This September, Pack Expo 2013 shattered records as the biggest and most-attended show in the expo's history. With attendance well over 42,000, the show gave us the perfect opportunity to reflect on some of the biggest challenges faced by packaging companies today. From creative technology like our own revolutionary new coining technology to experimental concepts in packaging design, we noticed a few common threads among the thousands of attendees and exhibitors.
Creative and unusual packaging design continues to push the envelope as the fight for retail shelf space and consumer attention grows more competitive than ever. Pack Expo was a place to see the unconventional in action, and did we ever. As we already know, though, there's a difference between packaging that commands attention and packaging that is practical for consumers and retailers. It's exciting to see the limits of practicality tested, but packaging companies have to be careful not to sacrifice usefulness for novelty.
As recycling rates rise and consumers increasingly prioritize eco-friendliness, more and more packaging companies are focusing on sustainability. This isn't only limited to working with substrates like RPET and bio-resins, either. Designers are looking for ways to create practical packaging designs while using as little material as possible, increasing the sustainability of a package without compromising its safety or appeal.
And of course, efficiency was the word on almost every packaging company's lips at this year's expo. The race to develop faster, better and more cost-effective production methods was on full display, and of course, we couldn't help but debut our own latest creation: a custom-designed tool that streamlines the coining process, eliminating the need for hot stamping and creating more accurate impressions. Innovations like this continue to dominate the Pack Expo conversation year after year, and surely the next expo will have even more surprises in store.