Pack-Market Portal International Edition

Trends in food and beverage processing and packaging

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Trends in food and beverage processing and packaging discussed at Anuga FoodTec 2018

Consumer desire is a fundamental driver for change in the food sector as this has a direct influence on production processes and subsequent packaging, according to Carola K. Herbst from the DLG’s (German Agricultural Society) Food Competence Center. Speaking at Anuga FoodTec 2018, which took place in Cologne in Germany, she said the lifestyle of consumers dictated what and how people want to eat.
“Experience from the German market shows that consumers are getting older; eating more flexibly outside the home; eating ideologically or in line with religious beliefs; and their diets reflect individual values as they attempt to optimize their physical and mental performance,” added Herbst.

As a result, packaging has to address all these factor and is a direct interface with the consumer and has to be designed in a way that communicates messages clearly. It needs to reach the consumer on an emotional level, and meet the growing desire for natural packaging materials, as well as conveying other ideals such as beauty, well-being, health and fitness.
Visitors to Anuga FoodTec have had the opportunity to learn about the latest trends in food and beverage processing and packaging. A formal conference and forum program – co-organized by the DLG – and the opportunity to meet leading trade exhibitors and network with other visitors from around the world, all allowed those involved in the food sector to get up-to-date with the hot topics in the industry. These included the opportunity to exploit mobile and digital technology in modern packaging, said Herbst.

“Smart packaging offers an additional function with integrated technologies,” she added. “These are chemically or electronically based and are used in a market-driven or consumer-oriented manner. Data carriers can inform consumers about the origin or ingredients of a product, while special indicator substances can indicate the degree of freshness or the temperature of the product.”
To meet consumers’ desires, investment in new technologies and processes would be required, but product quality and manufacturing costs also had to be optimized. In addition, the food sector had to address concerns about sustainability and resource efficiency.

“With the world's population rising dramatically, increasing demand for processed food, especially in emerging economies, bottlenecks in water and energy supply, and the incalculable consequences of global climate change, resource efficiency is increasingly becoming the focus of attention,” said Herbst. “The DLG’s ‘Trend Monitor 2018 – Investments and Trends in the Food and Beverage Industry’ report says investments in new technologies for the reduction of water, cold, heat and electricity loads and in energy management are particularly in demand in the next three years.”

Another important theme this year is the use of plastics in food packaging, particularly as the European Commission was currently focusing on the issue of waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET) because of China’s import ban on plastic waste put into force earlier this year.

“The trend towards recycling PET has already reached a high level in Germany,” said Herbst. “More than 97 percent of bottle PET was already recycled in 2015 thanks to a deposit scheme. Both recycling and upcycling lead to a reuse of the PET, with the difference being that upcycling produces a higher-quality secondary product. Newly developed processes enable the high-quality recirculation of PET, thus reducing the consumption of new plastics.”


WorldStar Awards ceremony 2018 and 2019

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PMMI, from USA, sponsors WPO.

April 2018 - Due to the prestige of the WorldStar Awards, the unique and exclusive global packaging competition organized by WPO (World Packaging Organisation –, U.S. WPO member PMMI (The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies), organizer and producer of the PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows, has renewed its sponsorship of the WorldStar Awards Ceremony for the next two years (2018 and 2019). This year the gala ceremony and dinner will take place on May 2nd, on Gold Coast, Australia.

The Ceremony is scheduled for the same week of the 1st WPO Board Meeting of 2018 and will be hosted by local member, AIP (Australian Institute of Packaging). On the same night, winners of the ANZ PIDA Awards, the Australian/New Zealand packaging competition, will be announced.

According to Pierre Pienaar, President of WPO, “for several years the partnership between PMMI and WPO for the WorldStar Awards ceremony has been very successful. We have no doubt the gala evening is the perfect environment for PMMI to promote their packaging shows´ brand, PACK EXPO”. WPO is a long term partner of PMMI at those shows; the Organisation participates in PACK EXPO International and PACK EXPO Las Vegas with an institutional booth as part of the Partner´s Program.

At those occasions, WPO has the chance to promote its projects, especially the education. The next edition of PACK EXPO International will take place in Chicago (USA), from 14 to 17 October 2018. “Winning a WorldStar is among the highest award a package can receive, making PMMI’s sponsorship an easy decision,” said Jim Pittas, President and CEO of PMMI. “We are truly honored to have an international organization, on the caliber as the WPO, associated with PMMI and our PACK EXPO portfolio of tradeshows.”

A record number of 200 winners will be awarded during the WorldStar Awards ceremony in Australia this May. The number of winners, by category: Beverages 40 (from 64 entries); Electronics 7 (9 entries);  Food 42 (69 entries); Health & Personal Care 12 (17 entries); Household 9 (14 entries); Labelling & Decoration 3 ( 7 entries); Luxury 6 (out of 11), Medical & Pharmaceutical 20 (out of 26 entries); Other 13 (25 entries), Packaging Materials & Components 21 (35 entries); Point of Sale 6 (out of 12) and Transit 21 (out of 29).

Japan received the highest number of awards – 26, closely followed by India, with 24. The full list of winners, by countries and categories, can be viewed at – worldstars - awards, including the winners of the Special Award categories - President’s Award, Sustainability Award, Marketing Award and Packaging that Saves Food.


EU waste legislation recognises benefits of bioplastics

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Revised legislative package on waste acknowledges that bioplastics play a key role in achieving EU recycling goals.

The provisional agreements reached by the European Council and Parliament on the EU waste legislative package published by the Commission in 2015, recognise the benefits of bioplastics. The new legislation acknowledges that bio-based feedstock for plastic packaging as well as compostable plastics for separate bio-waste collection contribute to more efficient waste management and help to reduce the impacts of plastic packaging on the environment. The legislative package includes the revision of the Waste Framework Directive and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.

“Bioplastics are recognised for their circular nature. Both directives emphasise the potential of bio-based mechanically recyclable and bio-based compostable plastic packaging to foster a European circular economy”, says François de Bie, Chairman of European Bioplastics (EUBP), the association for the bioplastics industry in Europe, and adds: “Substituting fossil-based feedstock with renewable resources is a key transition that is supported by this new legislation.”

The revised Waste Framework Directive allows biodegradable and compostable packaging to be collected together with the bio-waste and recycled in industrial composting and anaerobic digestion, which has already successfully been implemented in several Member States. By 2023, separate collection of bio-waste is set to be mandatory throughout Europe. Biodegradable plastics verifiably help to collect more bio-waste and ultimately contribute to reaching the new recycling targets. Relevant European standards, such as the harmonized standard EN 13432 for industrially compostable plastic packaging can serve as basis for future standards for composting outlined in the agreed revision.

The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive acknowledges that bio-based plastics help to minimise the environmental impacts of plastic packaging and to reduce Europe’s dependence on imported raw materials. Bio-based and recycled materials are equally viable solutions to make packaging more sustainable. While Member States are encouraged to promote the use of bio-based recyclable packaging and bio-based compostable packaging, the European legislators miss the chance to introduce concrete legislative measures stimulating their use and improving market conditions for such products.

Furthermore, the agreed text makes a clear distinction between biodegradable compostable plastics and so-called oxo-degradable plastics, which shall not be considered biodegradable. This position has also been integrated in the recently published EU Strategy on Plastics, which aims to restrict the use of oxo-degradable plastics.

More information on the performance of bioplastics in industrial composting can be found here >> 
Information on oxo-degradable plastics is available here >>


Printed electronics moves into everyday life

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Printed electronics opens up new potentials in the healthcare sector, and also the automotive industry continues to be a strong driver in the development of new applications for it.

From OLEDs to intelligent packaging: From March 13 to 15, LOPEC in Munich (Germany) showcased groundbreaking developments in flexible electronics. The LOPEC Conference provided important stimuli for application, research and development. The topic of wellbeing was a recurring theme throughout exhibition, conference and supporting program.

“LOPEC once again confirmed its status as a visionary platform for the industry. This is where trends are being set,” emphasizes Falk Senger, Managing Director of Messe München. “The topic of wellbeing in particular turned out to be a market of the future with high growth potential.” Dr. Klaus Hecker, Managing Director of the OE-A (Organic and Printed Electronics Association) also sees the wide range of applications in this area, which includes the pharmaceutical and medical industries as well as the sports industry: “The properties of organic and printed electronics make the technology particularly interesting for the medical sector. Unlike conventional sensors, printed sensors are ultra-thin and flexible. They can be worn directly on the skin. This makes, for instance, the measurement of long-term ECGs more comfortable for patients.”

The exhibitors and OE-A members Brewer Science, the Swiss Research and Development Center CSEM, Holst Centre and the Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT presented additional new developments in the field of medical sensor technology and smart textiles.

Innovation platform for the automotive industry
The automotive industry continues to be a strong driver in the development of new applications for printed electronics. Ashutosh Tomar, Principal Engineer (Research) at Jaguar Land Rover, sees great opportunities for printed electronics in the field of autonomous driving and electro mobility: “The car of the future is filled with electronics. From entertainment systems for the driver to sensors for monitoring the environment. Without printed electronics, there would be no room left for passengers. The need for innovation and implementation capabilities is substantial.”

LOPEC Conference: international exchange of know-how

Researchers, developers and industry representatives from numerous industries spent three days discussing the potential and current applications of printed electronic components. With 188 conference presentations, the participants were given a comprehensive overview of the diverse aspects of printed electronics. Wolfgang Mildner, General Chair of LOPEC, is delighted with the tremendous reception: “The LOPEC Congress once again demonstrated the importance of interdisciplinary work for problem solving. Networking with peers from all over the world provides important impulses for advancing the technology and realizing new applications.”

LOPEC 2018 in numbers
About 2,500 participants from 51 countries attended the tenth edition of the international exhibition for printed electronics. Hence, the figures are at the same level as for the previous event. Besides Germany, the top visitor countries were Austria, Great Britain, Switzerland and France. According to the independent participant survey conducted by Gelszus Messe-Marktforschung, LOPEC received top marks. 97 percent of the respondents rated LOPEC as overall excellent to good. In addition, 76 percent of the participants stated that they wanted to visit LOPEC again next year (as compared to 64 percent in 2017). The 153 exhibitors came from 21 countries. 51 percent came from abroad. The exhibition space increased by six percent compared with the previous year.

The next LOPEC will take place from March 19 to 21, 2019.


World’s first fully renewable package at the Museum of Brands

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Tetra Pak delivers more than half a billion fully renewable packages.

Tetra Pak has now delivered more than half a billion packs of Tetra Rex® Bio-based, the world’s first beverage carton to be manufactured entirely from renewable materials. The landmark event was announced at the Museum of Brands, in London, where the package, is featured in a new sustainability display, opening to the public.

Tetra Rex® Bio-based, which was launched in October 2014, is manufactured solely from Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) certified and controlled sources paperboard, together with plastics derived from sugar cane, all traceable to their origins.

Packages made from renewable materials are essential for preserving the environment for future generations. Renewable resources can be replenished naturally over time and enable a move away from fossil fuel-based materials, reducing the environmental impact as well as improving resource efficiency.

Christina Chester, Product Director at Tetra Pak said, “We are delighted to see the growing popularity of Tetra Rex Bio-based among customers. Packages made entirely from renewable materials are not only good for the planet, but also good for brands that seek to differentiate themselves with stronger environmental messages. With everything traceable to its plant origin, consumers are assured that the package they hold in their hands is derived entirely from plants.”

Chris Griffin, CEO, Museum of Brands said: “It is good to hear about the significant progress Tetra Pak is making in terms of delivering fully-renewable packages. They are offering brands more sustainable packaging at a time when environment is top-of-mind among consumers, and people want to make more environmentally sound choices.”

The Sustainable Packaging display opens at the Museum of Brands, and will be showing a selection of initiatives that help reduce the burden of packaging on the environment.


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