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  • 06 Sep 2022

Labelexpo hits the road

As preparation for the return of Labelexpo Americas continues across the industry, a series of Roadshows were held across North America, giving attendees a peek into what's to at the show in September.

As preparation for the return of Labelexpo Americas continues across the industry, a series of Roadshows were held across North America, giving attendees a peek into what's to at the show in September.

With support from TLMI, PIASC, and Labels & Labeling magazine, the single-day events were hosted in three cities through July and August 2022 with gold (Epson, HP, and ABG International) and silver (Xeikon) sponsors supporting each Roadshow, with Epson, HP, and ABG International giving presentations on the digital transformation taking place in industry and the companies' respective products being showcased at Labelexpo Americas.

Tasha Ventimiglia, event director at Labelexpo, also gave attendees some insight to the Global Label Awards and Reunion party, product launches, the conference program and masterclasses, and other show events taking place at Labelexpo Americas at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL from September 13-15.

Along with the regular presentations, the events hosted Q&A sessions with local converters and industry experts participating, putting a spotlight on prevalent industry topics like the persistent supply chain problems, the shortages in both materials and labor, increases in cost of raw materials, and the industry-wide push for a more sustainable future.

The Roadshows kicked off in Orange County, California at Fullerton College, where eventgoers participated in a Q&A session with Lou Caron, president and CEO of PIASC, and Craig Moreland, president and CEO of Coast Label. A collection of topics were discussed, but being California, the state’s recent regulation on the usage and disposal of plastics put into place was hot topic.

Guests were also treated to a tour of the college's digital technology wing where students can get hands-on learning using flexographic, offset, screen, and other printing technologies.

The second leg of the Roadshows took place at Haney Packaging in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dan Haney, president of Haney Packaging, walked attendees through what the 'Packaging Microfactory' exactly is and how its VIA alliance is looking to push the industry forward.

Following a set of presentations, including partner at McKinsey & Company, Matthew Seider's presentation on how sustainability is changing not only the label industry but the supply chain, attendees were able to tour Haney’s facility speaking to managers and employees stationed at each station learning about how the company operates.

As the day closed, the event was moved across the street to Karrikin Spirits Company where, including the regular gold sponsor presentations, a Q&A session with Mike Degus, senior vice president, marketing and business development at Resource Label Group, and Tim Bohlke, director of sustainability at Resource Label Group, addressed the growing concern of the labor shortages and how sustainability needs to be at the top of mind for the label industry.

The Roadshows then moved north to Toronto for a day at High Park Brewery, where owner Balraj Juta led a crowd-pleasing session centered on the brewery’s branding and design thought process, as well as its packaging strategy.

High Park Brewery and its sister company Lost Craft had a packaging journey come full circle. They started with shrink sleeves on cans, left for direct print, then back to shrink sleeves again. When they switched to direct print, the brewery owner said the decision came down to price. However, the brewery later returned to digitally printed shrink sleeves when the minimum order quantities and lead times on direct-printed cans became too much.

‘Our key considerations were our ability to stay unique and consistent lead times,’ Juta said. ‘As a small craft brewer that does a lot of small batches, we needed a smaller minimum order quantity.’
Juta said they are willing to pay more for labels that carry sustainable properties.

'Sustainability is essential to us; we’ve made certain supplier choices based solely on their sustainability offerings,' Juta said.

And it’s paying off with his customers. One online reviewer of High Park drove home the message that what’s on the outside of the can is just as important as what’s inside: 'Damn, I’d buy this just because the color of this can is adorable!'

Other speakers that day included an engaging panel discussion with Linnea Keen, president of TLMI, joined by Pac Global CEO Jim Downham and Charlie MacLean Jr, vice president and general manager of ASL Print FX, a converter with locations in Toronto and Napa Valley, California.

Luis Rodriguez, North America editor of Labels & Labeling

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Luis Rodriguez is North America editor of Labels & Labeling. Previously, he covered emerging automation technology in various industries including oil, gas and manufacturing.

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