A good year

24 November 2008

What a challenging and enthralling year it has been. For me, the buzz terms: ‘trade show success’, ‘environmentally-friendly packaging’, and ‘the credit crunch’ best define the year.

The first half of 2008 was almost all about drupa – the preparations, the expectations, and the product innovations that promised cost benefits, higher efficiency and enhanced quality. At the end of the show, contrary to some predictions, purchase deals worth more than €10bn were recorded, sending out a positive statement that the converters were still prepared to invest in technology despite the difficult market conditions.

Many other shows, such as ICE China, Interpack, Labelexpo Americas, and CPP Expo, also exceeded expectations – not only in terms of product innovations but also in the number of deals that were signed. Although the visitor numbers seemed to have dropped at some events, the mood remained upbeat.

The shows also provided a platform for consumers, converters and suppliers to discuss and promote a ‘green agenda’. The term ‘environmentally-friendly’ is no longer restricted to ‘green’ activists. Stringent regulations targeted at making packaging more sustainable, are heavily influencing purchasing decisions. In response to consumers’ questions and converters’ demands, suppliers have developed products that promise to provide improved recycling options, energy savings, and waste reductions to protect the environment.

Although words such as ‘recession’, ‘credit-crunch’ and ‘downsizing’, have all been splashed across the news media this year, the packaging industry can take heart from the fact that trade shows, this year, have met sales expectations. Consumers will always need and continue to buy goods both as a necessity and for feel-good reasons. The package converting industry will, therefore, need to continue investing in technology that will make production faster, cleaner, and less expensive. Innovation will be the key to efficiency and through it all, the industry will continue to grow.

On that positive note, here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!

Sonali Advani

Sonali Advani

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