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Summer personal care promotions highlight convenience, design

Summer personal care promotions highlight convenience, design
Summer packages make a splash.

New packages found among the weekend’s Free Standing Inserts include a succulent-looking shampoo bottle and Coppertone’s AccuSpray technology for controlled sunscreen application.

A weekend ritual of mine as it is for millions is to read through the big Sunday newspaper. Sadly, it’s the only printed newspaper I read anymore. Nonetheless, a favorite section of mine is for the FSIs—Free Standing Inserts. FSIs are those colorful sheets of product advertisements where you can always find good deals on promoted products and new packaged product launches. The perusing process seamlessly combines my personal and professional interests.

Two of this week’s offerings of interest are for personal care products, the first of which is synonymous with summertime: Coppertone skincare products. What caught my attention was Coppertone Sport’s AccuSpray dispenser, which according to the ad copy is “designed to help spray where you want, not where you don’t.”

Who doesn’t want that?

A check of the company website revealed that this is the only sunscreen product line with this patented technology that offers “Continuous spray sunscreen you can control - designed to help reduce waste and mess!”  

Coppertone Sport is available in a 6-oz blue bottle in four different SPF levels from 15 to 70.

Going coconuts in a beautiful way

With coconut water popular as a beverage and as an ingredient, the other product that caught my eye was for ogx beauty’s Coconut Water Shampoo. The white oval container with the striking bronze closure and tasteful design as placed in the ad for this product line looks so beautiful I’d want to drink from it if I didn’t know it was for hair. Available also as conditioner and hydration oil as shown in the FSI, the brand owner also has a line of 8 coconut milk products if you’re really into coconut.

It also struck me that the company’s nearly 20 different lines of products offer a unified look that demonstrates a well-executed, strategic approach to packaging.

Mike's Sleek can is light on the scales

Mike's Sleek can is light on the scales

To coincide with recent flavor additions and an updated packaging design from earlier this year, Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co. has expanded its packaging mix to include 8-oz cans. The Chicago-based adult beverage company decided to launch these smaller sizes in efforts to broaden its reach among consumers and to also accommodate its customer’s on-the-go lives.

According to Internal Consumer Research Study by Kelton Global, across the Progressive Adult Beverage category, these smaller serving sizes continue to grow in popularity, with sales of 8- oz. can 12-packs increasing 237 percent compared to last year.

Packaging Digest interviewed Kyle Wortham, senior director of marketing for Mike's Hard Lemonade Co., to find out more about the company’s decision to roll out its 8-oz. Sleek can from Rexam.

What is the motivation behind Mike’s recent activity in introducing new products/packaging?

Wortham: This unique packaging option is another way that we are responding to the needs and wants of our customers who are increasingly looking for new ways to enjoy their favorite mike’s drinks. Consumers also love to share the 8-oz can 12-packs at social occasions and offer their friends new refreshing, flavorful drinks.

What design trends does your packaging set in the adult beverage market?

Wortham: We have the unique advantage of our iconic lemon logo and that’s something that we use prominently in our outer packages and on our cans. The name “mike’s” has high recognition and it signals heritage, quality flavors and taste to consumers.

Did sustainability play a role in the package development?

Wortham: Absolutely. One of the biggest benefits of offering yet another canned product to our consumers is that aluminum is infinitely recyclable.

To read more about Mike's new packaging, flavors and updated logo visit

New Materials, June 2013

Biobased film Based on the bio-based EcoPaxx polyamide 410, new samples of the film are now available in 30, 40,and 50 microns. The films are suitable for flexible food packaging, medical and shipping applications. They are strong and transparent with a high puncture resistance and have a reduced moisture transmission rate vs polyamide 6 film, and a comparable oxygen barrier. Three grades of the film recently were given the Certified Biobased Product label awarded by the United States Department of Agriculture. These labels certify a proven bio-based content of around 70 percent.
DSM, 248-792-9136

Resilient black ink The new Black Ink 3401 joins the existing range of MEK-free, ethanol-based inks. It offers drying time of one to three seconds on both porous and non-porous materials. It has superior light fastness and excellent adhesion and contrast on a range of materials including paper, card, plastic and flow wrap. Resistant across many substances, the ink is resilient to chemical splash from alkalis, acids, water, alcohol, petrol and cutting fluid, and is capable of heat resistance of up to 30 minutes at 300-deg C with no adhesion or color change.
Linx Printing Technologies, Ltd.,
+44 (0) 1480 302100,

Stylish bottle The 200-ml Eternal is manufactured in HDPE and has a gently flared shape with softly rounded shoulders. The 24/410 neck takes a large selection of standard closures, and the appearance can also be changed radically by selecting different bottle colors or specialty finishes such as the co-ex soft touch or a pearlescent finish. This product is suitable for a wide range of markets, but its elegant shape makes it especially suitable for the premium sector.
M&H Plastics, 540-504-0030

Sealing tape The Corru-Grip carton sealing tape line has expanded. The line was originally designed for optimal closure of highly recycled corrugated cases, including 100 percent recycled content. The newest formulation can successfully seal boxes in wider ranges of temperature and humidity than traditional hot-melt carton sealing tape products.
Intertape Polymer Group, 800-474-8273

Dosing closure Responding to the call of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the DoseGuard system was created to prevent unintentional ingestion of liquid medications by children. The innovative design gives parents and caregivers the ability to prevent infants and toddlers from gaining unsupervised access to liquid medications. The system consists of two parts: a proprietary valved bottle adapter and oral dispenser. The oral dispensers are available in 0.5-, 1-, 3-, 5-, 10-, and 20-mL sizes. The system works by inserting the dispenser into the valved bottle adapter to withdraw the product. After the product is dispensed, the system reseals and remains securely sealed.
Comar, 800-962-6627

TE rPET containers New Crystal Seal Tamper-Evident plastic thermoformed food containers in seven sizes from 8 to 64 oz are 100 percent recyclable with a patent-pending feature that helps minimize the potential of food tampering. The containers have no removable pieces, minimizing potential choking hazards, and offer a double-hinged tamper-evident design to eliminate the necessity for shrink bands or TE labels. They are produced with EcoStar rPET-F food-grade sheets manufactured with post-consumer recycled content from bottles and thermoforms.
Placon, 800-541-1535

Bulk container liners The modified intermediate bulk container (IBC) form-fit liner now includes holes in the perforated flaps to help hold the liner in place during filling, keeping the liner squared. Once the form-fit liner is filled, the flaps can be detached and used with a winder for dispensing. The liners are suitable for applications such as top-fills using a bridge or automated filler; containers with no access doors for placing a liner at the bottom; high speed fills, and viscous products that would get caught in the folds of pillow-shaped liners.
CDF Corp., 888-593-2212,

Biodegradable film, pouches The BioFlex Pack is a biodegradable laminate for dry products. Components for the packaging are made from biodegradable materials including the adhesive and compostable according to European regulation EN 13432 and U.S. ASTM D6400. Approximately 70 days after disposal, 90 percent of the material will be composted. Suggested packaging applications include dry cereal or grains, tea and coffee products, powders or tablets, and wholesome or natural products.
Ampac, 800-543-7030,

Decorated metal cans New Dynamark technology offers flexibility, speed and differentiation and can be integrated in existing printing processes for all sizes of steel and aluminum cans.
The technology enables up to 24 different monochromatic graphic elements to be added to a defined vacant or supplemental area of the basic package graphics design. The technology is adaptable to large volume, as well as limited-edition products.
Ball Packaging Europe, +49 (0) 2102 130-451

Noise-reducing puck The new Quiet Puck was developed by adding energy-absorbing material and bumpers to standard pucks, resulting in a noise reduction of 10 times the desible level emitted when standard pucks collide at the end of filling lines. The lowered noise level can help manufacturers meet OSHA's permissible exposure levels and reduce hearing protection costs.
Advantage Puck Technologies, 814-664-4810


Packaging of protein foods to reach $9.7 billion in 2017

Protein Pkg Market Chart

Demand for meat, poultry, and seafood packaging is forecast to increase 3.2 percent annually to $9.7 billion in 2017. Gains will be driven by increased meat, poultry, and seafood production along with accelerated foodservice revenue increases. Prospects for packaging will further benefit from the significant shift to case-ready packaging among grocery retailers as well as the growing share of smaller sized items and items that are further processed for convenience of preparation. Heightened demand for single portion and other smaller sized products will reflect the significant level of one and two person households in the U.S. as well as efforts among processors and retailers to hold down selling prices, especially in beef. 

These and other trends are presented in Meat, Poultry, & Seafood Packaging, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Flexible packaging demand growth will outpace that of rigid packaging as a result of solid prospects for pouches and high barrier film, along with inroads into rigid packaging due to sustainability benefits via reduced material use and significantly lower shipping costs. Rigid packaging growth will be limited by maturity and/or competitive drawbacks in corrugated boxes, metal cans, folding cartons, and paperboard sleeves. 

Pace-setting poultry packaging

Poultry packaging applications will achieve the fastest growth through 2017, driven by poultry's advantages of lower cost and a more favorable nutritional profile. Meat will continue to be the largest application though growth will slightly trail the overall average. While seafood applications will accelerate from their 2007-2012 performance, advances will lag the overall average due to the growing share of seafood demand that is met by imports.

The ready-to-eat market will record the fastest growth, driven by an expanded variety of prepared food for takeout from grocery stores and other retail locations as time-constrained consumers continue to seek meal options that are economical and eliminate or reduce preparation time. Gains in the fresh and frozen market will be fueled by the growing significance of case-ready packaging and MAP to extend the shelf life of fresh meat, poultry, and seafood. In the processed market, advances will reflect an increased emphasis on higher margin items that are designed to offer convenience. 

Meat, Poultry, & Seafood Packaging (published 05/2013, 327 pages) is available for $5,100 from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326. For further details, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440-684-9600, fax 440-646-0484 or e-mail

Source: The Freedonia Group, Inc. 


10 key trends in global retail packaging

A cross-functional team of 10 managers from resealable-closure company Zip-Pak recently completed an intensive 18-month global packaging study.

Zip-Pak's goal in conducting the study was to openly observe the packaging landscape and the global consumer to better understand and identify prevailing trends, and the drivers behind them. The study involved in-depth interviews with more than 75 industry insiders, including consultants, media, research personnel, packaging school professors, equipment manufacturers, converters, consumer packaged goods executives and retailers. The voice of the consumer played an equally important part in the report.

Top global retail packaging trends
Upon completing the study, Zip-Pak's team reported on 10 key trends.

1. Changing Demographics and an Aging Population
As many economies face aging populations, packaging and retail stores must accommodate an aging consumer base with more easier-to-open packaging formats, increased readability of packaging and larger font sizes. Retailers will achieve this through access-improved store layouts, improved lighting, stocking popular items on mid-level shelves, and the introduction of a greater range of "healthy product."

2. Prepared Foods
Although highly mobile, consumers have demonstrated an increased involvement in meal preparation at home. As a key indicator, the study pointed to the growing number of meals that are being cooked in the kitchen by combining additional ingredients to pre-prepared foods. This interest has been supported over the past decade by the considerable growth of pre-prepared, heat-and-eat, or grab-and-go food and meal choices. This trend is expected to continue with increased variety, high quality offerings and more competitive pricing.

Supporting this consumer behavior presents an opportunity for packaging development of portion-specific sizes and formats that further extend product life and offer ease of use. Packaging supply chain partners are anticipated to contribute to this shift as well, through the advancement of solutions that deliver enhanced product protection and preservation, tamper indication, and added convenience.

3. Liquids in Flexible Packaging
A growing number of liquid-based brands are adopting flexible packaging formats. From soups to coffee, wine, baby food and energy drinks, consumers appreciate the convenience and portability of a flexible pouch. The packaging supply chain will continue to contribute through advancements in film construction, pouch-forming equipment, and new dispensing technologies. Globally, the trend is growing in the breadth and width of product offerings with some of the greatest inroads made along the Pacific Rim. As one member of the Zip-Pak study team commented, "If you really want to see innovative liquid packaging, just go to Japan."

4. Sustainability
Environmental responsibility and stewardship have been, and will continue to be, areas of global focus and innovation. A prime example of this is the progression from rigid to flexible packaging, with sustainability being cited in the study as the leading driver. The shift to flexible has also resulted in packaging material reduction for many brands as well as cost reduction when compared to their rigid counterparts. A recent consumer lifestyle research study points to this trend as a "win-win" for brands, as the shift strongly appeals to a growing community of environmentally informed consumers who seek out brands and products that share their concern for the environment.

5. Theft and Shrinkage
Theft and shrinkage remain key concerns for retailers. Packaging companies are being called upon to provide new security measures that safeguard products from theft throughout the entire supply chain, without compromising the consumer's experience at point-of-sale or during check-out. The industry response has been the introduction of packaging technologies that both enhance the appearance of the products and protect from theft at the same time. Retailer demand for new and innovative approaches to theft prevention is clear; and for inventive packaging suppliers, anti-theft solutions represent an abundance of opportunity.

6. Over-Protective Packaging
In the interest of theft protection or tamper-resistance, packaging can often be "over-engineered." This is evidenced by the hundreds of reported annual emergency room visits for injuries to hands and fingers, the result of unsuccessful consumer attempts to access products "protected" by virtually impenetrable packaging. Packaging solutions that strike a smart, reasonable balance between content and theft protection, and easier-to-open functionality post-purchase, are expected to grow in demand.

7. Compliance Packaging
Driving the advances in compliance packaging has been the universal desire to significantly reduce the number of deaths in the U.S. associated with lack of medication adherence by patients. This fourth leading cause of death in America has associated costs to the healthcare system estimated to be as much as $150 billion annually.

Innovative materials and advancements in technology are having a significant impact. Among the many solutions to the issue are enhanced unit dose packaging that offers medication protection and a growing array of blister card packs that improve ease of use and provide more robust patient information. A highly progressive approach to this national concern for patient safety is resulting in the introduction and development of leading-edge packaging solutions designed to help patients remember and follow drug regimens.

8. QR Codes and Mobile Technology
QR codes are continuing to provide a wealth of information for consumer brands, including expanded product information and costs savings in packaging, as products require less in the way of inserts or printed information. Complementary to this are the growing numbers of smartphones and tablets used by consumers to access and share information about products and brands. This behavior shift has resulted in the emergence of "apps" that help guide consumer purchases and decision-making.

Thanks to these "apps" the well-known "moment of truth" at point of sale is rapidly being replaced with a "zero moment of truth" as consumers have completed their fact-finding and decision-making process before even entering the store. As a result, packaging with interactive, scan-able links to information resources will continue to grow as brands seek more "screen time" with consumers on their mobile devices. This trend represents a further shift in the ways that retailers and brands effectively engage more knowledgeable, information-equipped consumers.

9. Flexibility vs Speed
Flexibility in the supply chain has become a key driver as large companies have been transitioning into smaller, de-centralized groups of "brand" companies. Equipment makers and manufacturers are facing the demand for shorter runs, more rapid changeovers and the ability to accommodate variety in size, shapes and graphics. Prior to this focus on flexibility, packaging machinery and processing companies were primarily concerned with speed as brands largely approached products with a "one size fits all" mentality. Today, with consumers demanding individual attention and more customized solutions, speed's reign appears to be on the wane.

10. Increasing Influence of Store Brands
The growth of retail brands represented a noteworthy trend in the study. Nearly 20 percent of all products currently sold by retail stores are store brands. Increased product quality and the appearance of more sophisticated packaging are just two factors contributing to this growth pattern. Retailers are trending "up-market" with best-in-class brands to satisfy a growing segment of premium-quality shoppers. They indicate a willingness to invest in opportunities that represent a differentiated package option from those presented by national brands.

A product's physical packaging continues to be a key factor in establishing differentiation and preference with consumers. In many product categories, today's shoppers base their opinions on the quality and value of a product by the physical characteristics of the packaging itself, which include materials and shape, applied graphics and package closure.

This is particularly relevant for store brands marketed in flexible packaging. Here, findings revealed an increased percentage of consumers indicating a preference for resealable closure options that could deliver convenience, maintain freshness, and perform reliably throughout the entire product lifecycle. They also viewed resealable flexible packaging as an enhancement to a brand's perceived and realized value.

Thanks to a growing list of innovations in both technology and equipment compatibility it is becoming increasingly faster and simpler for companies to capitalize on these preferences and perceptions. In many instances, a resealable solution can be integrated into an existing flexible package in as little as five-to-six weeks, often with no additional capital expenditures required in the product's supply chain.

Summing it all up
In the dynamic and ever-changing world of packaged goods, opportunities will always abound. One simply needs to be an attentive student of consumers, and the drivers that influence them, to convert forward-thinking and innovative ideas into the packaging success stories of tomorrow.

Source: Zip-Pak


PMMI creates first "Summer Tour" for students of packaging

PMMI logo 2013PMMI: The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies will take a select group of packaging students and professors on a six-day tour of packaging industry end users and manufacturers in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas in the "How It's Packaged Summer Tour," June 23-28, 2013.

"The summer tour was developed to give a select group of students greater access to the workplace and innovative designs they'll see when they enter the workforce," says Maria Ferrante, vp of education and workforce development, PMMI. "These students are really going to get some great insight into what their future holds."

The tour will take six college juniors and two professors from select PMMI partner schools through several PMMI member and end user plants. They'll meet the people and products that make the industry thrive. 

The students and professors have also been selected to receive PMMI's Future Leader and Outstanding Educator rewards, respectively. PMMI's Future Leaders Award seeks to recognize an outstanding pre-professional undergraduate student attending one of PMMI's partner schools who has excelled academically and exhibits interest in advancing the packaging and processing industries.

PMMI's Outstanding Educator Award honors those professors who demonstrate a dedication to the spirit of learning and teaching in the field of packaging and processing, and whose efforts continue to advance the packaging and processing industries as well as serve as an inspiration to others.

"These kids really are the next generation of leaders in our industry and this is a great example of the things that PMMI does to get the them excited about what packaging and processing have to offer," says Timm Johnson, vp of sales and marketing at Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery Inc., and chairman of PMMI's education and workforce development committee. "These kids are getting a first-hand look at the wonderful opportunities they'll have with their education, and building bonds with the industry as well."

Participation in the 2014 Summer Tour will be open to students at all 4-year PMMI Partner Schools. Students will be selected in a contest that will kick off at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2013 (Sept. 23-25, 2013; Las Vegas Convention Center).

PMMI would like to congratulate the students and professors participating in this year's summer tour and thank the companies that have opened their doors to these eager young minds:

Future Leaders Award Winners:
• Derek Pincus, CalPoly
• Michael Grandinetti, University of Florida
• Alan Belcher, Clemson University
• Timothy Dehm, Rochester Institute of Technology
• Anthony Disanto, University of Wisconsin - STOUT

Outstanding Educator Award Winners:
• Felix Barron, Clemson University
• Robert Meisner, University of Wisconsin - STOUT

Participating Companies:
• Nation Pizza and Foods
• Z Automation
• Power Packaging
• General Mills
• Herrmann Ultrasonics
• Triangle Package Machinery
• Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurants
• Morrison Container Handling Solutions
• Spee-Dee Packaging
• Lake Front Brewery
• Dorner
• Palermos Pizza
• MillerCoors
• PMI Cartoning

Source: PMMI: The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies


Newsmakers, July 2013

Bosch Packaging Technology appoints Frank Souyris as general manager of its robotics division.

Intelligrated hires Bob Wilson as vp of its international division.

Shibuya Hoppmann Corp. hires Eugene (Gene) Fuchs as the regional sales manager for the Northeast. 

Federal Manufacturing, powered by Pro Mach, hires John Oliaro as operations manager.

International Paper names Jean-Michel Ribieras as svp, president, IP EMEA, based in Brussels, Belgium; Glenn Landau as president, IP Latin America, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Jay Royalty as vp, investor relations, based in Memphis, TN.

Piab hires Mike Dickson as regional director-Americas.

Optel Vision hires Jim White as R&D project manager. 

Ardagh Group will supply ConAgra Foods with substantially all of its U.S. food can requirements. Ardagh Group will invest more than $250 million to construct two drawn and wall-ironed (DWI) can-making facilities to convert most of ConAgra's shelf-sized cans from traditional three-piece can technology to DWI technology. These facilities will also have the capability to manufacture Ardagh's pressurized thin-wall DWI food cans recently launched in Europe. 

names Cromex S.A. as its Ingeo distributor in Brazil.

TricorBraun Design and Engineering has changed its name to TricorBraun Design and Innovation. "Throughout the organization, innovation is a priority. Whether its administration, operations, sales or design, we are constantly looking for newer, better, more efficient and creative ways to do things. Perhaps the most visible area of innovation is in our design group. With this in mind, we have changed the name to TricorBraun Design and Innovation," says Keith Strope, CEO of TricorBraun.

Siemens Drive Technologies Div. opens a 45,600-sq-ft Simogear assembly plant in Mauldin, SC.   

Change Parts and E-Pak Machinery acquire Oden Corp. and Niagara Pump. Oden brands will be managed by a newly created entity, Oden Machinery Inc., and all product lines will be manufactured at the facility in Tonawanda, NY.

QuickLabel Systems, a business unit of Astro-Med Inc., has formed a marketing agreement with Innovatum.

B&R expands partner network with addition of Hartfiel Automation.

Datamax-O'Neil acquires the thermal printer assets of Source Technologies.

H.B. Fuller Co. purchases Plexbond Quimica S/A, a provider of chemical polyurethane specialties and polyester resins based in Curitiba, Brazil.

SATO makes a strategic investment in Nexgen Packaging, a global provider of apparel brand identification and packaging products. Nexgen continues to operate as an independent entity, and the current Nexgen management team will remain in place

Stora Enso and Packages Ltd. establish a joint venture called Bulleh Shah Packaging (Private) Ltd. valued at approximately $108 million.

Toshiba Intl. Corp. acquires Elettra Technology Inc., a manufacturer of custom electrical industrial motors based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The new company will be named Toshiba Industrial Products Canada and will relocate manufacturing to a recently renovated facility in Hamilton. 

KPS Capital Partners LP forms Expera Specialty Solutions and acquires the specialty paper business of Wausau Paper Corp. and the Thilmany Div. of Packaging Dynamics Corp. 

HarvestMark acquires ShopWell.

Ball Corp.'s Findlay, OH, metal beverage packaging plant is named by MillerCoors as the recipient of the 2012 MVP Award, which is given to the top supplier location to MillerCoors.

Berry Plastics Group Inc. receives three Excellence in Flexography Awards from the Flexographic Technical Assoc., including the organization's 2013 Technical Innovation Award for Berry's Indirect Flexo (IDF) printing process.


Ultra-lightweight closure

Ultra-lightweight closureOmni mini XP is an ultra-lightweight, one-piece and linerless 28-mm closure, compatible with the 1881 bottle finish. Weighing less than 2 grams, this closure offers high-quality capping application performance, CO2 retention, impact resistance and raw material savings for brand owners producing sparkling beverages. The closure is precision-engineered to enhance capping application performance, resulting in lower defect rates and higher productivity for beverage bottlers with high daily output. Omni mini XP passes extreme drop test protocols, and can be used across the range of beverage packages, ranging from 250ml to 3L non-returnable PET bottles, as well as several closure knurl patterns. 

Closure Systems Intl., 317-390-5067


First IoPP-Kenya students complete online learning program

In February 2013, the Institute of Packaging Professionals-U.S. signed an agreement with the Institute of Packaging Professionals-Kenya to license its new Fundamentals of Packaging Technology online course and make the comprehensive packaging training program available to IoPP members in Kenya, and other countries in the region.

This educational program was introduced through the support of the African Packaging Organisation and the World Packaging Organisation educational network. Program funding was provided by corporate sponsors to offset costs for participating Kenyan students. Among the first to contribute funding to this program was IPACK-IMA Spa.

IoPP Kenya graduates

The following students are in the process of completing the program:
• Betsy Bowen, Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI)
• Mike Cheloti, KIRDI
• Ronald Kemboi, KIRDI
• Esther Kyuvi, KIRDI
• Daniel Lemutukei, KIRDI
• Weldon Mutai, Kenya Tea Packers (KETEPA)
• Simiyu Wamalwa,KETEPA
• Sarah Gikonyo, Nestle Equatorial Africa
• Racheal Nanjala, Competitive Options (packaging training and general consultancy)
• Paul Matisya, Kenya Bureau of Standards
• Shiyoya Zippy, Tetrapak Kenya

Through their participation, the KIRDI students agreed they have gained a new perspective on packaging that will be able to demonstrate "an edge when it comes to packaging products." They also emphasized that their newly acquired skills will provide KIRDI with a platform to develop and integrate packaging into its overall system.

Joseph Nyongesa, president, IoPP-Kenya, states how vital the program is globally and demographically. "This program will go a long way in uplifting packaging standards in Kenya," says Nyongesa. "I am also proud to announce that 40 percent of the participants were women. Empowering women is a major priority in Kenya, the UN and around the world. I am positive that this will inspire and encourage other sponsors to participate in this program."

Guido Corbella, CEO of IPACK-IMA Spa, also emphasizes the importance of this program. "By helping to educate the next generation of packaging professionals on a global level, IPACK-IMA is honored to support those in the program who will be extending their expertise through the development of advanced packaging technologies that will ensure regional food is kept healthy, safe and plentiful." says Corbella. "We are proud of the first round of students who are successfully completing Fundamentals of Packaging Technology."

These technologies will be displayed at East Afripack, the show dedicated to processing, packaging and Converting Technologies in the EAC area (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda).

An international exhibition, organized by Ipack-Ima in partnership with UN agency UNIDO, the East African Community and Kenya's Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development, to be held from Sept. 9-12, 2014. The show provides a key opportunity to get in touch with companies seeking technological up-grade in a rapidly expanding region where after-harvest food losses and the safe preservation of both food and non-food products pose a crucial challenge.

Companies interested in supporting the sponsorship program should inquire at

About the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP)
IoPP is the leading individual membership organization serving the educational needs of the global packaging community. It is committed to providing continuing educational programs of interest and value to all packaging professionals. These programs cover all packaging related areas of business and technology, as well as fundamental principles. The organization, its activities and operations support the development of the best possible packaging programs and events. For more information, please visit

About the World Packaging Organisation
The World Packaging Organisation is a non-profit, non-governmental, international federation of national packaging institutes and associations, regional packaging federations and other interested parties including corporations and trade associations. For more information, please visit

About the African Packaging Organisation
To bring to the attention of African states the role that packaging can play in addressing some of the major development challenges facing the continent. "A World of Quality Packaging for Africa." For more information visit

IPACK-IMA Spa organizes exhibitions for the processing and packaging technology industries. Its biggest asset is the historical exhibition IPACK-IMA, which has become a reference for all field operators and plays a crucial role in the development of packaging and processing systems in Italy. Learn more about IPACK-IMA Spa at and



Higher polymer prices are here to stay--are you prepared?

Ravi SethiRaw material costs as a percentage of plastic packaging costs have been on a steady rise due to the long-term appreciation in crude oil prices, a key ingredient for resins. Crude oil prices have increased five-fold from less than $20 per barrel (bbl) to $100 per bbl over the last 30 years while labor costs as measured by average AGI (Adjusted Gross Income), a proxy for labor costs, have remained relatively flat. We estimate that over this period, material costs have grown from roughly 40 percent to 60 percent of packaging costs. 

Looking forward, we expect some packaging polymer prices (such as polypropylene) to remain stubbornly high, despite the shale gas revolution in the U.S., which has driven increased natural gas production and lower gas prices. As a result, companies need to prepare for this likely scenario and consider strategies for mitigating these high prices, and evaluate opportunities to use less exposed materials.

The explosive growth of U.S. natural gas production, thanks to new production technologies like hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), is enabling massive supply growth and keeping feedstock prices low. Along with finding bountiful supplies of natural gas, the industry has uncovered a trove of natural gas liquids (NGL's), such as ethane, propane and butane (light feeds)-and the increased supply has reduced their prices. 

The breakdown in the historical price relationship between natural gas and oil has led to seismic changes in feedstock dynamics. With low NGL (light feeds) prices, crackers have shifted feedstocks from oil-based naphtha products to lower cost ethane. Major producers (Exxon, Chevron Phillips, Dow, LyondellBasell) have announced new cracker projects that will take advantage of low-cost ethane feedstocks, which is positive for chemical producers, but not so good for the supply market for key packaging materials like polypropylene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polycarbonates because ethane based crackers produce smaller quantities of propylene and butadiene (C3 and C4 olefins), resulting in upward price pressure for these critical building blocks.

PP's multi-decade reign as the polymer with the lowest cost is ending due to increased prices. Similarly, polycarbonates and ABS are also seeing sustained increases in price levels partially tempered by weak global demand, while hot-melt adhesives, widely used in packaging, are being impacted by the shift to lighter feedstocks because they use chemicals produced in greater quantity during the cracking of heavy feedstocks.

These cost challenges are here to stay until new technologies alleviate the supply situation. As a result, it is a business imperative to find innovative ways of minimizing the impact of these direct materials cost increases.

Procurian has worked with its clients to confront this new market reality. Here are some key implications to consider:

Real-time market intelligence: Develop deep understanding of market trends, and real-time visibility into global and local pricing dynamics.

Next-gen supply chain redesign: With the U.S. awash in abundant natural gas, while European facilities are mostly stuck with naphtha-based crackers, what is your company's strategic response? Shorter-term, examine your supply chain's capability to take advantage of market opportunities such as exploiting short term supply/demand imbalances to reduce cost or exploit pricing arbitrage opportunities based on feedstock price differences or constraints across regions.

Material substitution opportunities: PP has had remarkable past success in substituting for other polymers as well as traditional materials such as steel and wood. This trend is slowing or even reversing with the rise of PP prices. Evaluate or test the use of alternative polymers or blends as replacements to counter the new raw material price environment. 

The impact of the new reality of raw material price trends cannot be ignored. What is your company doing to ensure it will survive-and thrive-in the new normal for packaging raw materials? 

Author Ravi Sethi is the practice leader of basic materials at Procurian (, the leading specialist in comprehensive procurement solutions. The company's built-out Specialized Procurement Infrastructure integrates with businesses to optimize spending and deliver real savings that equal a margin point or more.