One of the largest events for packaging professionals, Pack Expo International, was held October 14-17 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. The show is organized by PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, which represents more than 800 North American manufacturers and suppliers to the packaging and processing industry. This year’s exhibit floor included more than 2,500 exhibitors and more 1.2 million square feet of show floor to explore and organizers expected more than 50,000 attendees, and considering the crowds on the first two days of the event when I attended as an editor for Powder and Bulk Engineering, it’s clear that the show brought many suppliers and their customers together for planned and informal meetings — booths were busy and so were attendees throughout the various show halls.
The show featured many exhibitors for consumer packaging as well as companies serving the industrial packaging market, with a separate hall for pharmaceutical packaging solutions. Another important draw was for professionals seeking networking opportunities and educational sessions. Sessions at the show focused on industry innovations, interactive learning experiences, and sustainable packaging in the supply chain, among other topics.
The show’s organizer, PMMI, also released various infographics forecasting the economic future of the packaging industry just prior to Pack Expo International’s opening day. According to the infographic, the global market for packaging machinery is expected to reach a value of $42.2 billion by 2021 at a predicted 2.8 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) as a result of several variables, including:
- growing middle class
- heightened sustainability concerns
- more spending power in developing regions
- increased popularity of flexible packaging
- demand for smart packaging (QR codes and augmented reality)
- serialization (for the pharmaceutical market where 62 percent of medicines purchased online are fake and substandard)
To view the infographic and to learn more about the packaging industry research from PMMI, visit www.pmmi.org/research
The next Pack Expo trade show in the US will be Pack Expo Las Vegas in September 2019. More information on that show is available at packexpo.com.