As all of us in the food and beverage industry are quite aware, there is much more to successful packaging than merely branding a new product or updating


Printpack will be discussing the development of innovations at the 2013 Structural Packaging Summit, including the development of resealable snack bags like this one for Walkers.

graphics. There is a great deal of sweat equity that must go into the creation of that package long before the retailer even sets eyes on the new package.

All that critical work that must go on behind the scenes of package development is the focus of Packaging Strategies’ Structural Packaging Summit, a conference that looks squarely at those critical steps needed in the birthing process for a new package. While that can sometimes be a challenge, this event does not shy away from showcasing the difficult process and the success stories that have helped make packaging continually relevant and viable to consumers.

This longtime conference – reinvigorated by that dedicated focus three years ago – will be held February 26-28, 2013, at the InterContinental Buckhead in Atlanta. You can register now for special early-bird rates and hotel-room discounts by going to Become part of this discussion and networking activities with top packaging peers involved in the future of development.

Next year’s conference will focus on many of the “behind the curtain” tools in package development. A centerpiece will be a session partly titled “You Are There!” that includes live consumer interviews into new package creation via a video satellite feed and insights from David France, Packaging Research Fellow at ConAgra Foods and Eliot Schreiber of Cloverleaf Innovation, on how to develop innovative packaging based on new techniques shown exclusively at this event.

Other brand owners will be onsite in a special session – moderated by Mintel’s Lynn Dornblaser – on cracking the international barriers and reaching new markets for packaging globally. And several case studies from top food companies are on the docket; look for more updates on the agenda soon.

But that’s not the only reason to attend this year’s event. Many of us want to know the latest design and development trends influencing what sells in the marketplace.
There is no better place for this than at this world-class event. A host of key U.S. package designers – including Peter Clarke of Product Ventures, Scott Callahan of Perimeter Brand Packaging, Robb Ziegler of Brandimation, Roger Laflamme of PolyWorks, and Jim Warner of Kaleidoscope -- are on the program revealing some of the secrets (and those challenges) in innovation and package introductions.

And don’t miss some special sessions that could be vital to an understanding of new development paradigms. Scott Young, president of influential packaging insights group Perception Research Services (PRS), will shed light on many of the key emerging trends – categorized by five transformation changes that you can’t afford to ignore. And Clemson University and Klöckner Pentaplast will share the development of mobile eye tracking information that can boost perception of what actually works in the retail environment, showcasing actual store buying behavior.

Don’t miss innovations leader Printpack and its behind-the-scenes look at its innovation institute and how it crafts some of the market’s more noticeable food and beverage packaging. There is a lot more, including a session on right-sizing packaging and a special presentation on crowdsourcing and its influence on design agencies.

And I haven’t even talked about the networking opportunities to mingle with top package designers and developers and share ideas during receptions and our February 27 expo. There is a lot to bring you to Atlanta for this event and even more reasons why you have to be there if you’re involved in any aspect of package development or marketing.