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Advertising and marketing professionals have a one-stop opportunity to see how innovations and achievements by Canada's packaging industry could affect their business.PAC-EX '93, Canada's largest packaging show, to be held at Toronto's Exhibition Place Oct. 4-6, will showcase the best in...

Advertising and marketing professionals have a one-stop opportunity to see how innovations and achievements by Canada’s packaging industry could affect their business.

PAC-EX ’93, Canada’s largest packaging show, to be held at Toronto’s Exhibition Place Oct. 4-6, will showcase the best in packaging technology, systems, expertise, design ideas and problem-solving strategies.

It will be an information-packed, diversified array of exhibits and displays expected to draw more than 16,000 visitors from around the world.

Much on display

‘There’s much on display to catch the interest of packaged goods marketers, brand managers, designers and advertisers,’ says Alan Robinson, president of the Packaging Association of Canada (pac), which presents the biennial trade show.

‘We’re really emphasizing the growing importance to our industry of marketing, merchandising and design by creating a large display area devoted to three feature areas: packaging designs from around the world, a point-of-purchase marketplace pavilion and a showcase for all 360 entries and winners in our biennial National Packaging and Point-of-Purchase Competition,’ Robinson says.

Outstanding example

He adds that the overall competition winner – LMG Reliance, a Winnipeg-based division of Lawson Mardon Group, whose Enviro-Chem agricultural chemical container captured the Chairman’s Choice Award for excellence in packaging design – is an outstanding example of environmental packaging.

‘Advertisers and marketers will be able to see how our Envirowise [Environmentally Responsive Packaging Category] winners have combined strong marketing elements in packages that protect the environment, reduce waste and promote recycling and reuse,’ Robinson says.

He also points out that a display by the Canadian Seniors Packaging Advisory Council (caspac) will show what kind of innovations in packaging will be needed to meet the special needs of seniors.

This market will become the dominant consumer force over the next few decades.

Canadian companies

Several Canadian companies are included among 66 design houses from eight countries, whose packaging designs will be photographically displayed in the Packaging Design Council International Showcase.

‘It’s the first time the showcase has exhibited in Canada, so we’re pleased that we’ll have the opportunity to show how exceptional design can help users cut costs, improve marketability, increase shelf presence and minimize environmental impact,’ Robinson says.

The travelling ‘design wall’ photographic exhibit of 250 packaging designs has just concluded an extensive u.s. tour and will be shown in Japan and Brazil after its pac-ex appearance.

47 designs

Canadian companies accounted for 47 designs, including entries from Corporate Visuals, Davis & Associates, Design Partners, Hunter Straker, The M2000 Group, The Thomas Pigeon Design Group, The Watt Group, Werle Design Associates, Whelehan Design, William Plewes Design and Peter Oliver & Company.

Robinson says the premiere of the P-O-P Marketplace pavilion, jointly sponsored by pac and the Canadian Task Force of the Point-of-Purchase Advertising Institute, should be of interest to advertisers and marketers.

The pavilion will house both the display of all entries to the new Point-of-Purchase section of pac’s National Competition and exhibits for Canadian p-o-p producers.

‘The pavilion will cover all aspects of point-of-purchase advertising from pole displays and counter, shelf, table and wall units to cash register toppers, signs and in-store demonstrations and sampling,’ Robinson says.

‘Our exhibitors will offer an all-inclusive array of creative approaches to p-o-p projects that suit a variety of retail environments,’ he says.

On display will be entries from all 12 Gold and 23 Silver award winners in the p-o-p section of the competition. Award winners will be honored at a special luncheon to be held during pac-ex.

A small sample of what can be seen from the gold award entries includes a striking neon guitar promoting Labatt’s Blue Rocks With You campaign, designed for Labatt Breweries of Canada by Gorrie Marketing Services; a showroom merchandiser for Nissan by Gorrie Marketing; a pilfer-resistant cigarette counter merchandiser designed by Admark Display for Rothmans, Benson & Hedges; and a p-o-p merchandiser that helped launch Hershey/Lifesavers’ new line of Lifesavers Sours, designed by Lithotech Merchandising.

Robinson says a major feature in pac’s National Packaging Competition this year was ‘improved environmental packaging.

‘Much of this winning packaging is not only being sold in Canada, but is being considered for use in other countries,’ he says.

The Chairman’s Choice Packaging Award overall winner, LMG Reliance, with its closed-loop recycling system for agricultural chemical containers, ‘is an outstanding example of what happens when the packaging industry, government and institutions combine their efforts to make an environmental difference,’ Robinson says.

The Winnipeg firm spearheaded a program to collect 100,000 used plastic containers housing agricultural chemicals from 14 landfill sites near the city.

Some of the other major winners in pac’s Envirowise category on display include CCL Custom Manufacturing’s stand-up pouch refill package which houses Dowbrands Canada’s Fantastik cleaner (the package also received a gold award in the Flexible Packaging category of the competition); Kraft General Foods Canada’s barbecue sauce bottle which included 25% recycled pet plastic content; and Stuart Packaging’s 100% recycled boxboard container for Avery Dennison Manufacturing Canada.

The Envirowise winners were among more than 300 package designs being showcased.

Remaining sections

The six remaining packaging sections in the competition include Corrugated Fibreboard, Flexible Packaging, Labels, Paperboard Packaging, Rigid/ Semi-Rigid Containers and Distribution Packaging.

‘Each entry on display has its original written submission, so you can find out who the designers, converters and printers were for the displays that you have a particular interest in,’ Robinson says.

The growing seniors market – which will become the dominant consumer force in the early 2lst century as the baby boom generation enters its senior years – is posing new challenges for advertisers, marketers and packagers.

Seniors’ needs

‘The caspac booth on display at pac-ex will acquaint visitors with its Packaging for a Silver Market project, aimed at bringing about voluntary changes in packaging that meet the special needs of seniors,’ Robinson says.

He says caspac’s partnership of senior organizations, government departments and industry associations, including pac, will work together to develop improved consumer product packaging to enable older Canadian consumers to use everyday products more easily, without assistance and without risk.

‘This growing market’s requirements must be well understood by the advertising and marketing industries,’ Robinson says.

Larry Dworkin is the public affairs consultant for the Packaging Association of Canada