Successful Ipack-Ima overcomes industry stasis

A resumption of global food, pharma & packaging momentum

Ipack-Ima 2000 entrance
Global participation in Ipack-Ima the first large international exhibition for the food, non-food and pharma industries since more than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic Photo Ipack-Ima

The live return of Ipack-Ima, the first international exhibition for the processing and packaging sector in 2022, demonstrated the synthesis of accessible technological solutions with research and innovation. The integration of Pharmintech in the Milan event thanks to the agreement with the Bologna Fiere Group, brought the life sciences and pharmaceutical processes and packaging segments to Fiera Milano. It improved the 4-day event since many technologies and suppliers are common to food, non-food, and pharma.

Solutions developed over the past several years were finally unveiled at Fiera Milano to an international audience that included Asian, African, and Latin American visitors brought to the fair with considerable effort by the organizers. The overseas visitors responded to the opportunity. Their participation and articulation of investment requirements and demands is a valuable interaction with future markets.

Pasta food
Food processing, pasta at Ipack-Ima 2022 in Milan
Photo Ipack-Ima

The exhibits and conferences on materials and sustainability demonstrated a high level of relevance, especially for emerging markets that are growing and investing in the food, non-food, and pharma industries. At this first opportunity to reconnect with innovations and appropriate technologies, it was significant to note that every major global supplier at the exhibition had ongoing operations or representation in India and a footprint of existing customers in the subcontinent.

The exhibition was a combination of related disciplines, applications, and business ecosystems, that often overlap in their use of technologies and objectives of efficiency, sustainability, and the need to reduce their carbon footprint. The international cross-fertilization of requirements, demands, regulations, and technology is necessary for understanding, innovative solutions and markets.

Sustainability, automation, and digitalization were confirmed at Ipack-Ima, where, the organizers say, over 2,000 product and process innovations in the food and non-food sectors were presented. Content and innovation also featured in the more than 25 update and networking events, including the international forum Packaging Speaks Green, the Best Packaging innovation awards, the presentation of the WPO’s Design for Packaging Recycling Guides, and the prestigious World Star Awards.

Beverage can filling
Beverage filling and packing at Ipack-Ima 2022 in Milan
Photo Ipack-Ima

The Ipack-Ima Smart Factory and Ipack-Ima Digital evoked the future of manufacturing for visitors. Ipack-Mat showcased all packaging materials with over 180 exhibitors and a special area dedicated to smart and eco-design-inspired packaging in cooperation with Conai, Ipack-Mat’s main partner and a key player in the circularity paradigm.

Italian industrial tradition

“Observing the stands of our exhibitors animated by visitors from all over the world, motivated to request information on innovative technologies, present their projects and discuss production needs for food, beverage, confectionery, pasta, but also for chemical-pharmaceutical products, industrial and durable goods, is of great satisfaction for us,” said Rossano Bozzi, CEO of Ipack Ima.

“Considering the path that brought us to the show, Ipack-Ima went beyond our best expectations with 1,166 exhibitors, 24% of whom were from abroad, 59,837 professional operators visiting from over 122 countries, and almost 400 accredited international trade journalists,” she added.

“We can say that we have achieved an important result in terms of innovation, sustainability, business opportunities, and technology transfer, in line with Ipack-Ima’s mission which, let’s not forget, is rooted in the Italian industrial tradition. We have been catalyzing the creativity and innovation of our exhibitors since the 1960s, to push the market towards solutions that are always cutting-edge and able to anticipate trends, responding to the needs of constantly evolving customers all over the world.”


The life sciences market also played a significant role in this edition of Ipack-Ima, with Pharmintech’s specialized process and packaging solutions for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. The simultaneity was a further example of the synergy between complementary industrial sectors. It also helped to consolidate visitors and their motivation for attending the fair at a time when trade exhibitions are still restarting and finding their place in the calendar – amongst global industry visitors with apprehensions about the need to travel.

Catalyzing momentum

Velerio Soli Pack-Ima, Pharmintech
“Pharmintech has complemented the technological proposal of Ipack-Ima 2022, which represents an industrial excellence that is not always adequately exploited in Italy,” said Valerio Soli, president of Ipack-Ima.
Photo Ipack-Ima

“Pharmintech has complemented the technological proposal of Ipack-Ima 2022, which represents an industrial excellence that is not always adequately exploited in Italy,” said Valerio Soli, president of Ipack-Ima. “With more than 8 billion Euro in total turnover and exports exceeding 70%, our sector can rightly be considered one of the country’s locomotives. It is no coincidence that the exhibitors gave life to a lively event rich in ideas and extraordinary networking and business opportunities. With the awareness that we have overcome a certainly not easy moment and thanks to the success of this edition, we have already set the dates for the next Ipack-Ima, scheduled from 27 to 30 May in 2025.”

Ipack-Ima will again be part of The Innovation Alliance project in 2025 at Fiera Milano as Print4All, GreenPlast, and Intralogistica Italia simultaneously present the entire production chain in a single event with strong international appeal.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy.


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