PACK EXPO Las Vegas took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center September 25–27. PACK EXPO, North America’s largest packaging trade show in 2017, is presented by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.

PACK EXPO Las Vegas attracted 29,500 attendees, including food industry executives, engineers, plant managers, research and development staff, brand and marketing managers, quality control professionals, purchasers, and packaging designers. This was the largest PACK EXPO in history.

The event offered attendees the opportunity to connect with 2,000 exhibitors showcasing the latest packaging equipment and technologies, with solutions for markets across the food industry, including snack and bakery (see the slideshow on this page for a survey of packaging equipment, materials, technology and more now available to help grow your snack food and bakery business).

The event also included a range of education opportunities presented on the show floor, as well as specific pavilions, including The Containers and Materials Pavilion, The Confectionery Pavilion, and The Reusable Packaging Pavilion. The Dow Chemical Co. again sponsored the “Showcase of Packaging Innovations” on the show floor, highlighting the latest innovations and award-winning packaging designs from around the world.

As part of the PACK EXPO Innovations Stage educational presentations, Elizabeth Avery, CEO, and David Walsh, vice president of membership and communications, both of SNAC International, delivered a session on “U.S. Snack Industry: Emerging Snacking Trends and Regulatory Issues Shaping the Market.” The session showed how the current shift in consumer lifestyles has led to an increase in snacking, illustrating how to explore new opportunities to reach consumers via traditional and new and emerging snack categories. The session also touched on valuable insights related to key federal and state regulatory issues impacting the snack industry.

On the first day of PACK EXPO Las Vegas, PMMI released its 2017 “State of the Packaging Industry” report. In the report, PMMI forecasts of strong growth in the U.S. packaging industry, with a 4.8 percent increase in the U.S. packaging machinery market from 2015 to 2016, coming in with a total market value of $9.8 billion.

The next generation of supply-chain logistics includes guided and autonomous technologies like drones. PACK EXPO attendees were permitted a look at advances in drone technology at the PACK EXPO Drone Demo, “Packaging for the Last Mile.” The display featured a virtual landscape, including mailboxes and doorsteps to accept delivered packages. Delivery drones launched from the top of a stationary delivery van and made deliveries to the mock houses, while screens showed the drone’s perspective via live video from cameras mounted on the drones.

The PACK gives BACK concert, with a performance by the Doobie Brothers, produced the largest crowd to date in the event’s seven-year history. Proceeds from the performance, combined with industry donations and PMMI’s $100,000 match, pushed the donation total past $325,000, which went to hurricane aid.

PMMI also awarded $30,000 of PACK EXPO Scholarships. The PACK EXPO scholarship program supports the future packaging and processing workforce. Six students studying packaging and processing at PMMI Partner Schools were each awarded a $5,000 scholarship.

PACK EXPO International will take place October 14–17, 2018 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

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