Friday, May 22, 2009

Packaging Summit 2009 Review

by Robert Fiedler, CPP - Chainalytics

Several people from our group attended the 2 day IoPP Packaging Summit at the Hyatt Rosemont hotel in Chicago along with over 135 colleagues. The venue included table top exhibits highlighting Adalis amongst a couple dozen others and all of the IoPP AmeriStar packaging winners on display. The meals and breaks were surrounded by all the displays providing opportunities for continuous networking. The evening reception centered within the displays and the reception swelled with the addition of all of the honors and awards recipients including Fellow Members, Honorary Life including Jack Grams from Minneapolis, Member of the Year, Jane Chase and all of the IoPP AmeriStar package design winners.

The presentations were well received and wide ranging with a strong focus on costs and economics and addressing the “New Normal”. Change that is here to stay and that is changing the way business is conducted.

Jim Peters of IoPP described the New Normal as:
• The CFO sitting at the packaging table
• Innovation as the now business strategy
• Sustainability gaining momentum
• Packaging moving up the “Food Chain”
• The growth of contract packaging and manufacturing both in kitting and primary packaging manufacturing.

The Keynote Speaker, Peter Clarke, Founder and CEO of Product Ventures Ltd. addressed “Recession Proof Packaging Strategies… Hard times call for smart thinking.” His six issues focusing on structural packaging with a systems approach included:
• Focusing on the long-term
• Trust is your Brand fortress, resize ethically, compare apples to oranges, don’t greenwash
• Packaging IS advertizing, 24/7
• You can’t compete on cost with store brands, be unique
• Shed what’s not needed – Invest in what is
• Target the sweet spot:
o Improve consumer experience
o Optimize production cost
o Provide the most environmentally friendly option.

The COMPASS presentation by Minal Mistry, Project Manager for Green Blue/Sustainable Packaging Coalition shows how far they have yet to go to create an understandable tool for accurately and consistently producing reputable dependable results on life cycle analysis (LCA). A great start for sure that can be trialed at for one month free and purchased for a license fee of $500/yr for the Coalition Members and $750/year for non-members including 5 seats. The Design Phase Software does not yet include options for either distribution or use data and relies on common industry data bases for metrics to feed the models other areas that will constantly be updated as they are developed.

Tom Blanck of Adalis spoke to one of the largest break out sessions about packaging improvements for sustainability and was well received and appreciated.

Overall, the Summit was an excellent opportunity to renew relationships, add new members to our networks, and keep current with market and sales information and intelligence and to generate new sales leads and reinforce opportunities.

It’s never too early to start looking forward to next year’s Packaging Summit!

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