Once again, manufacturing leaders in packaging will come together for PMMI’s Pack Expo Las Vegas to address the industry’s toughest challenges and greatest opportunities. This year’s show will be held Sept. 23-25 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Food safety, efficient processing, e-commerce and sustainability are all key trends that will be featured prominently across the 900,000-square-foot show floor. Pack Expo expects to fill the halls of the convention center with 30,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibitors.

New to this year’s show is the Robotics Zone, a dedicated area to spotlight interactive robotic advances. In this zone, a robot greeter will welcome attendees, and teams from Las Vegas will showcase their robots in action. Co-robots will pack foods for PACK for a Purpose, a fundraiser in collaboration with Blessing in a Backpack, which benefits children facing food insecurity across Las Vegas, and the United States. Bakers also can watch live pick-and-place and relocation systems in action and see artificial intelligence and human interaction demos.

Laura Thompson, vice-president of trade shows at PMMI, said 55% of this year’s exhibitors serve the baking and snack markets. According to PMMI’s “2018 Snack Foods – Packaging and Processing Market Assessment and Trends” report, the top consumer trends for these industries are better-for-you, single-serve, resealability, flavor variety and combination snacks. The top retail trends are shelf-ready packaging (SRP), stand-up pouches and lower case-counts.

“To meet these demands, Pack Expo Las Vegas will provide an avenue for attendees to observe machines that are flexible and fast enough to handle a variety of products,” Ms. Thompson said. “In addition, attendees can expect to find solutions geared toward other important trends such as e-commerce, including ‘online-ready’ packaging such as smaller cases, lower case counts and more.”

Also new this year is the introduction of the Technology Excellence Awards, which were introduced to Pack Expo International 2018 attendees in Chicago. The event features winners in categories like baking and snack, beverage and dairy, meat, poultry and seafood, prepared foods and more.

“The new awards initiative recognizes exhibitors’ innovative technologies never previously shown at a Pack Expo show by allowing attendees to vote — either via the Pack Expo app or at kiosks on-site — on the best new product,” Ms. Thompson explained. “The awards serve to drive the industry to keep innovating and meet the ever-growing needs of CPGs.”

The Forum is another new element at the show and provides a space for interactive learning experiences, including 45-minute sessions on industry trends as well as hands-on activities, small group discussions and Q&A sessions each day of the show. Free Innovation Stage seminars will also be presented daily on the show floor.

For more information on Pack Expo Las Vegas, visit www.packexpolasvegas.com.