Evolving trend great opportunity for packaging machinery suppliers

Strength in North American packaging market

Charles D. Yuska, president and chief executive officer, The Association of Packaging & Processing Technologies

PMMI represents more than 800 North American manufacturers and suppliers of equipment, components and materials as well as providers of related equipment and services to the packaging and processing industry. The North American market for packaging machinery is valued at $11 billion and represents 19% of the global market for packaging machinery. The total imports of the US, Canada and Mexico make up 22% of the global import of packaging machinery.

Talking about some of the key global packaging trends, Yuska said the greater consumer awareness about health and wellness has led to more recycling and discussion of environmental issues. Move towards healthier eating is driving machine technologies, as it forces packaging and processing machinery to comply with new standards. Also, the batches being processed are getting smaller.
According to Yuska, the latest technological trends revolve around an increase in usage of inspection systems for detection of errors, rise in demand for flexible equipment with easier changeover and growing demand for highly automated equipment combining numerous operations into one. He also shared that many food manufacturers are now looking for new technologies to extend shelf for delivering fresher and safer food. Sustainable packaging is now a key factor influencing minimal packaging waste.

In the developed markets, increased travel, busy lifestyle and growing health consciousness have created a huge demand for convenient yet healthy packaging. This translates into demand for different portion sizes, said Yuska adding this also means shift in retail landscape from traditional grocery stores to specialized and convenient stores. The largest growth seen, especially in America, is in new specialized stores which offer select products.

“Changes in the retail landscape are creating an explosion in SKUs as each retail segment clamours for multiple sizes of items and tries to differentiate from others,” Yuska said. It is under this evolving environment that processing and packaging machinery suppliers face increased demand for flexible equipment that can handle frequent changeovers; and these machine manufacturers are seeking innovation to meet these demands.

Biggest ever Pack Expo Las Vegas
These evolving trends offer great opportunity for the industry and lending a platform to these further will be Pack Expo Las Vegas, which takes place on 25-27 September 2017, Yuska stated. The event is expected to see 45,000 packaging professionals, 2,000 exhibitors on 800,000 square feet of space and will be the biggest ever Pack Expo Las Vegas. PMMI also organizes Pack Expo International that is held in Chicago. Both Pack Expo Las Vegas and Pack Expo International are held every alternate year.

Since the last interpack, PMMI has two new events to its portfolio of trade shows: Pack Expo East and ProFood Tech.

Editors note: Our live coverage of Metpack and interpack by Ron Augustin, Shardul Sharma and Naresh Khanna will appear in the print and eMagazine versions of the June issue of Packaging South Asia dated 7 June 2017, which goes to press on 30 May 2017. Editorial inputs and advertising queries for both web and print channels can be sent to interpackreview@ippgroup.in.