2018 American Packaging Summit Recap

I recently attended the American Packaging Summit at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare on June 6 & 7, 2018.

The conference was full of current packaging trends related to retail and e-commerce both domestically and internationally. The list of delegates was extremely impressive representing the likes of Pepsico, Campbell’s, Dell, Bayer, Mattel, HP, Colgate Palmolive, GSK, Estee lauder, McCormick & Co, Coca-Cola, and Smuckers to name just a few.

One of the key messages consistently delivered by the senior management representing a who’s who of global brands was sustainability. The market has been talking about sustainability for a long time. My take away from the summit is that talk is over and sustainability is here to stay. It was front and center of every presentation. This creates opportunities for all of us no matter if you are a retailer, wholesale consumer brand or manufacturer. Sustainable solutions are a necessary component for every brand and manufacturer going forward.

It was fascinating to hear senior management share how their companies are adapting to the fast pasted environment we all are living in. Whether the change is coming from the millennial consumer and their way of purchasing products and identifying brands, or e-commerce driving a need for good inventory and speed-to-market, the conversation always came full circle back to packaging.

One speaker summed up the current environment we all play in no matter what your business is - CPG, healthcare, pharma, nutraceutical, contract manufacturing, etc. - using the acronym VUCA or Volatile-Uncertain-Complex-Ambiguous. By understanding VUCA, you can start to understand the market place and build an organization from the top down that embraces change and learns to be more agile, able to evolve more rapidly.

Creativity as it relates to branding and packaging was also a clear message in every presentation. Immersing your company in a culture of creativity is crucial for success. Whether your company is a CPG or a contract manager, creative and innovative ways to package products better and deliver those products successfully will separate the winners from the losers.

The importance of collaboration and empowerment was consistently talked about as a key virtue for any successful company as well. The reality of the business world today is that we are all doing more with less. To deliver on any part of today’s complex supply chain, whether it’s packaging or the best fulfillment solution, requires a culture of collaboration.

At Outlook Group, sustainable solutions are embedded throughout the organization, part of our culture. We deliver sustainable solutions every day to our partners. A couple examples include our in-house full service contract packaging solutions helping companies reduce transportation costs and minimize the number of supplier touch points. Our sustainable thin-liner label solution, MICROLINER, offers an impressive 30-100% more labels on a roll, translating to 80% reduction in liner waste, and dramatically reduced transportation and storage costs, not to mention less operator downtime.

Interested in learning how Outlook Group can help your company be more sustainable? Let's talk. Reach out via our contact form or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Author – Jim Holland
Director Contract Packaging & Fulfillment
Connect with me on LinkedIn