After their four-day run as in-person events, upakovka – Processing & Packaging and interplastica, International Trade Fair for Plastics and Rubber, have achieved extremely successful results. For the first time since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, the trade fair duo took place live in Moscow. A total of 17,000 visitors came to the Central Exhibition Complex Expocentre from 25 to 28 to see the innovations of 650 exhibitors from 32 countries, to make or intensify contacts and to take part in the extensive lecture programme. The mood in the halls was good, and exhibitors praised in particular the high quality of the contacts.
Good attendance despite the pandemic
Despite some pandemic-related restrictions visitors from 39 countries travelled to the top event for the Russian packaging market, predominantly hailing from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Germany, Uzbekistan, Armenia and Italy. Of these 77% were decision-makers and 44% first-time visitors. This allowed upakovka exhibitors to establish targeted contacts, above all in Russia and its neighbouring states. However, there were also many visitors arriving from Central and Southern Europe. Numerous exhibitors took part for the first time such as Heidelberg-CIS, Uteco Converting or KASAN MAKINA.
All signs pointing to growth
“We are so delighted that we managed to create a marketplace for the Russian packaging industry again this year,” said Thomas Dohse, Project Director at Messe Düsseldorf, and went on to say: “Due to rises in food and medicinal drug production demand for packaging as well as machinery investment in Russia remains high. With upakovka 2022 we were able to provide new impulses since personal encounters were possible again at last.”
upakovka is the only platform catering to the whole packaging process on the Russian market forming part of the international trade fair network “interpack alliance”, which is headed by its namesake flagship trade fair in Düsseldorf. This year’s event focused not only on product innovations but especially on new challenges and altered consumer habits due to the Covid pandemic.
Pandemic has changed Russian consumer behaviour
The Russian food industry continues to be a growth sector. Consumer behaviour in the country, however, has altered on account of the pandemic. The demand for pre-packaged food, for example, initially rose in 2020. This is how consumers secured supplies during the quarantine periods. In 2021 the situation relaxed: stocks were used up, people started eating out again thereby making retail sales of pre-packaged food drop. Market research institute Euromonitor International assumes, however, that the sale of pre-packaged food will rise again next year – both in retail and in food service and hospitality. Another consequence of the pandemic is that many consumers place higher demands on the quality and safety of pre-packaged food. For the period 2021 to 2025 demand is expected to rise by 5% in total to 31 million tons.
Russian consumer demands are rising
To live up to Russian consumers’ rising demands and growing expectations in terms of food quality, freshness, taste, form and appearance, manufacturers have to further expand their production capacities and invest in state-of-the-art processing and packaging technologies.
2020 saw Russia import food and packaging machinery worth EUR 1.62 billion. Here Germany is the most important machinery supplier to the Russian food and beverage industries. After a Covid-induced decline in 2020, German food and packaging machinery exports to Russia were up again by 4% (to EUR 296 m) over the first eleven months of 2021 compared to the same period of the previous year. This growth was driven by packaging machinery deliveries that were up by 22% to EUR 162 million while food machinery deliveries declined by 11% to EUR 134 million, i.e. below the previous year’s level.
Innovationparc forums well attended
Not only business but also continuous education at the “innovationparc” proved an important aspect at upakovka. Since the trade fair has been held under the umbrella of the “interpack alliance”, this special area adapted from interpack in Düsseldorf has become a fixture in Moscow. The topics addressed on the two forum stages ranged from best practice for packaging and print to sustainability aspects and branding.
Focus on beverage technologies
What will beverage packaging look like in five years from now? This was the subject of the conference organised by the Russian Association of Beverage Producers Soyuznapitki as part of innovationparc. This year upakovka posted a very positive development in the beverage production, filling and packaging segments. Here supply and demand were particularly high. Altogether 20% of all exhibitors came from the beverage segment such as SACMI, KHS GmbH, Heuft, Robotec, SMI, Sidel, SIPA or AVE.
Innovations in packaging print
Print technologies and materials have also formed an integral part of the trade fair for years now. This year exhibitors included HEIDELBERG, Uteco Converting and COMEXI, to name but three companies. Furthermore, the 6th annual conference of the Publish Magazine entitled “The Day of Digital Innovations in Packaging and Labelling” was hosted here. Partners included Double V, Konica Minolta, Nissa-Centre, Ricoh Rus and RussKom.
Focus on sustainability
“Green” packaging is among the biggest trends in the industry and was in focus at upakovka. The transition to a circular economy, producers’ responsibility, recycling and the reuse of packaging as well as the reduction of metal parts in the material were all subjects covered by the NKPak Conference under the title “Packaging: How to Ensure Sustainable Development without Reducing the Quality of Life?”. Additionally, a panel discussion at innovationparc addressed the issue: “Are consumers prepared to pay for environmental friendliness, and why should retailers opt in favour of more eco-friendly packaging?”
SAVE FOOD again important theme
Production and packaging concepts are key factors in combating food waste and hunger. Here the SAVE FOOD Initiative of Messe Düsseldorf kicks in. At innovationparc the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) participated as a partner of the Initiative with a talk on the topic “Packaging Solutions to Reduce Food Waste”.
Read more of the latest news and developments in our new edition here: February 2022 Single Issue form – International Confectionery Magazine (in-confectionery.com)