The Sustainable and Innovative Packaging Masterclass, which takes place at Africa’s Big Seven Food and Beverage trade expo at Gallagher Convention Centre, in Midrand, later this month, will show delegates how sustainable materials and innovative packaging design can transform their product offerings into market leaders.
Sustainability and innovation are two key drivers in today’s packaging industry. There is growing pressure on manufacturers and product developers to go green and increasing consumer demand for innovative packaging is challenging the industry. These factors are also providing companies with opportunities to gain a competitive edge in the industry, says exhibition management company Exhibition Management Services.
The masterclass is aimed at packaging managers, brand managers, product developers, plant managers, package designers, purchasing managers and food labelling managers.
“With 70% of all purchasing decisions made in-store, and consumers spending an average of only 20 minutes in a store at any given time, packaging is a critical factor in influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions,” says product identification solutions company Pyrotec sales and marketing manager Stephen Beattie, who will address the delegates.
“Packaging has progressed from an informational tool to an identification tool and, more recently, an experience tool. It is mostly about the brand’s ability to grab consumers’ attention, relate to their own identities and create an emotional connection.
“The green route will remain one of the main consumer drivers. The demand for sustain- able, environment-friendly packaging is greater than ever before, as it meets consumers’ desire for their purchases to serve a greater purpose,” he explains.
According to market research company Freedonia, demand for sustainable packaging in the US alone is expected to reach $41.7-billion by 2014.
Further, other topics that will be discussed at the masterclass include ‘A practical guide to the regulation of labelling and advertising of foodstuffs’, which will be presented by labelling solutions company LabelPak director and sales manager Barry Skjoldhammer.
Legal firm Hahn & Hahn Attorneys technical specialist Janet Tomkow will give a presentation on ‘Exploring the Consumer Protection Act’, while brand agency company The Brand Union Africa executive creative director Janet Kinghorn will present ‘Thinking outside the box’ in terms of packaging solutions.
Meanwhile, design and product consultancy Osiris Packaging Consulting & Design’s Lister Alexander will present ‘How to differentiate your product in the market with specialised packaging’, with biodegradable container manufacturer Green Home Products regional manager Phindi Dlamini giving a presentation on ‘Disposable food service products’.
Packaging Companies at the Expo
“Africa’s Big Seven will give us the exposure we are looking for to go hand in hand with our philosophy, ‘A world of opportunities’,” says plastic packaging producer and supplier Astrapak group marketing executive Charles Muller.
He believes that the expo will provide a solid networking foundation to spread the Astrapak message to the rest of Africa. Astrapak employs over 4 000 people, has an annual turnover of around R3-billion and offers a wide range of flexible and rigid packaging solutions.
Packaging and labelling machinery company J-Pak, which is a repeat exhibitor at the expo, will also showcase its metal detectors, conveyors and linx printers.
“Africa’s Big Seven is a world-class exhibi- tion. Our previous experience was great and we had a very good response. There were quality visitors and we were able to get great business,” says J-Pak sales director Tim Gordon.
“Last year, we were able to get a lot of enquiries for new business and we are hoping to get the same from this year’s exhibition, which will help us expand more into the African market. We are currently doing business in Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe and would like to expand even further,” he adds.