The first formal base of the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) outside the US will be launched on October 4. Over 50 brands, including Waitrose, Cath Kidson, Samsung and Harrods, gathered recently at the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising in Notting Hill, London, to hear plans for the launch.
Kevin Vyse, director of IoPP UK, commented: ‘The IoPP is a major global organization that brings together marketers, designers and packaging specialists, so they can work effectively together. One of our main priorities will be to develop an invaluable education programme for those thinking of joining the industry or new to it. IoPP works brilliantly in the US and its mix of training, member benefits, networking events plus global connections is something professionals in the UK will really benefit from.’
Patrick Farrey, executive director of the IoPP in Chicago, travelled to London for the event. He said: ‘Packaging is a global issue and our members are looking for opportunities to connect with people from other parts of the world. If we start sharing, we can learn and help each other, after all, we are struggling with the same things in the US as you are in the UK.’
At the event, to reflect the IoPP’s role promoting learning and the exchange of ideas, Marcel Knobil, the founder of Superbrands, and Tom Heap, freelance journalist and broadcaster, gave their outlook for the packaging sector.
Knobil alluded that stores are becoming more like showrooms as more of us buy online. He argued that it will become dangerous to promote environmentally friendly packaging as a sale method, as it will become ‘a must’ that consumers expect. He concluded that packaging must fight for its place in the home.
Heap tackled the issue of sustainability. He said packaging is here to stay but the main problem of packaging waste must be overcome. He cited a scheme in San Francisco where an incentive-based programme is helping communities cut costs and the residents reap rewards by turning 'trash into cash'. According to Heap, the UK Government will be reluctant to charge people for the waste they throw out (or paying them to recycle it), but if recycling is to be encouraged, a value must be put on it.
Arnaud Allard, packaging creative director at Mintel Beauty, said: ‘At last a place where packaging professionals, manufacturers, designers through to retailers and brands can physically meet (not virtually) and exchange thoughts on packaging innovations and issues. It was really refreshing to meet other professionals from the packaging industry, in such a warm and relaxed atmosphere making networking easier and informal, especially with two very approachable speakers. I'm looking forward to the next IoPP event and hope it will continue to attract professionals from all sectors within packaging.’
Kevin Vyse concluded: ‘One of the reasons for running pre-launch events is to speak to the industry and really understand what it needs from us, as we’re determined that the IoPP will operate in a way which best serves UK professionals.’
Established over 75 years ago in the USA, the IoPP is dedicated to creating networking and educational opportunities for all those involved in specifying, developing or deploying packaging. It has over 9,000 members in 40 countries.
The next IoPP event will take place at the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising on September 18 2012. Speaker Karl McKeever, retail consultant, will discuss the future role of the retail store and the packaging industry’s likely reaction to this positioning.