Packaging innovation on show at Pro2Pac

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Food and drink packaging innovation will be on show at Pro2Pac
Food and drink packaging innovation will be on show at Pro2Pac

Related tags Food packaging Packaging

Innovation in food and drink packaging continues apace and this year’s Pro2Pac show will highlight some of the latest developments.

The UK food and drink packaging show Pro2Pac returns to ExCeL in London from March 20–22, co-located with the International Food & Drink Event (IFE) and Waste-Works.

Various presentations are planned for the event to complement the exhibits and these promise to be of particular interest to the food manufacturing sector.

Industry experts will take to the ‘Outside the Box’ stage – built entirely from recyclable cardboard – during the three-day event to discuss a wide range of food packaging-related issues.

Speakers will include Jonny MacNeal, business development manager at Insignia Technologies, who will share insight into ‘Developing cost effective smart packaging for the food supply chain’.

Also taking part will be Eric Duncan, head of UK food science at Coveris, whose ‘Reducing food waste through packaging innovation’ presentation will outline how product analysis, scientifically developed packaging and shelf-life intervention technology can reduce food waste throughout the supply chain while maintaining food quality and appearance for longer.

A full programme of free-to-attend talks and ‘industry insight’ briefings will run throughout the event, while the daily lunchtime panel debates will involve a number of experts – sharing their views on a wide range of hot topics.

These will include an assessment by industry experts including Andy Barnetson, director of packaging affairs at the Confederation of Paper Industries, and Dick Searle, chief executive of the Packaging Federation – of how the packaging industry will fare ‘post Brexit’.

“Key players will be lending valuable insight into the latest challenges and opportunities currently facing both the food manufacturing sector and the wider packaging industry,”​ says event manager Nick Piper.

Packaging inspiration (back to top)

Alongside the expert workshops, more than 120 food and drink packaging companies will be on hand to offer inspiration, advice and solutions to packaging problems.

Pro2Pac, organised by Fresh Montgomery, is free to attend for visitors registering beforehand online at For those turning up at the door, a charge of £25 will be made. For full details of the speaker timetable and topics, visit the website​ for more information.

Giving a taster of just some of the exhibits on show, packaging manufacturer Coveris will unveil new linerless label print technology for Aldi’s meat category at Pro2Pac.

Combining multiple decorative effects in-line, the printing system works to add a fourth, tactile dimension to the labels to offer a further premium look and feel to the range.

It has been used for the launch of Aldi’s new range of Specially Selected Aberdeen Angus steaks, which comprises four lines of British beef steak (see the picture below).

The label production process blends an innovative and complex mix of inks, varnishes and foil in-line using a newly developed method of application.

The use of a high-build silkscreen varnish creates a glossy, tactile stamped effect, while the use of further varnishes and cold foil combine to produce a multi-sensory, luxury appearance.

This approach creates new opportunities for the production of more complex designs and premiumisation techniques.

Secret launched at the show (back to top)

Another linerless label innovator, Ravenwood Packaging, will also unveil new linerless technology at the exhibition.

In addition to the new product – which Ravenwood is keeping firmly under wraps until the show itself – the company is set to demonstrate to brand owners, manufacturers and packers that opting for linerless (no backing paper) is a “no brainer”.

The environmental, safety and cost implications of linerless labels are immense, Ravenwood claims. They allow firms to reduce their carbon footprint and take advantage of the many benefits that this type of label has to offer.

Most importantly, eliminating the siliconised backing paper means that reels weigh up to 40% less and take up 40% less space compared with those with carrier paper, the company adds.

Reduced shipping and storage costs are another advantage they bring. And by losing the liner, it means landfill disposal costs can be avoided too.

Ravenwood’s labelling formats include standard, slideable, ready meal and skin pack. The company partners with some of the most prominent specialists in the food packaging field for the best materials and adhesives to deliver its labelling systems.

In addition to its selection of eco-friendly labels, Ravenwood supplies a range of machines called ‘Nobac Applicators’.

Its flagship range is Nobac 500 – first introduced about 10 years ago. Since this time, Ravenwood has adapted the original concept and created variants for applying a wide range of linerless labels.

Skin pack packaging is gaining momentum globally and, consequently, skin pack linerless labelling. Demands have expanded for hygienic packaging for various applications, especially within food packaging where preservation and increased shelf-life are paramount.

Meanwhile, glass packaging specialist Croxsons will display the distinctive primary packaging bottle it developed for artisan gin producer the House of Elrick, a new entrant on the premium spirits market.

Producing just 600 bottles per batch, the House of Elrick is located on an historical estate in Aberdeenshire and claims to be the only artisan small batch gin producer to use fresh, filtered water straight from Loch Ness.

In creating the primary packaging, Croxsons used the luxurious look and feel of the 700ml Little Pasha bottle, a design created and produced exclusively by specialist manufacturer Saverglass.

The bottle was then sprayed in a matt blue finish and screen printed with silver ink to create a novel and distinctive appeal.

In addition to the 700ml version, which was released before Christmas, Croxsons is also working with Saverglass on new capacity options including a miniature 50ml and a 350ml version of the same artwork. There is also the possibility of a three-litre version this year.

Packaging for dry-ageing (back to top)

Weald Packaging will be exhibiting its specialist food packaging targeted predominantly at the meat industry. It will introduce its Weald Dry Age Bags, which are designed to dry-age meat products inside the bag.

Users are able to vacuum, age and deliver the meat in the same dry-age bag, which means completely eliminating the risk of bacteria from the outside environment.

The Weald Dry Age Bags are said to provide protection against off flavours and contamination, allowing users to dry-age in any refrigeration unit without the need for UV lighting or specialised humidity control.

They are designed to produce steaks that are tender, flavoursome and visually appealing after an ageing period of 21 days.

Edible seeds lead the healthy food rend at IFE show

The biennial International Food & Drink Event (IFE), which takes place alongside Pro2Pac at London’s ExCeL in London from March 20–22, will be separated into nine, easy to navigate, sections.

The sections cover Bakery, Cheese & Dairy, Drinks, Great British & Irish Food, Grocery, Health & Wellbeing, Ingredients, Meat & Seafood and Snacks & Confectionery.

Among the products on show from 1,350 food and drink manufacturers, will be many that demonstrate evolving trends – such as health – and changing consumer demands in retail and foodservice. These are likely to lead the way our food and drink landscape is shaped.

From family-owned specialist food sourcer and importer Caterers Choice, to edible seeds supplier Unicorn Ingredients, many emerging trends will be on display.

The latest JellySqueeze flavour: Apple and Blackcurrant from Caterers Choice, is the third product to launch in this innovative range of squeezy jelly in a pouch, which is now available in retail and leisure outlets nationwide.

Specialist supplier of edible seeds Unicorn Ingredients hopes to boost sales of edible seeds in the UK market, which is not as well developed as other nations, such as Germany.

The use of seeds as an ingredient for baking is well established, but seeds have far wider applications, says the company, for instance, for inclusion in cereals and other breakfast products, salads and healthier snacking lines.

Seeds boast many nutritional properties, the company explains. They are a good source of fibre, which is important in a healthy diet. They contain many minerals and can help lower cholesterol.

Some have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. They also have a low rating on the glycaemic index, which means they are slow to digest in the body, avoiding the sugar rush associated with some carbohydrates.

Elsewhere, Troy Foods will display its freshly prepared vegetables for ready meals and retail packs for the UK’s major supermarkets and dressed salads, dips and mayonnaise and dressings for retailers and foodservice groups.

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