Resuming the growth trajectory of the packaging, food & pharma industries

Ipack-Ima in Milan puts together a composite in a time of new challenges

Valerio Soli, president of Ipack-Ima. Photo IPP

4 May 2022 – The Ipack-Ima shows and programs that began Tuesday the 3rd of May are resuming the growth and innovation of the food, pharma, print, and packaging industries on the scale of specialized global shows. Reflecting the decline of the pandemic and widespread vaccination availability in much of the developed world, it is a resilient step after 25 months of the Covid-19 pandemic that disrupted most industries and postponed and canceled most major industry in-person shows.

However new disruptions and challenges have emerged, this time entirely man-made, which many of the more than 1,100 exhibitors are and their customers are still contending with. The shortages of raw materials and chips have affected most machine and technology manufacturers and the logistics crisis and the shortage of containers and ships (many still stuck in Shanghai harbor) have driven up prices and extended lead times with an added dose of uncertainty. 

Exhibitors of packaging printing and converting equipment say that although they have tried to absorb some of the costs, the prices to consumers have gone up by as much as 15 to 20%. They do not seem to expect a huge number of customers to digest these increases easily and if they do to tolerate uncertain deliveries of as long as eight months. 

The show began with the usual inaugural events including the press conference of the World Packaging Conference which used it not only to talk about its World Packaging Awards Gala Ceremony on the 4th evening but also the release of its Packaging Design for Recycling Guide that has been released in more than 20 languages. To be made accessible across the world with plans to eventually document its implementation in each country, it is a breakthrough for an industry in which recycling is too often an afterthought, and designers are seldom informed or educated at the beginning of the process.

Pierre Piennar, the president of the World Packaging Organisation. Photo PSA

Valerio Soli, president of Ipack-Ima spoke about the importance of the World Packaging Awards being presented during the show by the World Packaging Organization as a welcome collaboration that combines the strengths of the two platforms in joint purpose. Pierre Piennar, the president of the WPO spoke of the organization’s mission of a “better quality of life, and the urgency of its environment and sustainability mission and commitment to these through engineering, technology, material science, and education.” The head of the still growing organization with members from 60 countries said that his focus is to “support local industry, especially in the developing world. To enable them to compete with the developing world is my focus.”

The impact, resilience, and growth of responsible packaging in a wide region are daily chronicled by Packaging South Asia.

A multi-channel B2B publication and digital platform such as Packaging South Asia is always aware of the prospect of new beginnings and renewal. Its 16-year-old print monthly, based in New Delhi, India has demonstrated its commitment to progress and growth. The Indian and Asian packaging industries have shown resilience in the face of ongoing challenges over the past three years.

As we present our publishing plan for 2023, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2023 will reach 6.3%. Packaging industry growth has exceeded GDP growth even when allowing for inflation in the past three years.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 33% over the past three years. With orders in place, we expect another 33% capacity addition from 2023 to 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels have grown similarly. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

Even given the disruptions of supply chains, raw material prices, and the challenge of responsible and sustainable packaging, packaging in all its creative forms and purposes has significant headroom to grow in India and Asia. Our context and coverage engulf the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and further – to waste collection and recycling. We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers.

In an admittedly fragmented and textured terrain, this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing support communication – in our impactful and highly targeted business platform. Tell us what you need. Speak and write to our editorial and advertising teams! For advertisement , for editorial and for subscriptions

– 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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