Editor’s Notes: Flex Pack Power –Polischuk

Coming on the heels of the Flexible Packaging Association’s (FPA) highly successful 2013 Annual Meeting held late last month, this March issue of packagePRINTING includes several feature stories on this dynamic packaging segment. The cover story on Accredo Packaging highlights its fairly recent move into the flexible packaging arena; the State of the Industry report sums up how several larger players in the flexible packaging industry aggressively managed their businesses throughout 2012, along with a view of the opportunities for 2013; and an article on a new stand-up pouch configuration for a motor oil supplier (Universal Lubricants) shows how several companies in the supply chain worked together to make it happen. As a matter of fact, the printer/converter for this product, Star Packaging, won two awards for this package in FPA’s annual Achievement Awards competition (see p. 16 for a complete list of winners). [Ed Note in the Editor’s Notes: Although we’ve had many beautiful entries in packagePRINTING’s annual Excellence Awards competition, it’s been a while since a flexible package entry has adorned the August cover as Best of Show. Seeing the stunning entries in the FPA contest makes me think this could change this year. Visit www.packageprinting.com/excellenceawards for more information.]

Once incoming FPA chairman, Tom Cochran of Amcor Flexibles Americas, took the gavel from Sealed Air’s Jim Mize, he set the tone for an exciting program by announcing record attendance. A range of informative presentations followed including: the European flexible packaging market, the global economy, materials sourcing, food safety, and consumer insights.

Before Cochran turned over the podium for these presentations, he highlighted details in FPA’s annual State of the Flexible Packaging Industry report. Of note, the estimated $26.7 billion for the U.S. flexible packaging industry in 2012 represented 18 percent of the total U.S. packaging industry, second only behind corrugated at 23 percent. The North American flexible packaging market comes in at 27 percent of the worldwide total, behind Asia/Pacific at 39 percent.

One interesting slide Cochran presented showed the breadth and depth of innovation that flexible packaging offers to consumers. In summing up the entries in the Achievement Awards competition, he showed that 20 percent were in structural and material advances, 35 percent provided consumer convenience, 11 percent were in environmental/sustainability, and 26 percent were in printing/graphics.

We all know that much converting technology is applied in flexible packaging, so it’s important to note that the ICE USA converting show opens its door on April 9th in Orlando. Our coverage starts on p. 32.

Tom Polischuk, Editor-in-Chief

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They can be addressed to Editor, ­packagePRINTING, 1500 Spring ­Garden St., 12th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19130, or tpolischuk@napco.com.

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