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Reports are calling Pack Expo Las Vegas a ‘record breaker.’

Modern Materials Handling breaks down the numbers from Pack Expo Las Vegas, showing an increase in just about every statistic from 2013’s show. The expo brought nearly 29,000 custom packaging fans to Nevada the final weekend in September. Showrunner PMMI, the Association of Packaging and Processing Technologies, says that’s a 6% increase from 2013.

This might have been due in part to the joint effort with the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering, which allowed Pharma Con to take place within the same convention area. Either way, more sets of eyes were on current packaging trends than any year prior.

These trends ranged in topic across quite a spectrum. While advancements in robotic packaging devices stole the show, the biggest topics were (of course) medical packaging, environmentally friendly packaging, and food packaging.

More than the usual presentation packaging side, the medical packaging trends were aimed at sterility and proper dosage. Additionally, according to Packaging World, packaging design seemed to be answering the call by the public to be more environmental. The most interesting element may have been the push from rigid packaging to flexible packaging, or rather packaging designs that could be converted from one to the other. Some kind of of hybrid of corrugated and rigid packaging? In a way, we already have a product like that, but it will be curious to see what comes next.

But whatever comes next in popular packaging, the same high quality of standards and design will have to be present. No matter what trends or inventions come along in the world of presentation packaging, retail packaging, and luxury packaging, we know that packaging in general is still a necessity. Without custom boxes for security, thermoformed trays and foam inserts for storage, and the visual marketing provided by custom printing, products will have a very unfortunate presence on shelves and in meetings.

Whatever trends are coming down the pipe, you can guarantee we’ll stay on top of it.

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