Innovative packaging materials at drinktec 2013

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Drinks containers and the impact of sustainability

There are many demands on beverages packaging. Apart from protecting the liquid content, these range from responsible sourcing of raw materials, proper product information, the right marketing appeal and eco-friendly disposal. Sustainability criteria play an important role. Just how all this can be combined will be showcased at drinktec 2013: The “World’s Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry”, which takes place at the Messe Mьnchen exhibition center from September 16 to 20, 2013.

Technology meets marketing: The Innovation Flow Lounge at drinktec
Packaging is about much more than simply the material from which it is made. It also transports emotional messages to the end consumer. An ideal packaging has to be attractive and informative, and it has to be able to carry the desired brand messages. There are many ways of achieving this: through the printing, print-finishing and even choice of unusual shapes – modern technology is making many things possible and giving marketeers a huge range of options for implementing creative ideas. And because the packaging has such a critical role to play in the consumerґs decision to purchase or not, then much depends on the dialog between the technical people and the marketing professionals. drinktec 2013 has set itself the goal of promoting and facilitating that dialog. Petra Westphal, Messe Mьnchenґs Exhibition Group Director with responsibility for drinktec, explains just how this is to work: “For networking, dialog and the exchange of ideas, we are setting up the Innovation Flow Lounge at the West Entrance at drinktec 2013. Its motto is: ‘Technology meets Marketing’. But we are not simply leaving that dialog between technicians and marketeers to chance – instead we are providing a structured forum in which this can happen. Among the many events, for example, are chaired panel discussions. In the future it will be even more important for technology experts and product developers to develop a feeling for the needs of marketing – and vice versa.” “Focus on Packaging and Marketing” is the title of a forum event on Thursday afternoon (September 19) in Hall A2. This promises to be an unmissable event for all drinktec visitors who are involved in any way with innovative packaging materials.

Rising trend: QR codes
A key trend that is becoming ever more important in this context is the digitalization of marketing communication. QR codes on packaging are spreading rapidly. In autumn 2013 drinktec will also be the place for visitors to find out about these new techniques and technologies. One of these visitors is Uwe Stoffels, Spokesman for BCME Deutschland and, since 2001, Manager Marketing Communications at Ball Packaging Europe – he has high hopes of drinktec: “As the leading international trade show for the beverages industry, drinktec 2013 is a must for us and the ideal platform for talking with experts from the sector. We are looking forward to picking up some new and exciting ideas this year in September.” And indeed there will be plenty of inspiration at drinktec 2013 for all the trade visitors.

Renaissance of glass
The dominant trends in packaging at drinktec 2013 are: intelligent product protection, consumer convenience and resource-efficient technology, the latter of course including recycling. For Dr. Johann Overath, Principal Managing Director of the Bundesverband Glasindustrie e.V. (Federal Association of the German Glass Industry), drinktec is just the right forum for verifying these requirements: “Glass packaging has always been a part of the beverages market. For wine, sparkling wine, beer and spirits, almost exclusively glass bottles are used. For this reason drinktec, too, is very important for us, because the customers of the glass-container industry come to this forum.” In the view of Dr. Johann Overath there are currently two main trends in glass packaging: “On the one hand there is increasing public focus on sustainability. And on the other, in particular as regards mineral water, we are seeing a real renaissance in glass. And in trend beverages, too, we are seeing glass bottles being used for new and innovative drinks.”

Popularity of cans on the up again
Glass is 100% recyclable, and so, too, are beverage cans. In Germany, we are seeing a return to the use of cans as containers for beverages. Since the introduction of deposits on disposable containers in 2003, beverage-can sales have only now broken back through the billion barrier. In 2011 sales of this type of can were at over 1.1 billion, a rise of around 19% or 175 million, over the previous year.

Even back in 2006 the three biggest beverage can manufacturers – Europeґs Ball Packaging Europe, Rexam Beverage Can Europe & Asia and Crown Bevcan Europe & Middle East – were seeing an upwards trend. These companies are members of BCME, Beverage Can Makers Europe, and all of them will be at drinktec 2013.

For Welf Jung, Spokesman for BCME Deutschland and, since 2007, Sales and Marketing Director Germany at Rexam Beverage Can Europe, the advantages for cans lie in their variety of formats and designs, the ideal product protection they offer and in terms of convenience and recycling: “Increasing mobility, the global battle against food wastage and a rising awareness of sustainability are trends in society and good reasons why people are choosing the beverages can. New segments where cans are currently making good ground include health drinks with sensitive ingredients and wines. With the latter in particular the can is the key to reaching a young, mobile target group.”

Glow-in-the-dark cans in the shape of an orange…
Manufacturers are currently working on functional improvements to cans, in terms of better convenience and reduced material consumption. They are also trying out innovative new looks and even a new feel for cans. One example is the development of thermochromic beverages cans, which change color as they cool down. Another idea is for fluorescent cans that glow in UV light, for use in particular in discotheques and clubs. Tactile cans feel different because of their raised surface designs and they also have visual appeal. All-round modeling, for example, can be used to suggest to the consumer, both visually and through touch, that he is holding an orange, for example. Consumers at the moment particularly like slim cans, and in 2013 a self-cooling can is being launched, on the market in time for drinktec 2013, which in September offers an ideal opportunity for finding out about all the latest developments in the technology and design of packaging.”

PET continues to gain ground
Glass and metal are well established, well researched packaging materials. With the tremendous global success of PET bottles, themes like barrier effect have emerged. Much innovative research is being carried out to develop ever more effective barrier layers. This is an important theme, because PET is becoming more and more popular. Of around 785 billion liters of filled beverages in 2010, worldwide around 35% were filled into PET containers, according to PETnology Europe. That made PET the No. 1 packaging material in the segment of non-carbonated water and it is increasingly being used in the filling of alcoholic drinks like beer, wine and spirits. By 2014, according to the forecasts, PET containers will account for a market share of 43%, beating cans as a packaging material for non-alcoholic beverage refreshments into second place.

PET containers for the traditional beverage of beer
Even the beer keg market is now opening up to the use of PET. With the general tendency towards smaller and lighter-weight pack sizes and the increasing problem of theft of the traditional stainless-steel kegs (because of its valuable raw material), lightweight disposable beer barrels are now attractive. Recently the first PET can also came out on the market, but at this stage it is only available for aerosols. Perhaps the PET can will already have made its mark on the beverages market in time for drinktec 2013? Another worldґs first is a cardboard can in which for the first time carbonated beverages can be filled into cardboard material. Cellulose-based packaging for non-carbonated drinks has been on the market for some time, but this is a brand new development for carbonated beverages. Further news on this front may well be available at drinktec 2013.

Further information:
Click here for photos of drinktec.

About drinktec
drinktec is the “World’s Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry”. It is the most important trade fair for the sector. Manufacturers and suppliers from all over the world – global companies and SMEs alike – meet up here with all sizes of producers and retailers of beverages and liquid food products. Within the sector drinktec is regarded as the number one platform for launching new products on the world market. At this event manufacturers present the latest technology for processing, filling, packaging and marketing all kinds of beverages and liquid food – raw materials and logistics solutions included. The themes of beverages marketing and packaging design round off the portfolio.
drinktec 2013, which takes place at the Messe Mьnchen exhibition center in Munich, from September 16 to 20, 2013, is expected to attract around 1,500 exhibitors from over 70 countries and approximately 60,000 visitors from more than 170 countries.

About oils+fats
Taking place in parallel with drinktec 2013 is oils+fats, from September 18 to 20.
oils+fats is the worldґs only international trade fair for the technology and trade of oils and fats. The range on show here at the exhibitors’ booths comprises machinery, components and auxiliary materials for the production and processing of oils and fats. As Europeґs foremost information and communication platform, oils+fats highlights current trends in the sector and gives an opportunity to review all the latest technological developments. Thatґs what makes oils+fats the most important sector gathering for producers, processors and distributors of oils and fats. oils+fats 2013 is expected to attract around 60 exhibitors from more than 10 countries and approximately 1,000 trade visitors from all over Europe.