London show scans the horizon of product design

“MirriNor” demonstrates the metallic effects now achievable with packaging
“MirriNor” demonstrates the metallic effects now achievable with packaging

PACKAGING Innovations London reported record visitor and exhibitor numbers for the fourth year running. Running 1-2 October at the Business Design Centre, the show attracted world-class speakers, international exhibitors from all corners of the globe and 3,560 visitors, recording an 18% increase on last year’s record attendance.

Visiting companies included Waitrose, Fabergé, Diageo, Disney, Coca-Cola, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Glaxo Smith Kline, Estée Lauder, Harrods, Ted Baker, Mars, Unilever and Space NK. And the buzz and presence of serious purchasers would seem to have been sufficient to justify booking a stand for next year – as 75% of 2013 exhibitors have done already.
According to the organisers, particularly successful was the expanded Luxury Packaging show, with inspiring prestige packaging on display; many of the exhibitors have already doubled their stand space, with the floorplan expanding for the next year.
The show focused on four key areas – Packaging Innovations, Luxury Packaging, Brand & Design Village, and Contract Pack. 80% of the 170 exhibitors used the event to launch or show new products and services. J&J Pont Packaging launched Pont Pack a slimline packaging solution. Mirri and Smurfit Kappa teamed up, and launched a premium board – MirriNor, demonstrating the stunning metallic effects that can be achieved through packaging.
The show also featured a “learnShops” programme, with speakers from Neal’s Yard Remedies, Miracle-Gro, Marks & Spencer, Kimberly Clark, Bombay Sapphire and many other leading and interesting brands.
Appropriately the topic on the first day was ‘Great consumer experiences build brands’. Nick Dormon, md at Echo Brand Design, discussed the critical role of packaging and product design. He remarked: “The digital age has brought convenience but consumers also want a relationship and intimacy with the brands they buy. Packaging plays a crucial role in that process.”
Jon White, ex European Marketing Director at Kimberly Clark, and Dan Monteith of Elmwood, outlined the role packaging played in rejuvenating the iconic Andrex brand. The UK’s number one non-food FMCG brand sells a massive 29 rolls per second, enough to wrap round the world twice each day! White remarked: “Despite still strong figures the brand was stalling. One look at the packaging told me we had work to do. Day-in-day-out our biggest shop window is the aisle – but the packaging wasn’t working in it; it looked like we had run out of ideas, I knew we had to invest in it.”
The year-long packaging redesign process included drawing on the latest sentic thinking from Bradford University to ensure the packaging pushed the right consumer buttons. The resulting redesign – which involved using curves to denote softness and angles to reinforce the product’s strength, plus making the famous Andrex puppy work much harder on the pack – helped deliver an 11.5% volume growth, plus a 32% improvement in brand bonding and a slew of brand extensions. “Our packaging ended up so important that it ‘heroed’ in our TV advertising,” concluded White.
Packaging Innovations London will be returning to the Business Design Centre on 30 September and 1 October 2014. The next Packaging Innovations event runs at the NEC, Birmingham, on 26 and 27 February 2014.