interpack: Technology at a crossroads

by Charlotte Atchley
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Every three years, the baking, snack and nearly every other food — and even non-food — industries converge on Düsseldorf, Germany for interpack, the international trade show highlighting processing and packaging equipment for products of all types. This show is a meeting place of innovation with so many different segments exhibiting and discussing the latest advances in technologies across a wide scope of consumer packaged goods (CPG).


This year, interpack takes place May 8-14, co-located with the SAVE FOOD Conference starting May 7. Show organizers expect 2,700 exhibitors from more than 60 countries. Four halls out of the 17 occupied by interpack 2014 are devoted solely to processing machinery and services for the baking and snack industries. The other halls bring together the future of wrapping, boxing and sealing for the world’s CPG industries. 

Saving the world’s food supply

Initiated at the interpack 2011 show, the SAVE FOOD Conference assembles key players in non-profit organizations, governments, business and research to foster dialogue on how to reduce food loss and waste along the food value chain. With a third of the world’s food supply thrown away or lost each year and 842 million people going hungry, this issue is one the conference is intent on addressing.

“All the industries involved in the food, packaging and logistics sectors have an especially important role to play in the SAVE FOOD initiative,” said Bernd Jablonowski, SAVE FOOD and interpack director. “Ultimately, it is the products developed by these companies that offer concrete approaches to solving the problems we all face. We want SAVE FOOD to act as a catalyst for establishing contact with other enterprises and organizations to carry these approaches further.”

Currently, 100 industrial companies, associations and media — including the latest to join as of press time: Nestle, Vevey, Switzerland, the world’s largest food company — are a part of the SAVE FOOD alliance. By involving the food industry, the SAVE FOOD initiative seeks to pool the resources of the private and public sectors.

“Reducing food loss and waste is an important part of the journey to be able to feed 9.6 billion people by 2050,” said Anne Roulin, PhD, global R&D sustainability manager for Nestle. “We are delighted to join the SAVE FOOD initiative, as the complex issue of addressing food loss and waste can only be tackled through a holistic and collaborative approach.”

The initiative is a joint effort between the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the UN and Messe Düsseldorf, the organizing body behind interpack. This year’s congress will explore the results of studies on local food loss conducted by FAO in developing and emerging countries. The SAVE FOOD Conference will last two days, May 7 and 8. By continuing to present this issue prior to such a large international show, ¬≠organizers expect the awareness of global food loss and waste to continue to rise in public consciousness and political agendas.

This year, a regular feature at interpack will keep the SAVE FOOD momentum going throughout the show. Innovation Parc Packaging (IPP) 2014 adopted SAVE FOOD as its motto at this year’s event. Typically, IPP serves as a platform for packaging companies to display their latest innovations and occupies 26,000 sq ft between Halls 2 and 3. This year, with SAVE FOOD as its theme, IPP participants will also showcase solutions to reduce food loss and waste from the angles of packaging design, materials and machinery production. IPP will host a display demonstrating the many dimensions of food loss around the world along the food value chain.

Enhancing the experience

As an additional benefit, interpack attendees will be able to experiencee the new Components for Processing and Packaging trade fair taking place in the Congress Center South at the fairgrounds during the first three days of the show. This co-located event offers suppliers to the packaging industry an opportunity to network with the exhibitors of interpack.

This next-door exhibit will allow the makers of packaging equipment to mingle with companies specializing in motor, drive, control and sensor technology; products for machinery image data processing; handling technology and manufacturers of machinery parts, components, ­accessories, peripheral equipment and components for packaging material.

Interpack 2014 would not be complete without the Metal Packaging Plaza in Hall 11 to offer a forum for the international metal packaging community and its suppliers. Organized by the German Metal Packaging Association and European Metal Packaging Association, this fixture of interpack welcomes for the first time steel manufacturers with the inclusion of the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging. Visitors to the Metal Packaging Plaza can also enjoy a forum, bar and lounge, and meeting areas.

Plan online for Düsseldorf

Getting to interpack 2014 has become easier than ever with online tools. Show passes and directories can now be ordered at www.interpack.com at reduced rates. The website also allows attendees to purchase one- or three-day passes in advance.

Interpack’s website offers tips for booking hotels in the area and recommends using public transportation to get to the fairgrounds. Show passes include free use of all public transportation on all the days of the trade show within the Rhein-Fuhr transportation network (VRR) in Düsseldorf. Exhibitors get the added bonus of free public transportation two days before and after the show. Attendees can also get to interpack by taxi or renting a car at the Düsseldorf airport or the main train station. For those renting cars, Messe Düsseldorf signs on the main streets of the city will direct drivers to the fairgrounds. Taxi fares include a basic flat rate plus a charge per kilometer. If traveling from the US, be prepared for taxi costs to be higher. Tipping is welcome; simply round up to the next full Euro.

Once at the show, visitors can organize their activities with interpack 2014’s mobile app for iPhone and Android operating systems. The app is updated daily with the latest exhibitor and event databases. Users can see graphically optimized hall plans and exhibitor details including conduct data, product information and forms for arranging meetings and writing notes about individual exhibitors. The app can also synchronize trade show planning between a desktop computer or laptop and the user’s handheld device.

Attendees without access to the mobile app can look up interpack information through the show’s mobile website, mobile.interpack.com. Users can also find hotel booking information and tips on cultural attractions in Düsseldorf. Attendees without smart phones need not worry, however, because exhibitor locations are available via the KATI electronic visitor guidance and information system. Every hall of the trade show features a KATI terminal attendees can use to find the companies they’re looking for.

Interpack 2014 offers bakers and snack producers a rare opportunity to see what the international community of packaging and processing suppliers have to offer in a comprehensive trade show. This year’s interpack continues to spread its reach to include more new materials and methods and additional industry sectors. For more information on how to take advantage of this crossroads of packaging — and processing — innovation, visit www.interpack.com.

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