Bakers Journal

Pack Expo report reveals key trends

January 2, 2015
By Bakers Journal

Jan. 2, 2015, Reston, VA — Flexibility, sustainability and serialization were among the market drivers recognized in a report on trends at PACK EXPO International and Pharma EXPO 2014 (McCormick Place, Chicago; Nov. 2-5) published in late December by show owner and producer PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.

Final registration reports show over 48,400 attendees coming from more than 130 countries. Mexico and Canada had the greatest representation, followed by China, and the leading vertical markets represented on site were baking/snack, beverage, pharmaceutical/medical devices, prepared foods and dairy. Judging by on-site interviews, the crowd was excited and intrigued by what they encountered.

“The breadth of equipment and exhibitors at PACK EXPO is amazing; it is truly all-encompassing. I’m able to look for new technologies, discover innovations and seek out equipment to retrofit and modernize our production lines. All the vendors and suppliers are here for me to meet,” said attendee Chay Vue, innovation engineering director at Sargento Foods Inc.

PMMI’s reporters, a team of industry veterans, spoke to exhibitors in each of the four exposition halls at McCormick Place.


“To present snapshots of the show, we had to concentrate on the big picture,” says PMMI editorial director Sean. “That meant meetings with 2,352 exhibitors and walking over 1.2 million net square feet of exhibit space.”

The report covers eight distinct trends:

  • Flexible packaging as a replacement for rigid materials — Films are becoming more functional, economical, ecological, and in some cases, antibacterial.
  • Sustainable materials and machines — Sustainability efforts impact a range of action areas, from source reduction to renewable content.
  • Operational flexibility and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) — The axiom “Do more with less” translates into shorter runs, operator turnover, cost control and maximizing OEE.
  • Adaptability in robotics — Robots are no longer relegated to the back of the line. Collaborative designs are allowing robots and operators to work side-by-side.
  • Easy-open/reclose functionality — Portability and individual servings drive demand for multifunctional closures.
  • Retail-ready packaging — Sometimes, secondary packaging is retail ready — it all depends on what the customer wants.
  • Serialization — Thwarting counterfeiting and facilitating regulatory compliance are central objectives for pharmaceutical manufacturers.
  • New ideas in child-resistant (CR) packaging — With stories of poisonings related to detergent pods and marijuana legalization making headlines, child-resistant closures are in high demand.

There’s no charge for the report, which also describes nascent trends, including additive manufacturing (i.e., 3-D printing) for parts production and the use of near field communication to increase the consumer’s interaction with the package.

To download the report, and to learn about the upcoming debut of PACK EXPO East, Feb. 16-18, 2015, The new show brings the innovations of PACK EXPO to the Eastern Seaboard, with more than 300 exhibitors and 4,000 attendees at Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Convention Center. Registration is $30, but increases to $60 after Jan. 21, 2015.

Download the report.

About PMMI
PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, is a trade association representing over 650 packaging and processing supply chain companies that provide a full range of packaging and processing machinery, materials, components and containers. PMMI actively brings buyers and sellers together through programs and events such as the PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows,, PACK EXPO Show Daily, networking events and educational programs.

PMMI organizes the PACK EXPO trade shows: PACK EXPO International, Pharma EXPO, co-located with PACK EXPO International and presented jointly with the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE); PACK EXPO Las Vegas, PACK EXPO East, EXPO PACK México and EXPO PACK Guadalajara, connecting participants in the packaging and processing supply chain with their customers around the world. Coming Up: PACK EXPO East, debuting Feb. 16–18, 2015 (Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia); EXPO PACK Guadalajara 2015, March 10–12 (Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico); EXPO PACK México 2015, June 16–19 (Mexico City, Mexico); PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2015 (Sept. 28-30, Las Vegas Convention Center); Pharma EXPO, co-located with PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2015.

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