News and Insights


November 16, 2020

Trade Shows

  • The annual automation show SPS will be held virtually as SPS Connect from 24 to 26 November 2020. 
  • Read an interview with Jim Pittas, president of PMMI – organiser of Pack Expo, in the current issue of Packaging Strategies
  • Messe Düsseldorf says they are still on course for interpack 2021 to take place 25 February to 3 March 2021 with a field-tested hygiene and infection protection concept in place. 

Recycling & Sustainability 

  • According to the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association’s (USTMA) latest data, about 76 per cent of scrap tires were recycled into new products in 2019. In 2013 it was 96 per cent. The downward trend is “driven by end-market growth failing to keep pace with increasing scrap tire generation”. Read more on Recycling Today.  
  • The legally required recyclability of products requires that product manufacturers and the recycling industry come up with better recycling possibilities for new composite materials or mixed waste. Read the full article on Umweltwirtschaft (in German). 
  • In the current issue of dei you can read about how companies can reduce the amount of packaging material for their foods and what innovative new materials are available today (in German). 


  • The Ivory Coast and Ghana create a joint organisation on cocoa policy. More on this topic in current Sweets Processing issue 11-12
  • Chicken remains the poultry of choice for U.S. households. Demand for poultry packaging is forecast to increase by 3.4 per cent per year from $4.2 billion in 2019 to $4.9 billion in 2024, writes Packaging Strategies in its November issue


  • Latest Mintel data shows that 62 per cent of German consumers think that experiences are more important than material possessions. This suggests that consumers are likely to return to their experience-hungry lifestyle as soon as it is safe to do so. The full Mintel study is available to purchase
  • ConsumerAffairs reports that in the U.S. far fewer consumers plan to travel for Thanksgiving this year because of COVID-19.
  • Marketing solutions provider Beeketing reports that Global eCommerce retail sales will hit $4.9 trillion by 2021. The projection features among its list of the hottest 10 international growth trends.


Trade Shows

  • ChemE is holding its annual process safety conference “Hazards 30” virtually this year (from 26-27 Nov). 
  • Only days before Ecomondo 2020 in Italy, one of the most important environmental shows next to IFAT and Pollutecropas, the show had to be cancelled and will be transformed into a digital platform.
  • Join 50+ expert speakers and 2,000+ virtual delegates from across the data centre ecosystem for DCD>Europe, the virtual conference on the future of Europe’s digital infrastructure from 10-12 November 2020. 
  • Metpack 2021 – trade fair for metal packaging – is cancelled, according to CanTech International
  • Cleanzone, a trade show specialising in clean room technology in Frankfurt, will be held as a virtual event instead from 18-19 November 2020.



  • net is discussing whether the work environment changes due to digitalisation are actually healthy for workers (article in German).
  • Smart digitisation options for the waste management industry – the new 0G network opens up the potential to connect even very simple objects to the Internet of Things (IoT). Read the article in German in Umweltwirtschaft.  
  • FoodIngredientsFirst is talking about the latest “Innova Market Insights” 2021 trends report that sees transparency as top of the list. The report puts: “a spotlight on emergent technologies like invisible barcodes and near-field communication technology that help brands convey creative product storytelling.” Other spotlighted F&B product themes, the article goes on to say, include the sustained plant-based revolution branching out into more sophisticated alternatives. 


  • Spiegel reports that the average German produced 227.5 kilos of packaging waste in 2018, one kilo more than in 2017. Alarming figures, especially from private households that produced more packaging waste, a rise of 20.6 per cent since 2010.
  • “Amcor joins calls for UN global treaty on plastic pollution and government recycling investment,” reports Packaging Insights; “the packaging giant emphasises plastic must be viewed as part of a bigger pollution problem.”
  • In a separate piece, Packaging Insights states that: “a survey performed in 14 European countries by the Lucid polling agency in association with the Every Can Counts initiative found that the vast majority (86%) of Europeans consider it more important than ever to protect the environment and recycle after COVID-19. Moreover, 52 percent of respondents would not put the economy over the environment, despite the economic slowdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two out of three said recycling is an obligation for all and there is an urgent need to tackle the problem. More than three-quarters of respondents always or often recycle all types of materials, while 76 percent often or always recycle their aluminum drink cans.”
  • “Correct waste separation is an important requirement for recycling. But how do consumers know whether packaging is recyclable at all? Plastic packaging in particular can be hard to separate correctly without expert knowledge – and there is a lack of appropriate, reliable labels on the market. The new label “Recyclable” from “Grüner Punkt” confirms, from now on, the very good recyclability of packaging in Germany.” More on this topic can be found on Neue Verpackung (in German). 


  • In the current issue of Process Industry Informer you can read about why PVC-U piping systems are the future.
  • The Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) in the UK says significant time and money can be saved on building projects by adapting technical drawings to include specific instructions for Building Energy Management System (BEMS) companies. Read the full report on ACR-news.

W/C 19 OCTOBER 2020

Trade shows: 


  • Neue Verpackung reports: “For the first time in years, the packaging market showed a slight decline in earnings. According to the Joint Committee of German Packaging Manufacturers (GADV), around 19 million tons of packaging were produced in 2019. The production volume thus fell by 1.8 percent. The production value decreased by 1.0 percent to around EUR 33 billion. As in previous years, plastic packaging generated the largest share of production value with a share of around 45 percent”. 
  • Asia-Pacific Food Industry Magazine reports in its October issue (p 18-20) that antimicrobial materials, the demand for tamper-evident packaging, hand sanitiser dispensers and killing bacteria with UV light are four innovations that drive hygienic packaging.


  • New Food writes: “In a new report published by the UK’s Food and Drink Federation (FDF), exports of food and drink fell by 13.8 percent in the first half of the year, compared to 2019.”
  • New Food also reports that Orkla Foods brand Felix (for products such as ketchup/mustard, pickled cucumbers, ready meals) launches a world’s first store in Sweden that prices goods based on carbon emissions. 
  • In Asia Pacific Food Industry’s (APFI) October issue Mintel states that vegan ice cream is trending and represented 7 percent of worldwide icecream launches in the past 12 months. 
  • “The food waste initiative “Too Good To Go” has launched a new campaign designed to train consumers to use their sense of smell – and common sense – to gauge whether food is safe to eat,” writes New Food


  • Umweltwirtschaft analysed new analysis The efficiency of hydrogen rethought by strategy consultancy Arthur D. Little on the energy efficiency of green hydrogen compared to the direct use of electricity by e.g. battery vehicles from manufacture to use, and comes to the conclusion that imported green hydrogen is competitive end-to-end in terms of energy efficiency.
  • BDEW: In 2020, emissions from electricity generation fell significantly in Germany – by 22 percent – with preliminary calculations by the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW) showing that electricity generation emitted 36 million tons less CO2 in the first three quarters of this year than in the same period last year.


  • Despite longer delivery times, occasional difficulties at customs and additional required tax payments, e-commerce marketplaces like Wish, AliExpress and Joom are highly successful in the German market. EuroShop explores why. 


  • As we all practise social distancing, robots are being used for everything from cleaning to taking temperatures. The Guardian has assembled a series of pictures of robots during the pandemic. 
  • Robotics and Automation News reports that, “Data presented by Buy Shares indicates that China, Japan, and the United States cumulatively control about 58.71 percent of the global industrial robot installations.

W/C 5 OCTOBER 2020

Trade Show Updates 

  • automatica 2020 will not be held as an in-person event. Messe München is developing a new event format for summer 2021 in cooperation with the industry. The next automatica will take place June 21 to 24, 2022.
  • Data Centre World Frankfurt has been moved to 8-9 December 2021. There will be a short-notice Data Centre Online Summit on 7 October 2020 which can be attended free of charge.
  • Fi/Hi Euope (food/health ingredients), which was supposed to take place 1-3 December 2020 in Frankfurt, Germany, is now officially postponed to 30 November – 2 December 2021 in Messe Frankfurt. In 2022, the event will take place in Paris, France. Instead of the in-person show there will be a virtual event called Fi Europe CONNECT 2020 this year.
  • ISH 2021 (22-26 March 2021) will take the form of a purely digital event and offer a wide variety of interesting features including, for example, exhibitor presentations (products, videos, chat function, one-to-one video calls), as well as intelligent, AI-aided matchmaking with suitable business contacts for lead generation. Additionally, there will be live streams and on-demand transmission of the programme of events, as well as an appointments system for online meetings with exhibitors.
  • LogiMAT, the international trade fair for intralogistics solutions and process management, which takes place annually in Stuttgart, Germany has moved from March to June 2021 as a precaution.  


  • German recycling associations question EU database: the Federal Association of German Waste Management, Water and Raw Materials Management (BDE), the Federal Association of German Steel Recycling and Disposal Companies (BDSV), the Federal Association of Secondary Raw Materials and Disposal (BVSE) and the Association of German Metal Dealers (VDM) see the SCIP (Substances of Concern in Products) database as a potential barrier to shredding and other large-scale recycling writes Recycling Today.
  • In Sweden approximately a quarter of all household trash is recycled incorrectly. Out of all materials, metal packaging is the most mishandled. Read more about it in Nord Emballage, page 8, issue 4/20 (in Swedish).

Social Media

  • Mintel: In an attempt to improve the overall positivity and well-being of users, Instagram now allows for three comments to be pinned to a post which can improve the perception of others. 
  • Linkedin has a new stories feature which allows update posts which last for about 24 hours. But Business Insider says, you shouldn’t treat it as Instagram or Facebook. 

Industry News 

  • Retail: #gifting, a global shopper study by STI Group shows that even if buyers get inspired in physical retail stores, they often buy online. Moreover, retailers would sell more if they gave gifts a dedicated space in the store. Still most popular are gift cards amongst store buyers. Read more about it in German here.  
  • Food Ingredients: A Mintel report shows that 45% of chocolate buyers would buy more chocolate if it was low in sugar. This rises to 50% among 16-24 year olds. 
  • ACHR: According to, the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) aims to influence EU quotas for 2030-2036 responding to the European Commission consultation ‘Fluorinated greenhouse gases – review of EU rules (2015-20) which aims to collect opinions and suggestions about the update of the F-gas Regulation (EU) No 517/2014.
  • Automation: The year book “World Robotics 2020” by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) found that with 221,500 industry robots, Germany is the most automated country in the EU. This is three times more than in Italy, five times more than in France and ten times more than in the UK. Worldwide, 2.7 million robots work in factories. 
  • Sustainability: On Netflix, David Attenborough’s autobiographic documentary “A Life On Our Planet” started last week with a focus on sustainability and the importance of nature. Read The Independent’s review

TAGS: Manufacturing