FoodProductionDaily.com will be reporting from the three-day show to bring you insights from leading industry players, brand owners and trade associations on equipment innovations, trends and economic sentiment in the multi-billion dollar US food packaging and processing sector.
Around 1,600 exhibitors will be showcasing packaging, processing and converting technology across 650,000 net square feet (197,000 sq metres) - making it larger than the two previous events in 2009 and 2007.
New exhibitors and international attendees climb
“Since space sales opened, PMMI has expanded the show floor several times to accommodate demands for exhibit space”, said Charles D. Yuska, president and CEO of trade association PMMI. “What's atypical about the growth is the degree of expansion — 20% or more increases over last fall's predictions for space and exhibitors, and 550 new exhibitors.”
He believes that one reason driving this increase is that show organisers have sought to put the needs of customers at the centre of Pack Expo in terms of exhibitors and the myriad of conferences supporting the event.
"Our goal is to give attendees a Pack Expo experience that allows them to take the seed of a branding idea, and find sources for every step along the way from the drawing board, to production, to the store shelves," Yuska added.
In the run up to the show, pre-registration has outpaced the 2009 event by 25% with the number of registered attendees comfortably exceeding 25,000.
International attendance is also forecasted to jump, “reinforcing the importance of global strategies for suppliers and attendees”, said PMMI.
"The US Department of Commerce's (DOC) International Buyer Program has confirmed 28 escorted buyer delegations will be in attendance. These delegations typically include 15–25 pre-screened, serious buyers from a number of companies within a given country accompanied by a DOC representative who can facilitate meetings with exhibitors," said Yuska.
Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Canada, China, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Thailand are among more than 25 countries represented by the delegations - but PMMI said they account for only some of the 50% increase in international buyers at the show. Trade groups are also expected from Mexico, China and Russia.
Pack Expo will be hosting a full conference programme that runs throughout the show.
PMMI said it has partnered with leading industry organisations in a bid to devise a programme that speaks directly to professionals in those areas.
These five bodies are The Alliance for Innovation & Occupational Excellence (AIOE), Converting and Package Printing (CPP) Expo, The Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP), The International Society of Beverage Technologists (IBST) and The Reusable Packaging Association (RPA).
There has also been a targeted effort to enlist top consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies. Brand owners such as Coca-Cola, Del Monte, Kellogg Company, General Mills and ConAgra Foods are all taking part.
The Confectionery Pavillion, sponsored by the National Confectioners Association (NCA), will showcase innovations to meet the processing and packaging challenges faced by industry players.
This will include the ‘Candy Bar’ - a special industry-focused lounge where attendees can seek advice from experts on confectionery-related challenges in packaging and processing.
A dedicated lounge for baking and snack professionals, The Baking and Snack Break, will have a similar ‘Ask the Expert’ feature.