Stellar turnout at London’s only packaging exhibition

Packaging Innovations & Luxury Packaging 2016With visitor numbers up on 2015, this year’s Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging London had it all… Speakers from the House of Commons and the Los Angeles packaging design community, visitors from the world’s leading brands and retailers, and exhibitors launching everything from new packaging products to brand new packaging companies.

The exclusive two-day event, which took place at London Olympia, on September 14-15, opened with a keynote session by Mark Pawsey, MP and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Packaging Manufacturing Group.

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.

Visitor, Steve Rowe, creative director at Agency Spring, commented: “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, said: “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, he remarked:

“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.”

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.

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.”

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!”