By Carrie Ellis, PR Account Executive
Last Thursday Red Setter headed to Olympia London to Packaging Innovations, an annual gathering which sees over 180 leading packaging suppliers showcase their latest work.
The event aims to provide attendees with a wealth of information and inspiration from the most recent revolutions in the world of packaging.
As we stepped into the auditorium we were greeted by a multitude of different stalls featuring a variety of products; from canvas tote bags to intricately manufactured gin bottles. The stands boasted a vast array of colours, shiny new materials and packaging concepts, each aiming to catch the eye of passers-by – it was difficult to know where to look.
My favourite item on show was a Jack Daniel’s whisky bottle, cleverly concealed inside a leather guitar case, tapping into the trend of ‘unboxing’ which has become increasingly prominent through the rise of social media. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, the guitar-case exudes the culture of Tennessee, conjuring an image of locals enjoying country music in a local bar.
In addition to an array of bags and bottles to peruse, the event was complemented by a diverse programme of seminars. We attended a talk by Illana Taub, co-founder and CEO of healthy snacking brand SNACT, which rescues unwanted fruit and transforms it into healthy snacks.
Illana reminded us that as well as achieving shelf stand-out and increasing sales, ensuring that your brand is environmentally friendly is of pivotal importance. She was keen to explain how SNACT has attempted to tackle the issue of single-use plastic which has come under fire in recent months – nobody wants to be seen using a plastic straw in public!
After exploring a number of options, Illana and the SNACT team decided to use a packaging substrate which is compostable. Although the material was more expensive, more difficult to print onto and has a limited number of suppliers, it was important for Illana that SNACT stuck to its brand value; fighting food and plastic waste and leading the way for other FMCG brands. This sentiment was shared by many of the stands and speakers across the event, with plastic-waste being a key topic for exploration and debate.
Brands need to remember that although consumers are looking for something that is pleasing to the eye and fit for purpose, they’re also looking for something that won’t damage the planet for future generations.
Our core takeaway from Packaging Innovations was that to be successful and appeal to this shift in consumer thinking, brands must make more of an effort to reduce waste, or else their products will have less of a shelf life than the plastic which packages them.