The American craft beer market grew five percent in 2017, reaching 12.7 percent of the entire U.S. beer market, according to the Brewers Association. Retail dollar sales of craft increased eight percent, up to $26.0 billion USD, and now account for more than 23 percent of the $111.4 billion USD U.S. beer market. As craft brewers across the country expand their businesses, they must consider packaging and processing changes.
Craft brewers can see the latest in cutting edge-technology and insights at PACK EXPO East 2018 (April 16-18, 2018, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia). PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, announced the show will bring together more than 400 exhibitors and 6,000 industry professionals over 100,000 net sq ft of exhibit space. The northeastern United States is home to nearly one-third of the nation’s top CPGs (consumer packaged goods). In fact, manufacturing companies are one of the top five employer groups in the region, according to Statistical Atlas.
PACK EXPO East will address the trends and challenges driving the food and beverage, pharmaceutical and medical device, cosmetics and personal care, industrial and household chemical and other packaged goods industries. Attendees include manufacturers, managers, engineers, production supervisors, purchasers, brand managers, package designers, product development professionals and supply chain, logistics professionals from companies of all sizes and craft brewers (that’s you!).
Attendees and exhibitors alike will have access to some must-see highlights at this year’s show:
- Drone Demonstrations: Don’t miss the PACK EXPO East drone demonstrations, sponsored by Workhorse Group Inc., for valuable insights on new delivery technology and how it impacts your business. The daily demonstrations will take place on the hour from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- The Innovation Stage: In the center of the action, the Innovation Stage offers ample opportunity for professional enrichment while you’re at PACK EXPO East. Exhibitors present free, 30-minute seminars throughout the day. The Innovation Stage is a valuable opportunity for attendees to learn about breakthrough technologies, innovative applications and proven approaches from the experts themselves.
- The Forum at PACK EXPO: Take advantage of free, unique, interactive presentations throughout PACK EXPO East. The Forum will feature 20-minute open sessions on the latest industry trends by the OpX Leadership Network, Institute of Packaging Professionals, Contract Packagers Association and PMMI Business Intelligence, followed by small group discussions and Q&A sessions.
- Packaging and Processing Women’s Leadership Network (PPWLN): Launched in 2016, PPWLN serves to recruit, retain and advance women in processing and packaging. The PPWLN breakfast is on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. followed by a program from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The meeting will include presentations and discussions allowing peers to exchange ideas and experiences.
- Welcome Reception: Gather with peers before the show takes off and experience the “Taste of Philly,” a sampling of Philadelphia-inspired hors d’oeuvres. The reception is on Monday, April 16 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Location Broad Street Atrium.)
- Attend one or both of PMMI U’s industry-specific workshops available at PACK EXPO East. The Risk Assessment Workshop (April 14–15) teaches best practices for performing equipment risk assessment in a manufacturing environment, and the Certified Trainer Workshop (April 16–17) is an industry-leading train-the-trainer program that gives you the strategies and tactics to train well across all skill levels.
Some of the innovations attendees will discover on the show floor include:
Continuous improvement software brings savings to mid-size manufacturers
Redzone Production Systems (Booth #1808) presents its Continuous Improvement Management software that enables mid-size food, beverage and CPG manufacturers to make continuous improvement a reality. A combination of social, mobile technology and a unique coaching program develops the skills and structure of the workforce to engage every employee. With over 250 deployments, Redzone’s cloud technology provides actionable data and a framework for new behaviors. Customers see an average of 12 percent productivity improvement and savings of $617,000.
Capping machine compatible with multiple container types
Packline USA (Booth #1020) will exhibit its pneumatically-driven PXG capping machine, which features fully automatic filling, sealing and capping for pre-formed containers. The machine is compatible with both pre-cut lids or membranes cut from a roll and can combine either with a plastic cap. The PXG machine’s fillers can be fitted with a clean-in-place cleaning system, and its flexibility makes machine adjustments to different container shapes fast and easy.
Invisible barcode leaves more space for branding
Inland Packaging (Booth #1323) will showcase the Digimarc Barcode, which is repeated multiple times over the entire label so that it can interact with point-of-sale image scanners and mobile devices, but remains entirely invisible to the consumer’s eye. The Digimarc Barcode leaves more room on the package for branding, while delivering data included in traditional barcodes — even the Global Trade Item Number currently carried in traditional produce barcode symbols. It also allows customers to learn more information about a product simply by pointing their smartphone camera at the label. The camera automatically senses the invisible barcode, eliminating the need for QR codes.
PACK EXPO East offers a timely opportunity between the larger PACK EXPO shows for industry professionals to catch up on the latest technologies and trends. Registration is $30 until March 30, 2018, after which time the price increases to $100. For more information and to register online, visit www.packexpoeast.com/.
Sean Riley is the senior director of media and industry communications at PMMI.