James Cropper, commented: “We seriously considered how we wanted to launch our new business – James Cropper 3D Products – and decided to come here to Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging London, not only because it’s the centre of design, but we knew the show would offer the right visitor profiles for our market. Over the two days we have met leading international and UK brands, packaging designers and agencies across our desired sectors, and had many meaningful conversations. The show has played a vital part in launching our business and setting out the brand to our target market – we certainly made the right choice to come here, not only to exhibit but to launch a business.”
Similarly, Paul Farmer, Managing Director at Wade Ceramics, stated: “The show has been better than we ever could have expected. There has been such a high calibre of visitor to our stand in terms of what they offer, which has been incredibly exciting. This year has also provided some particularly exciting opportunities in allowing us to network with other exhibitors to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. On day one we received over 50 enquiries, and day two has been fantastic too. A great show!”
Gerry Sherwood, Event Director of the Easyfairs Packaging Portfolio concluded: “We couldn’t be happier with how this year’s show turned out – the attendance figures and feedback off exhibitors and visitors has been incredible – all I can say is bring on the NEC in March!”
The next Packaging Innovations show will take place on 1 & 2 March 2017 at the NEC, Birmingham. For anyone interested in exhibiting, more information can be found at www.easyfairs.com/PIUK or via the Packaging Innovations team on 020 8843 8800.