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Trends and solutions at Packaging Innovations

Packaging innovation within the beverage industry is more important than ever for manufacturers as they look for new ways to meet customers’ changing demands, such as sustainability, size and differentiation, whilst still encouraging them to buy the product. Packaging Innovations (inc. Ecopack and Contract Pack), Label&Print and Empack 2017 return to the NEC Birmingham, on 1-2 March, with plenty of opportunities to learn about the latest innovations, trends and solutions to meet these needs.

A prestigious line-up of packaging professionals has been unveiled as part of the show’s conference programme. It will host over 30 hours of practical and educational content across five theatres, with speakers including Innocent Drinks, Marks & Spencers, Twisted Barrel Ale, Co-Op, Gigglewater, Modelez International and Lucozade Ribena Suntory.

Sustainability is arguably one of the hottest topics in packaging at the moment, and an issue that Innocent Drinks is renowned for taking seriously. With this in mind, its sustainability manager, Simon Reid, will present ‘Leaving things better than we find them’. During his talk, Simon will look at how Innocent ensures its supply chain meets not only environmental and social minimum standards, but how it is constantly striving to reduce waste and the amount of energy and water it uses. He will also explore Innocent’s historical work on pushing the boundaries for packaging, as well as its plans for the next few years.

Anyone looking to add value and increase brand loyalty through functionality will not want to miss the talk by Steven Hind, head of marketing at Lucozade Sport and Lucozade Ribena Suntory, and Heidi Maxwell, managing director of Touch Pack Design. The presentation will explore Lucozade’s desire to entice more people to buy its sports drink by designing a revolutionary drinks bottle, pinpointing the consumer’s need for a lightweight yet strong bottle, addressing three key barriers to purchase; efficacy, value and relevance.

The age of e-commerce has added another level of complexity to the packaging process as organisations must find ways to reduce waste, minimise damage whilst pleasing customers throughout the journey of the package. With this in mind, two of the world’s leading exponents of e-commerce packaging, Amazon’s Brent Nelson, senior manager of WW Packaging, Sustainability, and Justine Mahler, manager of WW Packaging, Sustainability, will give visitors an insight into the best-in-class solutions when designing packaging for e-commerce.

Features will also play a major part in this year’s show, as they provide visitors with invaluable opportunities to learn from the most influential names in the packaging industry. For the first time at Packaging Innovations, Campden BRI, the UK’s largest independent food and drink research body, will be hosting a series of intimate, topical sessions for the FMCG industry. Topics will cover an array of subjects, from packaging defects and food labelling updates, through to food contact materials and openability. Campden BRI will also be hosting a competition for attendees, to see if they can guess the 'foreign body'.

Inclusivity is a hot topic within the industry, as companies consider the impact their packaging design has on consumers. David Wiggins of DRW Packaging Consultants will host the new Inclusivity in Packaging feature, examining how packaging can be more inclusive at the design stage. There will also be a series of interactive sensory experiments designed to test visitors’ motor skills and sight.

The show also welcomes back a firm favourite in the shape of The Drinks Symposium, which will present three case studies examining how, in today’s crowded marketplace, original thinking, a unique story and imaginative packaging can enhance a new product’s desirability and create a strong brand identity. The case studies will be presented by three innovative new drinks brands, Asterley Bros, Brighton Gin and Gigglewater.

Whilst education is a key focus, leading suppliers and innovative products are, as always, at the heart of the show, and this year the showfloor will be busier than ever, with over 350 international suppliers signed up, many of whom are using the event as the global launch for new products and services

Registration is now open. To register for free you can click here, or please visit, and or via the show team on +44 (0)20 8843 8800 or

22 February 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor