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Packaging Innovations show preview

Packaging Innovations, which takes place at the NEC on 26 and 27 February 2014, will feature seven co-located shows: Packaging Innovations, Ecopack, Contract Pack, Packtech, Print Innovations, Labelling Innovations and Converting Innovations, covering all parts of the packaging supply chain.

The exhibitors include a large number of companies offering a range packaging solutions for wines, spirits and beer producers and packers. For instance, rigid box manufacturer Pollard Boxes will unveil its latest capabilities in the manufacture of high quality presentation boxes and slipcases up to 330mm deep, ideal for luxury drinks packaging. The company's new fully automatic Emmeci MC2012 MEB, the first of its kind to be installed in the UK, enables boxes to be finished with a variety of high quality decorative options, including film lamination, embossing, screen UV varnish and hot foil stamping; all produced in-house to help reinforce premium brand image on-shelf. 

Those looking to invest in the latest labelling solutions will find plenty of expertise at the show; Epson will be demonstrating the Epson TM-C3500 colour label printer and the GP-C831, rugged inkjet, tractor feed label printer.

KTEC Group will be showcasing its extensive range of Primera label printers, revealing a whole host of label finishes for smaller producers’ right though to larger companies looking for greater production volume, providing the opportunity to totally automate and customise the label.

Intec Printing Solutions will be demonstrating Edge 850 label printer at the show.  It offers high quality printing, on demand, making it profitable for low to medium run print jobs. Printing at lightning speeds - as much as nine meters a minute - the Edge 850 is compact enough to sit on a desk!

HP will be transforming its stand into a ‘digitally printed supermarket’. It will showcase the many consumer items that feature digitally printed labels and packaging that have been printed on HP Indigo Digital Presses, demonstrating the versioning capabilities of HP digital printing technology. Also on display will be secondary packaging that has been printed on HP Scitex Industrial Presses.

Show features

There will be a number of new show features at the show. These include a seminar by The Drinks Report entitled ‘Building a brand’s desirability through creative design

Felicity Murray, editor of, will present a case study on how original and unique designs sell products and help build a brand’s reputation and desirability. This will be held in the International Brand Summit Theatre at 13:30-14:00 pm on the first day of the show, Wednesday 26 February.

The panel, comprising Sion Edwards, founding partner, Warner Edwards Distillery, Simon Pendry, creative director, Blue Marlin brand design agency, and Stuart Kellock, managing director, Label Apeel, will explain how a successful brand platform was created via packaging for UK start-up gin company, Warner Edwards.

Felicity Murray will chair the session commencing with a presentation of the results of a readership survey on the effectiveness of packaging design in the alcoholic beverage sector. She will also announce the winners of the World Drinks Design Awards.

An Eye-Tracking Technology Feature, run by Campden BRI, will provide a unique opportunity to see through the eye of the consumer, understand what drives their spending behaviour and store navigation. This will provide businesses with the necessary information to develop an enhanced strategy for POS, pack design and product positioning. A new Recycling Clinic, run by Recoup, will feature experts providing free, one-to-one recycling advice; and additionally, a 3D Print Feature will enable designers, engineers and educators to test and perfect their work with 3D modelling. 

To keep up with latest issues and trends there will be an array of free-to-attend learnShops seminars, with expert and case study speakers spanning the world of print and packaging. Headlining the exciting line-up of speakers will be packaging guru Lars Wallentin,  drawing upon his experiences after a 40-year career at Nestlé as head of packaging design, as he talks ‘Packaging Sense’ at the show.  

Building on the theme of labels, Sales Manager of CS Labels, Nathan Daniel, will be presenting a seminar dedicated to ‘peel and reveal’ labels. Plus Mike Fairley, MD at Labels & Labelling Consultancy, will be discussing the latest print technologies - new brand and marketing opportunities.

Pack differentiation has certainly been a key driver for the packaging industry; we have all witnessed the success of the Coca-Cola campaign with its personalised packaging to win market share against competitors. So appropriately, Julia Cole, UK and Ireland marketing manager at Hewlett Packard and Trevor Smith from Amberley Adhesive Labels will be hosting a two part seminar describing how digital print helped to deliver the on-going ‘Share a Coke’ campaign within the UK; followed by a broader discussion about how digital can facilitate brand marketing initiatives.

Building on this theme, on the second day of the show, the BIG Print Debate will bring industry experts together to discuss whether the latest print technologies provide brands sound ROI or are simply a gimmick. Print technologies are making packaged products more creative and vivid than ever before, but with 40,000 plus products on sale in an average supermarket, shelf appeal is crucial. Packaging needs to catch the eye of the consumer, but when it comes to delivering the goods are some of the latest print technologies often more trick than treat?

Show favourite, The Big Packaging Debate will also be returning to the NEC, where a panel of packaging experts will form a lively Question Time style session, discussing whether packaging is designed for the consumer or for the supply chain.

Visitors can also get one-to-one personalised advice on any aspect of their packaging from expert professionals at the Packaging Consultancy Clinic, or take part in Lions’ Lair where the audience can grill a selection of brave exhibitors as they pitch their latest innovations to a panel of experts, hoping to be voted best in show.

A drinks reception for all those visiting the show will be held after The Big Packaging Debate at the close of the show on Wednesday providing an opportunity to meet the panel and the rest of the speakers at the show, network with colleagues, new contacts, and exhibitors.

Visitor registration is free via the Packaging Innovations website


27 January 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor