Conference stresses on a la carte solutions for brands

During the ProPak exhibition held at Bombay Exhibition Centre from 17 to 19 August, the show also hosted a two-day conference with industry experts sharing and highlighting industry trends, and what is the way forward.

22 Aug 2023 | By Abhay Avadhani

The exhibition hosted a two-day knowledge-sharing session

Navigating the food frontier: Emerging trends in food processing
Suraj Savaliya, managing director, Patson Group of Companies, talked about the importance of innovation in food processing. His company is the largest in Gujarat for mango pulp processing which he exports to 40 countries.

The session was moderated by Ritesh Mathur, founder of F2F Food and Beverage Consultants. The panel consisted of KK Jitha, joint director FSSAI (western region); Krish Bhaggan, vice president R&D and QA, Manorama industries; Girish Chitale, working partner, Chitale Group; and Suraj Savaliya.

Ritesh Mathur provided a snapshot of food trends among startups and entrepreneurs alongside the MNCs. During the panel discussion, KK Jitha highlighted the importance of clean labels, healthy nutrients, and food safety packaging. Prakhar Sharma said, “Sustainability was once understood as down-gauging and cost-cutting. But due to regulations we are moving in the right direction.”

Packaging testing - Ensuring and enabling troubleshooting
Day two of the ProPak conference included a panel discussion moderated by Prasad Iyer, director, SIES School of Packaging. The discussion covered various standards and challenges faced by the industry when it comes to packaging testing.

Ravindran M, packaging R&D, General Mills India said, “Material science is an important aspect.” He highlighted that the user industry should be aware and evaluate the test results. It is critical to know how to use the result and discuss the iterations with the vendor. Shivkumar Vishwanathan, VP marketing at GVS Cibatech pointed out that the market, specifications, and product needs to be analysed in the product development phase itself. Correct testing is crucial.

Bhanupriya Munta of Shalina Laboratories said, “One needs to understand the difference between queries and complaints whether it is for a specific batch, process or if it is a recurring problem.” “Analysing the behaviour of consignment packages is important,” she added.

Suresh Kunjan said that testing parameters, norms and specifications needs to be understood and implemented with care.

Packaging design - road to successful product packaging and branding
The second panel discussion of day two was moderated by Prasad Iyer of SIES School of Packaging; along with panellists - Sethunath Padmanabhan, managing director - Asia Pacific, Reproflex3; Alex Paul, NPD senior manager, TCPL packaging; Nitin Virkar, director product design, Therefore Design; and Julie Nandgaonkar, senior packaging scientist, General Mills.

Sethunath Padmanabhan said, “Packaging is the language of communication between brands and users. Brands don't see package design as a cost, it is seen as an investment to reach more people.” However Nitin Virkar pointed out the factors that influence the product package: Context, target audience and product functionality. “Higher the brand reach, the more the time and cost it takes to understand the general perception of the product,” he said.

Alex Paul of TCPL Packaging explains that designers and consumers must understand each other, and it is crucial to recognise the individual abilities from multiple perspectives, and to cater the solution.

Innovative solutions for secure features
The final session of the ProPak conference talks about empowering packaging, and ensuring traceability. Talking about the secure features, Gaurav Sathaye, director, United Speciality Inks said that awareness levels of duplication among consumers are very low. He crunched some numbers, “While 27% of the consumers are unaware of the duplicate product, 31% are still willing to buy even though they are aware.”

Inder Sharma, president sales and marketing, Holostik India highlighted, “Counterfeiting is a global problem which should not be taken lightly. Brands are unwilling to have a proactive approach towards counterfeit. They think of it as an expense instead of investment.”

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Which is the sustainable packaging product among MSMEs that is most popular?


Which is the sustainable packaging product among MSMEs that is most popular?

Bagasse and biodegradable boxes



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Paper bags



Recyclable plastic (bubble wraps, bio-plastic)



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