Food + Beverage News

PACK EXPO Las Vegas Takeaways

PACK EXPO Las Vegas Takeaways


The PACK EXPO trade shows unite the world of packaging and processing to advance the industries they serve. Our team had the pleasure of attending PACK EXPO Las Vegas this September. At the show, the team enjoyed learning more about current food and beverage trends and networking within the industry. Below are our three key takeaways from the conference.

1. Beverage Industry Trends
The beverage industry is booming. In 2018, the U.S. beverage market grew in volume for the fifth consecutive year and there has been a +15% compound annual growth rate of the plant based dairy alternative category. Recently, beverage companies have noticed that packaging innovation is an integral part of their marketing mix. Overall, smaller pack sizes are the popular choice compared to the larger packaging of past years. Additionally, on-the-go consumption is important for many consumers and metal cans have been the answer for this need. Cans, along with plastic and glass comprise more than 90% of the beverage packing universe. Sparkling water is on fire as the fastest-growing segment in the bottled water category for this type of portable packaging.  
Consumer purchasing trends have also shifted in recent years. Store brands are now more popular than ever with estimates of sales at $120 billion in 2020. Private label food will grow at 2.95% through 2020 with more than half of consumers shopping at a store specifically for its private brand. According to Contract Packaging Association, 85% of consumers trust these private brands. Where consumers make their purchase is changing as well. Online grocery shopping could reach $100 billion in spending and by 2024, it is expected that 70% of consumers will be grocery shopping online. Retailers adding this flexibility will be paramount in order to meet consumers where they are.

2. Labels Matter in Food Packaging
The vast majority of all packaging is food-related and these labels are the best opportunity to represent your brand. Here are some up and coming trends in food packaging:

  • Recently, brand owners have sought clear packaging paired with a “no-label look”
  • Self-adhesive, full-wrap labels and decorative labels are increasingly popular
  • Carbon positive is the future formula for sustainable labeling
  • RW85C wash-off adhesive enables plastic recycling
  • RafCycle is a sustainability enhancement and has the potential for cost savings

3. State of the Snack Industry
Consumers are relying more on the snack category and snacks are replacing meals more than ever before. This lifestyle change can be traced mainly to the Millennial and Gen Z generations. A whopping 92% of Millennials and Gen Z replace at least one meal a week with a snack and on average, consumer snack 2.7 times per day. A big driver behind this trend is health consciousness. According to SNAC International, 88% of consumers are willing to pay more for foods they perceive as healthy and these snacks fall into that category. In 2018, the snack category had 4.2% growth compared to 3.2% growth for the food and beverage indsutry. The infographic below depicts additional snack industry statistics.



Pack Expo is produced by PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. PMMI represents more than 850 North American manufacturers and suppliers of equipment, components and materials as well as providers of related equipment and services to the packaging and processing industry. PMMI works to advance industries by connecting consumer goods companies with manufacturing solutions through the world-class PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows.


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