MONTE CARLO, Monaco — Luxe Pack Monaco presented a wide spectrum of prestige packaging — from ecological to high-tech — at its most recent session.
“Connected packaging is a big trend,” said Nathalie Grosdidier, deputy managing director of Idice, organizer of the trade show that ran from Oct. 21 to 23 here. “All the brands have an interest in this and study it.”
She also highlighted a move toward more sophistication in luxury packaging — spurred by higher quality in the mass arena — and customized offers. Meanwhile, the eco-friendly movement keeps gaining steam.
The winner of Luxe Pack’s In Green award for 2015 went to SGD for its Neo Infini glass, made from 90 percent recycled materials.
“The prior Infini glass was greener, so it didn’t fit all the needs of the customers,” said Astrid Dulau-Vuillet, international marketing manager for perfumery, beauty and spirits at the Puteaux, France-based company, referring specifically to how the earlier iteration, created wholly from recycled materials, wasn’t completely transparent.
James Cropper has been busy producing various upcycled products, explained Phil Wild, chief executive officer at the manufacturer based in Cumbria, U.K.
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The company recently began a paper line named Cocoa, for instance, which is manufactured from reprocessed cocoa husks, a chocolate maker’s byproduct. The paper comes in seven colors and is destined for luxury goods and food packaging, printing and advertising, among other uses.
James Cropper’s Carvetian Suede range of paper made with 40 percent recycled fibers is fully recyclable and compostable.
“It’s very, very high-quality paper,” said Wild, adding it is for use by high-end brands in industries likes fashion, spirits, jewelry, consumer goods and electronics.
Favini, another paper company creatively upcycling paper, recently came out with its Remake collection conceived with 25 percent byproducts from the leather-goods industry, 30 percent from Forest Stewardship Council-certified post-consumption recycled cellulose and 45 percent FSC-certified virgin cellulose fiber.
“It’s the first time worldwide that a company has produced paper including leather waste,” said Michele Posocco, brand manager at the Rossano Veneto, Italy-based firm, who added the product is thicker than traditional paper and has a soft touch. “We’ve achieved a paper that is compostable and recyclable.”
On the other end of the continuum at the trade show was high-tech — think connected — packaging.
Neyret was launching what it calls My Smart Ribbon, which integrates a next-generation, dotted QR code for use in primary or secondary packaging. Each code is unique and contained in a circle rather than the traditional QR square with squiggly lines, allowing for access to digital content that can be crafted by each company.
“We wanted to revamp the ribbon, which is considered a traditional ornament,” said Thierry Koenig, export development manager at the company located in Saint-Etienne, France.
The fixed cost of My Smart Ribbon runs at about $2,000 for the technology, plus the price of the ribbon itself.
For its part, Seram Europe, of Saint-Just-Malmont, France, came out with a charmlike QR code that is attachable to products or bracelets and allows the dissemination of online information.
Digital Packaging focused on customization. The company, of Sèvres, France, has already enabled Nestlé consumers to personalize the sleeves wrapping around chocolate boxes.
Information on the packaging explains where to log on to a Web site to customize the band, such as with a video. Then, when the recipient scans the QR code on the sleeve, she can access digital content and even reply to it with another video, explained Charles-Henry Pingeot, production director at Digital Packaging.
For Nestlé it was a double win database-wise, since the company can for each box collect two e-mail addresses.
Digital Packaging showed, as well, a high-end sticker that could be produced in-store for use, for instance, on a sleeve made with hot foil.
“It doesn’t look like a simple sticker,” said Pingeot. “It’s a real personalization — but in-store. It will make a buzz.”
Also expected to create waves is a new prototype of DuPont’s Surlyn packaging resin using light-redirection technology developed by Rayform, a start-up launched by two optic science students at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland.
“They have developed an algorithm with which you can modify the surface of a material,” said Philippe Milazzo, global market manager for cosmetic and perfumes packaging at DuPont, who explained that the light’s direction is changed as it travels through the material, allowing for a precise image to be formed — almost like a shadow.
The process could be used for branding and for anticounterfeiting purposes.
“You can’t copy it,” said Raymond Palmen, director of Europe, Middle-East and Africa at DuPont Packaging and Industrial Polymers.
Meantime, DuPont continues improving its grade of Surlyn, with the most recent version three times more fluid, allowing for additional design possibilities.
Essentra, which late last year acquired the specialized packaging division of Clondalkin Group for $455 million, was exhibiting at Luxe Pack Monaco for the first time. The company focuses on folding cartons, adhesive labels and leaflets, for example, for beauty and personal-care packaging.
At the trade show, it exhibited a range of products, including high-quality foam makeup applicators; plastic, porous applicators for eyeliner, lip liner and lip gloss, and folding-box board.
“What is attracting attention is the quality of the finish. It’s added value,” said Rob Moore, Essentra’s account manager, who explained the global company is “capable of adapting to local and cultural requirements.”
Moore lauded the show, which he attended regularly while working at Clondalkin.
“It has always been a great forum for global customers in Europe,” he said, adding its quality keeps improving yearly.
Luxe Pack Monaco registered 8,651 visitors, a 2 percent rise versus the same prior-year period.
There were 20 percent more marketing and communication managers, 22 percent more designers and 5 percent more packaging developers present. Also of note was an increase of non-French attendees, particularly from the Americas — a 50 and 25 percent uptick from Latin America and from North America, respectively, according to the show organizers.
The fair located in the Grimaldi Forum had two additional exhibition spaces, allowing for 40 supplementary booths. In all, there were 450 exhibitors (versus 400 last year), of which 80 were first-timers.
The next edition of Luxe Pack Monaco will run from Sept. 21 to 23 in 2016.