The Who’s Who of the Packaging Industry at London’s Leading Packaging Event
Unilever, Bulgari, Innocent, ASDA, Superdrug, The Body Shop, Chanel, Heineken, Harrods, Dyson and Mars were just some of the major names at this year’s Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging London, as well as leading entrepreneurs Peter Jones from Dragon’s Den and Made in Chelsea’s Francis Boulle. With over 4,300 visitors in attendance over the two days, it was the show’s most successful edition to date, with 180 leading exhibitors and more than 18 hours of educational content.
James Drake-Brockman, Divisional Director of Easyfairs’ Packaging Portfolio, commented: “What a show! Not only did we welcome more visitors and host more suppliers than ever before, but we also successfully introduced our revamped conference format and launched our brand-new partnership with The Pentawards. Visitors clearly recognised that this was the perfect platform to see the latest trends and newest technologies before everyone else, and so came in force.”
New for 2017, The Pentawards Conference brought together the best and brightest from the packaging design industry, covering everything from the best ways to tell a brand’s story and how to deliver innovation through design, to the added value possibilities when designing through technology. Some of the brands and agencies passing on their knowledge included Bulletproof, COTY, ButterflyCannon, Diageo and Kinneir Dufort.
Speaking at the Pentawards Conference, Asa Cook, Creative Director at Design Bridge London, discussed ‘packaging design for the goldfish era’. Commenting on research conducted by Microsoft that shows people now have a shorter attention span than goldfish, Cook said that it is now necessary for design to ‘tell a story quickly and through multiple media’ to avoid audiences becoming distracted. Cook concluded that, in an age of social media, if you succeed in creating something engaging, ‘consumers will create the advertising for you’ and they will do it organically.
Also new for 2017 was the Pentawards Exhibit, which showcased an exclusive selection of the 2017 Pentawards Finalists, including Hennessy, Stark Paris, Fratelli Spirini Gordost, Pizza Express, Tanqueray, Fortnum & Mason and Fjallraven Packground.
Running alongside The Pentawards Conference were four new Forums, dedicated to the key packaging markets of beauty, food, drink and luxury, with speakers discussing the latest ‘hot topics’, challenges and opportunities. Sara Jones, Partner at DewGibbons + Partners, took to The Beauty Forum stage to explore the art of marketing beauty products to Generation Z. She commented on the 'ugly truth' that Generation Z now expects an omni-channel experience, concluding that companies are no longer able to succeed without a big idea that will work across all channels.
As part of the Food Forum, Ben Carter, UK Marketing Director at JUST EAT, scoped the UK delivery takeaway market, why its growing and the key online food delivery trends. In a call to action he said: “The market is already worth £6.1bn and that’s with 50% of the population yet to order food for delivery online – so the growth potential is huge! That food service sector needs greater packaging options – ideas to keep chips and pizzas warm and cakes and ice cream cold. We’ve 28,000 restaurants waiting to hear from the packaging industry, grab that opportunity.”
The Drinks Forum was designed to show visitors how to create packaging that can succeed in a crowded market. Lee Cook, Director & Co-Founder at Cook Chick Design and Kristian Andrews, Design Manager at St. Austell explored the challenges they faced when rebranding some of the beers under the St. Austell umbrella. Cook stated: “people always want to be moving forward, but sometimes looking back into a company’s history can actually help take the brand’s story forward.”
Vincent Villeger, a Luxury Packaging Creative Consultant and former Director of Packaging Design at Burberry hosted an expert panel session on The Luxury Forum, which included Paul Randall, Brand Innovation Manager at HP, Chris Holden, Founder of AJOTO, Susan Wilson, Group Packaging Director at James Cropper and Simon Barrow, Managing Director at Progress Packaging. During the interactive session Randall commented on the impact packaging can have on an organisation: “small brands create disruption in the market forcing bigger brands to act. Packaging gives them the opportunity to tell their story more effectively.”
Sonhia Mai, Packaging Compliance at Marks & Spencer, commented on the quality of the show, and the educational content in particular: “The show feels even bigger and better organised than last year. The level of show content and expertise from the speakers has been really impressive"
Sophie Taylor, Skincare Packaging technologist from The Body Shop, agreed: “We have been to some fantastic seminars and it is great to see the variety of opinions and speakers on show.”
As always, innovation is the focal point of the show, and this was never clearer than at the Innovation Showcase, which pitted the most innovative products at the show against each other, with visitors voting for their favourite. The bamboo-plastic composite multi-functional wine packaging box display rack from Dongguan Mingfeng Packaging fought off stiff competition to be crowned the most innovative packaging.
Alongside these innovative educational opportunities, the show also hosted over 180 leading suppliers presenting their latest technologies and services to the UK market. Highlights included: Impact Emotion debuting its custom-made metallic cages for perfume bottles; Label Apeel’s new fluorescent pink ink, which glows under UV light; IPL Packaging launching its second-generation Infinity Box and Seufert Transparente Verpackungen unveiling its bio-based PET.
75% of exhibitors rebooked onsite for next year’s show. David Holt, Sales Director at Item Products, is one exhibitor who will be returning: “This is our first time at the show and we were so impressed with it that we rebooked for 2018 before day one had even finished. Easyfairs’ organisation of the event has been top drawer and the staff have been more than helpful.”
Another exhibitor, Paul Batey, Director at Showcase Creative, added: “The show has been amazing. It is our first time at Packaging Innovations London, and our stand has been busier than we could have imagined. On the first day alone we had over 80 business leads and people queueing up to see us. Great show!”
The next Easyfairs packaging event will be Packaging Innovations, Label&Print and Empack 2018, which takes place at Birmingham NEC on 28th February to 1st March 2018.