Keynote speakers include Weetabix, Innocent Drinks, Kraft Heinz, Britvic, Taylors of Harrogate, John Lewis, Wilkos, JML Group, The Body Shop, SABMiller plc and Quorn Foods.
The CPD accredited two-day programme will run throughout the event, which includes Empack and Label&Print, taking place on the 24 & 25 February 2016 at Birmingham’s NEC. It will also feature experts from Quintessential Brands, Little Fingers Organic Baby Food, Sun Branding Solutions, Cambridge Design Partnership and branding agency, Hornall Anderson.
These major players will draw on the very latest thinking, technological trends and real-life examples as they address the top industry concerns faced by many packaging experts.
Gerry Sherwood, event director for Easyfairs’ UK Packaging Portfolio, says: “The Learnshops programme aims to cover the full packaging spectrum, providing visitors with practical and pioneering insight that just might help their business or packaging idea evolve.”
The “skills gap” is unarguably one of the biggest threats to modern day workplaces and one of the most hotly debated topics; to explore this challenge a panel of experts will contest ‘Closing the packaging skills gap’. Clover Abbott, strategic packaging innovation manager at Weetabix and Graham Fox, packaging operations team leader at Innocent Drinks, among many others, will debate how the packaging needs of food and drink retailers are changing; where is the most pressing need for packaging innovation; and how do skills across the packaging supply chain need to evolve to meet these changing needs?
Food waste is another hot topic, with an estimated 89m tonnes of food being wasted every year in the EU, and expected to rise to around 126m tonnes by 2020. So appropriately, Marcel Keuenhof, packaging expert and waste reductionist at Kraft Heinz, will be sharing his insights on ‘Combating food waste through packaging’.
Mike Swain, senior innovation manager, packaging, at Britvic will look at ‘overcoming the challenges of packaging innovation’; and building on this theme, Conrad Hart-Brooke, packaging supply chain manager at Taylors of Harrogate, will explore the year ahead and provide ‘packaging insights for a competitive edge’.
Mark Gallen, packaging design and production manager at John Lewis will be chairing an interactive debate on ‘Packaging for an omni-channel world’. He’ll be joined by Phil Huggett, own brand packaging manager at Wilkos; Alison Gilliard, senior brand and packaging designer at John Mills Ltd; and Ian Curtis, sustainable packaging engineer at The Body Shop.
This panel session will explore opinions on the omni-channel customer – how can packaging professionals deliver requirements for robust, cost-effective solutions, that also support brand image and sustainability objectives?
On day two, Antoinette Devine, formerly manager packaging: sustainability and innovation, at SABMiller will address ‘open innovation and leveraging your network’. While, Ester Takacs, head of packaging development at Quorn Foods, will share the company’s insights on the ‘packaging challenges for retail’.
The UK’s convenience channel is set to continue as one of the ‘hot channels’ as increasingly packaging needs to be sure it meets the specific needs of this sector. Addressing this, and drawing on his brand experience when it comes to ‘grabbing’ the attention of convenience shoppers, is Adam Margolin, marketing director, retailer, brand strategist, author, and formerly head of marketing with SPAR and McColl’s.
Lynn Butterworth, procurement manager, at Quintessential Brands will discuss ‘how suppliers can help to drive packaging innovation in brands’. While, Marcus Wilson, owner of Little Fingers Organic Baby Food Co, who will be interviewed by Kate Fischer, account director – creative at Sun Branding Solutions, will provide real-life insight into the brand and packaging story behind Little Fingers.
Stergios Bititsios, packaging and consumer research Leader at Cambridge Design Partnership will be looking at how strategy, insights and technology come together at the front end of innovation to help get packaging right the first time, reducing lead times, ensuring faster time to market and increased ROI, in his discussion on ‘The Value of The Front-End in Packaging Innovation’.
Bringing the entire learnshops programme to a close is Dan Monteith, managing partner at brand and design agency Hornall Anderson, who will be discussing the Jamie Oliver Story in his talk ‘redesigning the visual identity of a famous brand for global markets’.