By  on May 18, 2012

This year’s Luxe Pack New York luxury packaging exposition — which marked the event’s 10th anniversary — was brimming over with technological innovation across all luxury sectors.

Held at the Altman Building and Metropolitan Pavilion, the two-day convention, which began on Wednesday, featured a robust seminar schedule — including a packaging panel led by packaging designer Marc Rosen — and special exhibits like an “Innovation Forum” and a pop-up materials lab.

This year’s event was meant to have a “boutiquelike” feel, according to Nathalie Grosdidier, Luxe Pack’s executive director. Grosdidier called the atmosphere of this year’s event “convivial.” “It’s pleasure and business together,” she said.

According to Grosdidier, beauty is Luxe Pack’s largest segment, accounting for about 60 to 70 percent of the concepts on display, followed by spirits and wine, then fine foods and then accessories and other miscellaneous items. Of the 141 exhibitors, she said about 45 percent are European, another 45 percent are from North America and about 10 percent are from Asia. Although she did not have a specific number of attendees, Grosdidier said the 2012 Luxe Pack edition surpassed last year’s total of 2,370.

“Luxury beauty is the market for which the importance of packaging is of high volume,” said Grosdidier. “Quality is very important. Even for middle-range products [packaging] quality is improving a lot.

“New applicators and new processes of makeup application are things I have seen,” said Grosdidier, who identified “ergonomic powder applicators and applicators with stimulating and cooling effects” as ideas to watch. Another innovation of note included packaging created from a singular raw material (i.e., aluminum, plastic, etc.), designed to make recycling easier. Decoration, “smart packaging”— i.e., scented outer packaging — and containers made to look like natural materials, namely wood, through high-tech processes were also among the highlights in the beauty category.

Echoing the sentiment was Marjorie Vincenti, external communications manager for global packaging company Albéa, which has provided packaging for brands like Rimmel London, Lancôme, MAC, Dior, Avon and Maybelline.

“We want our products to be nomadic, practical and hygienic,” said Vincenti, who added that some of the newest innovations on display included futuristic flexible and rolling lip-gloss applicators and eye-appealing ergonomic foundation packaging. “Applicators are one of the biggest trends,” she said.

Vincenti also echoed the theme of packaging decoration, pointing out tubes and compacts with metallic, pearl, wooden and “multisensory,” soft touch effects, embossing and 3-D lace silk screening, as well as realistic pixel printing and label-less sustainable packaging.

Dina K. Dinata, marketing manager for Indonesia-based packaging company Kemas, said two of the biggest themes among the company’s offerings were “affordable quality” and “decorations that mimic nature.” To that end, Dinata pointed out plastic lipstick tubes coated with a metal-imitating “stamping effect,” as well as unique textural “spiderweb” and “dewdrop” effects atop a series of compacts, the latter of which resembled a fresh sprinkling of rain.

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