Pack Expo International, hosted by PMMI, Reston, Va., takes place Nov. 6-9, in Chicago at McCormick Place. The four-day event is expecting more than 45,000 attendees and will feature around 2,000 exhibitors, with 1.1 million net square feet of exhibit space (combined) for Pack Expo and Pharma Expo, which it’s once again co-locating with.

Dairy processors can learn about the latest packaging/equipment trends and technology, and see processing and packaging machinery in action, right on the show floor.

The Innovation Stage at the show is shaping up to be the largest and most robust on-floor education feature since its inception in 2012, according to PMMI. Pack Expo will feature three stages, located in the Grand Concourse, where dairy processors can learn about top-of-mind issues and trends from free educational programming. These learning hubs will offer 30-minute seminars (every half-hour) on breakthrough ideas and technologies conducted by exhibitors and industry leaders. Session topics will include:

  • Machinery safety
  • Standards & technology to improve productivity
  • Sustainability
  • Smart packaging
  • Global packaging trends
  • Digital print technology
  • Multipack solutions

Several show floor features will also host education and interactive presentations, including:

  • The Reusables Learning Center: Learn about integrating reusables into the supply chain, thus maximizing profits and sustainability simultaneously.
  • The Beverage Cooler lounge: A networking and learning center for the beverage industry.
  • The Showcase of Packaging Innovations: The showcase will display the latest innovations and award-winning designs in packaging. The packages featured in the showcase are winning entries from competitions all around the world.
  • The Food Safety Summit Resource Center offers free presentations, information and one-on-one consultations with subject matter experts, addressing critical food safety issues and compliance.

Educational session highlights for dairy processors

Sun. Nov. 6, noon - 12:30 p.m.        

Validatable Bag and Pouch Sealing for the 21st Century

Mon. Nov. 7, 10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Can Single Serve Packs Offer Sustainability?

Mon. Nov. 7, noon - 12:30 p.m.       

Be the Disruption: Create Packaging that wins in e-Commerce

Mon. Nov. 7, 3 p.m. - 3:30 pm          

Pouch Packaging Made Recycle Ready

Tue. Nov. 8, 1 p.m. - 1:30 pm

Promoting Food Safety through Representative Sampling and Hygienic Design

Tue. Nov. 8, 2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.         

Insights on Global Packaging Trends

Wed. Nov. 9, 10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.   

Beyond Foreign Body Identification - Where Did That Foreign Body Come From?

Wed. Nov. 9, noon - 12:30 p.m.

Smart Packaging – What’s the Reality?

The show floor hours are from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday. For more exhibitor and attendee information, travel arrangements, directions and to register for Pack Expo, visit

Pack Expo Gives Back

Beginning with a reception at 4:30 p.m. on Mon., Nov. 7, the show’s annual charity and networking event will feature a performance at 5:30 p.m. by the award-winning, magician-comic duo Penn & Teller. The event benefits a charity. Tickets are $75 and include beer, wine and light hors d’oeuvres.  


Pack Expo highlights solutions for dairy growth

By Sean M. Riley, PMMI

Pack Expo International 2016 houses the latest and greatest in dairy processing and packaging equipment, technologies and education.

While the food industry as a whole continues to grow globally, three particular categories — two in the dairy arena — are setting the pace, according to research from “Global Packaging Trends – Global Growth Markets for Packaging.”

Produced by PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, the study reveals that along with bottled water, yogurt and sour milk products are the three categories with greater than 5% growth, adding a combined 161 billion packaging units by 2019.

Growth in dairy is attributed to dairy manufacturers using packaging to offer convenience and communicate the nutritional value and freshness of their products. In a world where convenience is king, brand owners are seeking out dairy packaging that meets consumer demand for enhanced functionality and stands out on the store shelf.

At this year’ Pack Expo International and Pharma Expo 2016, brand owners will have the opportunity to connect with 2,500-plus exhibitors showcasing technologies of a wide range of packaging machinery, materials and containers to discover dairy solutions to help them achieve their goals.

Over the four-day event, registrants will find advanced solutions to increase operational efficiency and safety while reducing production costs and material usage across the line, including robotics and automation for the entire supply chain from processing to palletizing; advanced technologies for dispensing, filling, cleaning, disinfecting and reducing water usage and labeling systems that provide greater flexibility and sustainability.

The following are just three examples of dairy solutions among the hundreds scheduled for display at Pack Expo International. Markem-Imaje (Booth S-2514) will showcase a new dedicated dairy coding solution with low total cost of ownership without sacrificing coding integrity. Perfect for yogurt, Klöckner Pentaplast (Booth E-8118) combines the functionality of polystyrene with excellent barrier properties and the ability to bend and click in its Pentafood clikPET technology for dairy packaging. This solution increases product shelf life up to 10 days, protects cup from breakage during distribution, reduces packaging cost and meets consumer demands for convenience and freshness.

BluePrint Automation’s (Booth N-5709) BPA CPIII Wrap-Around Casepacker automatically erects, loads and closes wrap-around cases for bulk containers of milk products.

In addition to exhibitors, the Containers and Materials Pavilion (Upper North Building) provides ways to bring imaginative and ambitious designs to life, including advanced technologies that reduce material usage without sacrificing appeal and function and materials, and containers that preserve freshness, reduce waste and enhance brand equity.

The 13th annual Showcase of Packaging Innovations serves as the yearly display of inspiring and award-winning packaging designs. These packages provide inspiration for new ways to enhance shelf appeal

Register for Pack Expo International and Pharma Expo 2016 online at Registration is $30 through Oct. 14, when it then will increase to the on-site fee of $100.  

— Sean M. Riley is editorial director in the Marketing
& Communications department at PMMI.