• The CPX Team

A 6 Pack Takeaway from Packaging Innovations 2019

Updated: Sep 17, 2019

How do you condense a fully packed day at Packaging Innovations & Luxury Packaging London 2019 into a 4 minute read?...Fraser Church gives it a try, listing 6 of the main takeaways from his day at one of the most engaging shows in town!

1. Creativity

The importance of making a brand stand out within an increasingly competitive retail environment cannot be underestimated. As much creativity is now going into brands’ packaging, as it is into advertising the product.

The Pentawards showcased the shortlisted 12 most creative pieces of work, including creative egg and tea boxes, and simple but beautifully designed and fun bluetooth headset packaging. Click here to visit the pentawards website to find out who comes out on top at tonight's ceremony.

2. Digital Creating Opportunities

A number of carton manufacturers, label printers and design agencies were extolling the benefits that digital print can deliver the packaging industry. The subject was touched on by a number of speakers including Neil Farmer from Neil Farmer Associates a specialist global packaging research consultancy, who shared examples of where smaller challenger brands, for example NovelTea, can now enjoy the same design quality as larger businesses, due to the ability to produce shorter runs of labels of varying designs, at affordable prices.

Digital has also opened the door to produce different designs, efficiently and within short notice for brands to put design concepts into consumer research. It has also opened the door for pack personalisation, with web-to-print platforms allowing consumers to personalise gift and product outer packaging, a growing and profitable trend in the market.

Finally, the environmental and commercial benefits of producing only the volumes required was raised. Businesses now only have to order the quantity they require rather than bulking up volumes to justify a potentially larger litho print run. This is good for the inventory, and great for reducing potential wastage.

CPX members, who all come from a digital print background, are embracing how their knowledge of producing and managing digital print, including data led output, can be of great value tp the packaging market. We have already seen Be’eri, Leaderform and TKS diversify into this exciting market and am sure others will follow.

3. Connected Packaging

Cameron Worth from SharpEnd gave an engaging talk on how brands can connect with customers both at the point of sale and throughout their customer journey, by using NFC technology to link the packaging to online resources.

The essence from Cameron’s session was, that it was not about being smart, but about providing a useful and entertaining experience for the customer – for example learning about a wine, how to pair it with food and sharing your consumption with others!

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As customers increasingly want to know about the provenance of products, we anticipate the connectivity of packaging, whether it be through NFC or unique digital print, will help brands build trust and relationships with their customers, with CPX member Leaderform already embracing the technology.

4. Anti-Counterfeiting

Neil Farmer also highlighted one of the biggest growth areas of brand protection and provenance. A staggering 2.5% of Luxury Goods purchased globally are actually counterfeit! The use of digital print, NFC and blockchain technology, linked with online platforms are one of the major tools brands and their print partners are working to protect both the customer and their brand.

CPX member TKS, a print business with a deep history of security print, are at the forefront of developing solutions to help brands ensure their customers only receive authentic products.

5. Thinking Outside the Box (or packet, or bottle!)

Creativity need not come from the design, but also the materials used and the format in which they were executed. Label Apeel showed how Copperfield Gin not only used the exquisitely designed front of their label to convey the brand identity, but also used the reverse to include the original recipe.

The use of print and finishing techniques can really help bring a brand to life from afar; as an example, CPX member Prografix from Poland use metallic paint in marketing collateral to help convey the experience of quality automobile manufacturers.

Creativity of how packaging could be used as part of the cooking and eating experience was evidenced and I saw packaging that introduced flavours at a pre-determined time in the cooking process plus packs cleverly introducing spoons into the presentation as well as the a wide range of engaging, fun food pouch formats from Schur.

6. Sustainability

Leaving perhaps the biggest talking point to last, concerned the discussion around limiting any impact packaging may have on the environment.

There were some really incredible compostable flow wraps, new materials such as grass paper and numerous ways to reduce the use of plastics. One of the CPX members, Leaderform has already embraced using non-plastic materials for producing quality plastic free carrier bags, based on demand from brands, and also their commitment as a business to help the planet.

Finally, Carlsberg proudly shared how they had rethought the traditional 6 pack of beer, removing the plastic ring fixing to replace it with a more environmentally friendly glue dot Snap Pack. An example of great lateral thinking from one of the world's major brands.

There were also dedicated talk tracks and panel discussions, with standing room only at the highly attended session, where brands, agencies and manufacturers learned how they could play their part in perhaps the main topic of conversation in our industry for now, and also years to come.

Article by Fraser Church, General Manager of CPX Group

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