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Sustainable packaging at Africa’s Big Seven

Sustainability and innovation are two key drivers in today’s packaging industry. - Credit :

Sustainability and innovation are two key drivers in today’s packaging industry.


There is growing pressure on manufacturers and product developers to ‘go green’, and increasing consumer demand for innovative packaging is challenging the industry. These factors are also providing companies with opportunities to gain a competitive edge in the industry.


The ‘Sustainable and Innovative Packaging Masterclass’, which takes place at Africa’s Big Seven Food and Beverage trade expo on 18 and 19 July at Gallagher Convention Centre, will show delegates how sustainable materials and innovative packaging design can transform their product offerings into market leaders.

“With 70 per cent of all purchasing decisions made in-store, and consumers spending an average of only 20 minutes in a store at any given time, packaging is a critical factor in influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions,” says Stephen Beattie, Sales and Marketing Manager of Pyrotec, a privately-owned South African company specialising in innovative product identification solutions. Beattie will be addressing the Masterclass on how to use innovation and creativity in packaging, to build a competitive edge.

“Packaging has progressed from an informational tool to an identification tool and, more recently, an experience tool,” continues Beattie. “It’s mostly about the brand’s ability to grab consumers’ attention, relate to their own identities and create an emotional connection.”


Besides innovation, sustainability is another major trend.

“The green route will remain one of the main consumer drivers,” continues Beattie. “The demand for sustainable, environmentally-friendly packaging is greater than ever before, as it meets consumers’ desire for their purchases to serve a greater purpose.” According to market research company Freedonia, demand for sustainable packaging is expected to reach $41.7bn by 2014 in the US alone.

“Africa’s Big Seven will give us the exposure we are looking for to go hand-in-hand with our philosophy, ‘A world of opportunities’,” says Charles Muller, Group Marketing Executive of Astrapak, producers and suppliers of plastic packaging. Muller believes that AB7 will provide a solid networking foundation to spread the Astrapak message to the rest of Africa. Astrapak Limited employs over 4 000 people, has an annual turnover of around R3-billion and offers a wide range of flexible and rigid packaging solutions.

J-PAK, a repeat exhibitor, will be showcasing its metal detectors, conveyers and linx printers. “AB7 is a world-class exhibition; our previous experience was great and we had a very good response,” says Tim Gordon, Sales Director of J-PAK. “Last year we were able to get a lot of enquiries for new business and we are hoping to get the same from this year’s exhibition, which will help us expand more into the African market,” adds Gordon. “We are currently doing business in Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe and would like to expand even further.”

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