Welcome to Packbridge
Packbridge is an international packaging cluster established in 2010. We are a neutral and non-profit network uniting all stakeholders in and around the entire packaging industry, i.e. producers, customers, suppliers, researchers, public sector, start-ups and innovators. We believe in sustainability and cooperation. We believe that the key to success lies in sharing knowledge.
Moreover, we believe that in order to create innovations one must think differently, dare to go beyond existing boarders, challenge the reality, meet new people and open up to new ideas. The best way to facilitate creativity is to bring people with different skills together.
Packbridge creates meeting places that give you opportunity to think in new ways, challenge yourself and push you forward. Bring your knowledge and we can go further together. Join us!
Please contact us
As one of the top brand owners in Sweden, the ICA Group is a major player when it comes to consumer products. However, consumers’ buying patterns and behaviour are changing at a fast pace today, and it is ever more important for brand owners to keep up with the latest consumer trends – something we witnessed most recently during our event at Orkla Foods on 27 January.
Packbridge’s Johan Mårtensson and Tony Spodnjak met ICA in Stockholm and presented the latest from the packaging field with a view to demonstrating the connections between the different stages of the value chain. The discussions focused on how Packbridge as a cross-industry network could facilitate collaboration across boundaries and help speed up product innovation. We have consequently now taken a further step to involve commerce and support the sector’s packaging development.
Packbridge has just completed a short tour in Stockholm including several meetings with organisations such as ICA and SISP. We also took the opportunity to meet Lantmännen.
With brands such as AXA, Go Green, Bonjour and Kungsörnen, Lantmännen is one of the Nordic region’s leading brand owners, and a long-standing Packbridge member.
Packbridge’s Johan Mårtensson and Tony Spodnjak were there to present our views on the latest trends within the packaging field. The discussions focused on finding synergies between the various stages in the packaging value chain and between related industries.
Other key areas highlighted were the interaction between brand, packaging and the consumer as well as how industry and brand owners can highlight the package as a key communicator and guardian angel for the content. Packaging is not just rubbish after it has been used, although it is too often perceived as such, but should also be viewed as a resource with the task of protecting and being a part of the circular sustainability system. Here the packaging industry and brand owners can cooperate to more clearly communicate the value of packaging to consumers.
Packbridge’s Johan Mårtensson and Tony Spodnjak spent half a week in Stockholm with a packed schedule of meetings with companies including ICA, Lantmännen and Innventia. They also took the opportunity to meet with Swedish Incubators & Science Parks (SISP).
Last year, we gave several startup companies the opportunity to present themselves to the industry at Top Packaging Summit, and the response was very good from both sides. The industry can benefit from inspiration from innovative entrepreneurs and they, in turn, can create a partnership or obtain a test bed for their products. The prospects for fruitful win-win collaborations are good.
Since Top Packaging Summit, we have worked intensively to find startup companies with business concepts and products that can be commercialised within the packaging industry.
Packbridge met SISP and discussed how we can benefit from each other’s networks to form a better connection between industry and startup companies.
The results will come later, but there is certainly great potential for useful collaboration!
There was a full house at Orkla’s new office in Malmö when Packbridge held its first event of the year. In fact it was more than fully booked and we had to draw up a waiting list. This was a pleasant problem for us, as it showed that our meetings are highly appreciated, but at the same time it was disappointing because obviously we want to be able to accommodate everyone. In the future it’s always a good idea to book in plenty of time. If you missed the event you can see a summary via the video above.
The theme for the day was consumer trends and after Orkla’s CSR Manager, Agneta Påander, had given a description of Orkla’s sustainability work, the audience were then divided into groups to hear various presentations of around 20 minutes each. We have tested this division into smaller groups a few times now and it is greatly appreciated by both the audience and the speakers. Instead of sitting through a number of presentations, groups move to different stations and keep fresh and alert. The smaller groups also make it possible for participants to ask more questions, and presentations become more of a dialogue. For even better interaction and exchange of knowledge between presenters and participants, we encourage speakers to present without resorting to PowerPoint.
The speakers at the Orkla event included Sofia Erixson, packaging designer at Orkla, who spoke about brand owner trends. Among other things, she highlighted the “Millenials” and “Generation Y” as attractive customer groups worthy of closer attention, together with the sustainability trend, with Carlsberg’s fibre bottles and Ecovative’s fungus-based protective packaging being exciting innovations.
Anders Källman, CEO of Multivac, looked at production trends and talked about the problems of adapting existing production lines for new material solutions and how the choice of materials can facilitate inclusive design and easy-open packaging.
Kristina de Verdier, from Kristina de Verdier Design Studio, talked about five prominent trends, such as ‘Sharing is caring’ where consumers are starting to see circular sustainable products not just as good for the future but also as a paradigm shift. Another trend is ‘The Interruption Economy’, where we are all forced to be constantly available and connected. In these stress-filled days, there are now apps that help us to disconnect and relax. One example is the Bunches flower chain, which offers a selection of the trendiest flowers “on the go” in neat card bags from BillerudKorsnäs.
Packbridge’s own Bo Wallteg gave us a journey through a series of global trends that will in some way affect packaging. These included how bioplastics and printed electronics can create more sustainable and secure consumer packaging.
After lunch a brave woman took the stage. Rowan Drury is the founder of Gram Malmö, a packaging-free shop located in Malmö’s market hall. She admitted that it felt a little strange to be in the “lion’s den”, but said that she had found the lions to be really quite friendly and had thus far come away without a scratch. Generally, she is not against packaging, but she is an advocate of reusing and of using only the basic amount of packaging actually required.
On 28 February we are back with a seminar at Visutech in Mölndal, where we will see how the opportunities presented by digital printing technology will change the packaging industry.
For four years, Packbridge’s Felix Helander has produced the annual report “The Swedish Packaging Industry – An Overview”. Instead of the annual position statement on the Swedish packaging market, Packbridge is now launching a special report about labels and marking. Similar short reports will soon be forthcoming from other segments.
The situation in the label and marking segment is good. The segment, which consists of approximately 30 companies, has enjoyed very good development during the past 5 years, with a strong sales increase. In recent years we have seen a number of major mergers but new technology has also been introduced that will take the segment to new heights. We can look forward to an exciting future for this segment.
The report is distributed free of charge to all Packbridge members and can be downloaded from our member pages or ordered by contacting email@example.com.
For anyone interested in the connection between nanotechnology and IoT, here’s a date for your diary! The internet is growing apace as nanosensors and nanotechnology are increasingly connected to consumer devices for the collection, processing and exchange of data.
INL in Braga, Mobile Heights and Material Business Center in Lund are organising a conference in Braga, Portugal. For more information and registration, please click here.
Packbridge currently has over 200 member companies and is a non-profit organisation which is probably also the largest of its kind in Europe. Packbridge was founded in 2010 and has grown very quickly. Our base is located in Malmö, but we have activities throughout the Nordic region. Internationally we have many well-established partnerships, including a number of MoU agreements with companies and organisations in Asia. We also participate in various EU-funded projects.
Top Packaging Summit by Packbridge is a major annual packaging conference. Last year, at the summit, we offered a large number of startup companies the chance to present their concepts to our network and the response was very positive from all sides. This has given us a taste for more, and we are now investing heavily in linking our industry with companies that have new and exciting ideas. We are currently running The Packbridge Challenge, a competition in which the winning entry will receive SEK 50,000.
What’s behind the challenge? It’s simple. We know that our members, industry, startup companies and society all benefit from effective matching.
Both members and startups benefit
Packbridge has long since identified the potential for startup companies or entrepreneurs with ideas that could usefully be applied in the packaging industry. We are confident that our members can benefit significantly from us bringing them together with startup companies and entrepreneurs. And similarly, it is of great interest for these companies to find partners within the industry. Packbridge can help businesses to save resources; we can also facilitate potential outsourcing and help with matchmaking. For Packbridge the Triple Helix concept is a key driving force, and we can match companies within all of these areas.
Through our network and the expertise it contains, we can facilitate and streamline the creation of contacts and quickly pave the way for effective collaboration.
We help the industry to develop
Packbridge is a neutral base, one that helps to drive and develop the industry and open new doors to an industrial world that many startups are not familiar with. Companies that are quick to act upon this soon find many interesting opportunities to further develop their businesses. As an organisation we believe in open innovation and cross-border collaboration. It is essential that more intelligent ways are found to connect larger companies to smaller companies with good, innovative ideas.
For more information or to apply, please visit startup.packbridge.se
Media Evolution saw fempack launch with a kick-off in December. Around 30 participants had gathered to listen to three inspirational speakers discuss and exchange their experiences.
During the autumn Packbridge launched a network aimed at professional women who work with packaging. In the same Packbridge spirit as our other events, the aim is to increase knowledge exchange and to work towards more innovative and sustainable development within the industry.
This has been a missing piece of the Packbridge jigsaw, and we are now addressing this with a view to giving professional women a meeting place and raising awareness of women in the packaging industry while simultaneously helping our members attract talent from outside the traditional recruitment sources.
Among the speakers were Yasemin Arhan Modéer, CEO of Altitude Meetings, who spoke about how to create meeting places and communities that form the basis for the successful exchange of knowledge and for business opportunities.
Victoria Holmberg from Kartongbolaget spoke about the creation of meaningful meeting places where we all come from different backgrounds but have the same purpose, which creates energy, team spirit and meaning. The result is that we grow faster together.
From Arta Plast came Nadja Dahlgren to describe how close relationships in a “cross industry” network facilitate and improve the success of a project.
The next fempack event will be on March 8th, when Annika Olsson from Lund University will be presenting her latest book. You’ll be most welcome to listen to Annika and other inspirational speakers.
The Packbridge team known of no better way to start the new year than by welcoming a new member to our network! We are happy to present AVENTICS as a new member!
With over 150 years’ experience and approximately 2 000 employees in more than 90 countries around the world, AVENTICS is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of pneumatic components, systems and customer-specific applications. Their portfolio includes products and services for industrial automation as well as products for markets ranging from food and beverages to life sciences, energy, marine technology and even IoT.
A very warm welcome to our network!
More and more people are realising the important role played by packaging in an effective e-commerce flow. Intelligent solutions which appeal to consumers and are optimised in terms of logistics will become increasingly important. The e-commerce sector has also gradually recognised this. Packaging in oversized brown boxes is fast becoming a thing of the past.
On 6 September, Packbridge arranged an e-commerce day at Mindpark in Helsingborg, where participants were treated to seven presentations. These were partly packaging-related but there were also presentations from the e-commerce sector.
This was a new and active approach which meant that after being welcomed and enjoying a light breakfast, participants were divided into groups to watch the presentations at various locations within the venue. This was not about sitting down and just listening but about “being on your toes” and standing up for presentations of about 15 minutes. Some PowerPoint slides were missing, which made for an exciting challenge for the presenters, who had to give the same presentation several times.
After a light lunch the day was then summarised up by all participants and speakers.
- “You can’t get much more efficient than this. This was an excellent example of an interesting meeting place for those who want to develop themselves and their organisations”, says Tony Spodnjak, business developer and the person responsible for Packbridge events.
- “The approach meant that we were not able to live-stream, something we have made a habit of in recent years, but everything was documented by our film crew and edited together into a summary of the day. Our member companies can see the presentations in their entirety on our website.”
You can see the summary of the day here:
One of the strengths of Packbridge is the breadth of our international contacts. These mean that we can often help to open doors for companies who want to make contacts in new markets. Among our contacts are other clusters, often in areas other than packaging. In October, we will see two examples of this when we are visited by clusters working with nanotechnology, plasma technology, food and plastics in Europe. These clusters are involved in the EU-funded project called Adpack, in which Packbridge is responsible for the packaging expertise. The purpose of Adpack is to identify the areas where it will be essential to deliver intelligent packaging in the future. Representatives from each cluster will be at Top Packaging Summit by Packbridge in October, and they will even stay on an extra day to network with other clusters in Skåne and to make study visits to Smurfit Kappa and Beneli as well as the ESS and Max IV.
In late October, we will also be getting visitors from the Baltic. Under the leadership of the Vidzeme Planning Region, a delegation of clusters will be visiting from Latvia and Estonia. They are active in fields as wide ranging as health, ICT, logistics and food.
- “Vidzeme had heard of Packbridge so they got in touch to explore the possibilities of a study visit and some networking. And of course we said yes immediately”, says Johan Mårtensson.
- “This is how we want to work, to build new paths into the international market for the benefit of our members.”
More than 100 guests were invited from industry, the public sector, research institutes and universities for the inauguration of the new Swedish Research Laboratory for Printed Electronics in Norrköping on 8 September. Packbridge was among those invited, with Johan Mårtensson and Bo Wallteg present to discover this exciting new research centre. Printed electronics have an interesting future and there is significant interest from brand owners. This technology brings us the opportunity to create “living” packaging that moves from being a silent salesman to one which communicates with consumers.
Since 1998, research and development in the field of printed electronics has been carried out at Linköping University and the research institute Acreo Swedish ICT, in the Printed Electronics Arena (PEA) in Norrköping. PEA now also includes the Swedish Research Laboratory for Printed Electronics. Together, the PEA and the new laboratory now form Europe’s most modern facility for research and development of future production. The laboratory will form the backbone of Swedish investment in printed electronics.
At the inauguration, a range of interesting speakers explained how they collaborated with Acreo to use printed electronics in their products and services; they also described both current and future areas of application for printed electronics. After the presentation the guests received a guided tour of the laboratory, where they got to see the production process and examples of products that can be printed. The opening ceremony ended with a networking session where guests had the opportunity to continue discussing the future of printed electronics.
Autumn is here, the summer holidays are filed away with previous summers and now it’s time to look forward to a really full calendar of events. That might worry some people, but I think it’s good to have lots on the agenda; it’s something I really look forward to. Now we can continue our work to create new opportunities and develop Packbridge to create greater value for all our members.
Looking ahead, we will be at Easyfair in Stockholm, and I will be going to Brussels together with representatives of six other clusters to present our work on innovation and business development. We will also be in Warsaw at a cluster conference which brings together virtually all of the major European cluster initiatives. Then Japan and Tokyo Pak are pencilled in my diary for 10 October. And none of that is to even mention Top Packaging Summit by Packbridge which we are holding this year in Malmö, on 18 and 19 October. Don’t miss it!
When I see this list of all the venues where Packbridge and our members are represented, at both national and international levels, even I’m impressed
But I am worried about one area! And that’s future innovation opportunities within the industry. By this, I don’t mean the companies’ own innovation ability, but interest from entrepreneurs and start-ups in developing solutions for the packaging field.
As part of this year’s Top Packaging Summit by Packbridge on 18 and 19 October, we have created space for start-ups/entrepreneurs to be present and showcase their products and services to the packaging industry; something we call “the Entrepreneurial breakfast”. In order to interest this group in participating in the breakfast, we called more than 100 incubators, which are home to around 1000 start-ups. However, the results were disappointing; almost nobody is working with the packing industry in mind – or can even see the potential. This worries me. Is our industry really so invisible outside of our own activities? Is it that people don’t see the packaging industry as a potential development area or are there other reasons?
There are lots of bright, creative and young entrepreneurs starting their businesses with great products and services in a variety of incubators around the country, and there is a risk that we will be left behind if as an industry we are defined as “late adopters”. Next year we will create different activities within the start-up/entrepreneur sector in order to find out where innovation is taking place in our industry today and how we can work in the future to increase interest in the industry among new entrepreneurs. If you have any ideas or comments on this, I’d be glad to hear them!
On Tuesday last week, we held our e-commerce event in Helsingborg at Mindpark. This featured our new approach where we focus more on the interaction between people. We want everyone who comes to our events to be able to learn as much as possible, to get the chance to ask questions and talk freely with the speakers and other participants. In the light of the feedback we have received, and based upon our own experience, the new approach did exactly what it was intended to, although we have some rough edges to smooth off so that the next event will be even better. But this is exactly what development is all about; in other words trying out something new, evaluating it and improving it!
Thank you once again to everyone who participated and spoke. You can see a short version of this event here.
Johan Mårtensson, CEO, Packbridge
Did you know that Packbridge has over 40 partners in Europe alone working with packaging-related issues? In addition we have a number of established collaborations in Asia, particularly with the Japan Packaging Institute where we have had several successful collaborations together with Business Sweden regarding what is arguably the largest and most important packaging exhibition in the world: Tokyo Pack. This collaboration will be repeated at this year’s fair, which takes place 4-10 October.
At the fair we will be organising a number of events and matchmaking activities with startup companies, universities and institutes. There will also be a seminar highlighting the latest in the Swedish packaging industry. This will help give our members an effective way of spreading the message about the Swedish packaging industry’s advanced packaging knowledge, which is already highly acclaimed in Asia.
As a Packbridge member you can always contact us if you need information, or want to find new contacts in the domestic or export markets.
If you have any questions, please contact Felix Helander
Top Packaging Summit by Packbridge is fast approaching (18/19 October). This year things are going to be a little different. On day two, we are holding an entrepreneurial breakfast. One of Packbridge’s aims is to foster more packaging innovation, and we now want to take the next step by increasing interaction between established companies in the industry and startup businesses that may not have even previously considered the packaging industry.
“We want to give startup businesses the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the packaging industry and present themselves at TPS. There are lots of intelligent ideas out there, skills and startup businesses seeking partnerships with well-established companies thirsty for new ideas. The interest is mutual. They may be ideas about new packaging or materials, news from the world of engineering, packaging or label design, purchasing or recycling”, says Johan Mårtensson.
If you are a startup business that wants to come into contact with the packaging industry, visit www.toppackagingsummit.com/start-up/ to register. We will contact you once we have received your registration.
Almi Invest will be on site to give advice and demonstrate the investment opportunities for participating companies.
Hello and welcome back after the summer break. Here in Sweden the weather has been somewhat varied, but it’s always relaxing to take some time off with family and friends.
As you can read in our newsletter, I visited Almedalen to see how we can achieve even higher visibility for Packbridge members and of course to participate in discussions related to the European project Food Nexus, where we are on the board.
As regards the autumn, we have a full schedule ahead and we are working hard to organise a number of events, conferences and meetings. The biggest of these, of course, is Top Packaging Summit by Packbridge which takes place on 18-19 October. This year we will be trying to create an environment that feels as natural to you as possible. So that, as participants, you can make new contacts, promote ideas and enrich yourself with new skills. TPS will be slightly different this year, and you can read more about it via this link. We have already lined up a number of both national and international participants.
Before that, we will be holding our e-commerce event at Mindpark in Helsingborg on 6 September, and this will help shape a new direction for our future events. There will be a more direct link between the speaker and attendees – who we like to think of as active participants, rather than an audience. This is because we want you to get more out of our events, with clearer points of contact and a structure that keeps interest levels high.
There are many other interesting news items to talk about, which you can read on our website or in our newsletter, but for now I just want to welcome you all to an exciting autumn with Packbridge. We look forward to meeting as many of you as possible!
The importance of the right packaging design in building a brand cannot be overemphasised. At this year’s Top Packaging Summit by Packbridge, we will be presented with a number of great examples of this by speakers from well-known design agencies.
Jesper von Wieding is Strategic Creative Director at the design company Pearlfisher in Copenhagen. During a long international career he has worked in agencies in Stockholm, Paris and San Francisco as well as Copenhagen. He has also worked with major brands such as Carlsberg, LEGO, Nestlé and Unilever. In his presentation he will give us a number of case studies from both small and large companies. One of the smaller ones is ASK Øl, a Danish microbrewery. What is required from a design standpoint in terms of branding and appearance on the shelf when you want to break into this competitive market?
A larger company is the Japanese restaurant chain Wagamama, for which Pearlfisher created a revolutionary new look that helped establish the chain as an icon on the high street in terms of takeaway food. This involved ensuring that the consumer could take home everything that characterised the restaurant – the experience, taste and aesthetic values – and in a convincing manner.
How can packaging design both look good and do a good job? That is the question posed by Ameilie Brock from Amore Brand Identity Studios.
“We are here to make a difference”, she says.
“Through the power of the idea and design we clarify feelings and create positive change. We ensure that our clients are progressive and make choices that lead to something better.”
According to Amelie this is a creative challenge which requires close collaboration to build a brand and create a design that really works.
“We believe that brands and business are some of the most powerful forces in creating a meaningful impact on our world.”
Amelie Brock will develop these themes further at Top Packaging Summit by Packbridge. Together, under the theme of “Design & Convenience”, Jesper and Amelie will demonstrate the importance of companies going beyond their own walls and working with creative design agencies. At the end of the day, it is a price worth paying.
The moderator at Top Packaging Summit by Packbridge will be Susanna Bill, who is an innovation and creativity advisor. Susanna is also a passionate cook who participated in the Swedish version of Master Chef on TV.
On 18 May, we held the Packbridge Research Forum at the Quality View Hotel in Malmö, and around 100 people came together to hear about current packaging research under way at universities and institutions in both Scandinavia and the UK. It was an extremely rewarding day with an excellent atmosphere and a great deal of networking.
The speakers covered a wide spectrum with their presentations, from advanced chemistry and nanocellulose to commercial trends. Agne Swerin from SP demonstrated the opportunities presented by nanocellulose in the packaging industry; incredibly this material is stronger than steel! From the UK, Sukky Jassi and Anderson Lima, who both work at The Retail Institute, pointed to urban trends in commerce and how they are affecting packaging. Sukky Jassi observed that our emotions play an extremely large role in our purchasing decisions. We are most affected by scents – up to 75% of all purchasing decisions are made by scent! The major brands have realised this and are investing increasing sums on this aspect both within food and other retail sectors.
The presentation of Jane Bickerstaffe from IncPen in the UK included a survey carried out of 362 households who were asked to send in their empty food packages for an assessment to be made of how much remained in them. It turned out that a full 236 items of packaging contained less than 1% of residues and only 7 items had more than 15%.
Hjalmar Granberg from Innventia gave an exciting overview of demonstrators based on biomaterials. We learned that the packaging of the future will be collapsible or both opaque and transparent in a single material.
Fredrik Fernqvist and Faiza Rasheed from SLU looked at the consumers’ perception of packaging materials, particularly as regards the packaging of vegetables, and described a survey carried out in which only 3% of the 500 people asked thought that packaging for tomatoes was important, and only 0.35% of 373 people wanted packaged apples. The industry definitely has work to do to disseminate this kind of information regarding the use of packaging. Faiza also described how research is under way to determine how wheat can be used to produce starch-based packaging material. SLU and biomaterials are a natural combination.
There is a great deal of interesting packaging research under way and the industry has a great deal to gain by keeping itself up-to-date – which is of course the intention with the Packbridge Research Forum.
During the day a much-appreciated workshop was also held, led by Malin Olander Röse, with the theme “Driving innovation within packaging”. Here we looked at how to reinforce collaboration between academia and industry and thus how to drive innovation within packaging.
The Packbridge Research Forum has become an essential gathering point for everyone who appreciates the importance of keeping abreast with packaging research, and of course it will be back again next year!
Label company Beneli’s Beneli Academy offers customers and suppliers knowledge and networking opportunities via a variety of speakers, and Packbridge has recently taken part in the Academy with an intensive workshop intended to find trends affecting brand owners. The intensive aspect of the workshop was that it was carried out in just an hour – making it much more concentrated than the normal length workshop!
Packbridge CEO Johan Mårtensson began with a short inspirational speech in which he described a number of current trends. The participants were then divided into three groups. Each individual participant’s thoughts regarding current important trends were written on Post-it notes and set up on the wall. Taking these as a starting point, each group then selected a couple of thoughts to use as the basis for a short presentation on how they viewed the future.
Just a few of the many words on the wall were “Competitors’ behaviour”, “Sustainability”, “Product security”, “Traceability”, “Communication from package to package”, “Piracy” and “Reduction of food waste”.
We will be happy to visit interested companies to run this type of workshop for staff, customers or both! If you are interested, please contact Johan Mårtensson.
This month we have the pleasure to introduce Omron Electronics Sweden as a new member. Omron was founded in Japan in 1933 and is today a world leader in industrial automation.
“The packaging industry is our most important market in Europe, and the Packbridge network gives us extremely valuable information about industry challenges and future trends”, says Glenn Nordvall, Country Manager for Omron Sweden.
Today Omron offers the market’s broadest automation platform, designed specifically for the packaging industry. The company’s development of new systems and solutions is largely determined by what the packaging industry will require in the future. This position means that Omron today has what many customers will demand in the future: Industry 4.0.
In addition they have opened Europe’s first “Test centre for packaging automation” in Barcelona: a high-tech facility where their customers can test and evaluate automation ideas before resources are committed. This is just one example of what makes Omron a leading supplier among European manufacturers of packaging machines.