Packaging in the food and beverage sector is one of the world’s fastest growing industries as it tries to keep up with the massive growth and diversity of new products sweeping through consumer markets. This is most evident in Africa where a growing middle class population shows an ever-increasing taste for packaged food and beverage products, says Christine Davidson, vice-president of dmg EMS events in Africa, organiser of Africa’s Big Seven (AB7).


“The number of exhibitors and visitors attending AB7 has grown steadily over the 14-year history of the show, along with thousands of brand new products on display every year,” adds Davidson. “The impact of product packaging plays a major role in attracting the attention of AB7 visitors, just as it does with retail consumers. AB7 is the ideal event for discovering world food packaging trends and technologies. The expo takes place from 19 to 21 June at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, South Africa.”


AB7 Gateway to African Markets


Over 260 companies from 49 countries used AB7 as their springboard into Africa last year, to explore business opportunities in 27 countries across the continent. Over 13 000 visitors from 72 countries attended the show.


“Our post show data reveals about one third of visitors specifically targeted the FoodTech and DrinkTech components of AB7, in which the latest packaging trends are showcased by manufacturers,” adds Davidson.


Packaging Technologies Showcase


Last year, packaging companies from Bahrain, France, Italy, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and South Korea exhibited at the show. Dinga Moyo, Chairman of the Food Processing Technology Department at the Harare Institute of Technology, Zimbabwe, visited AB7 to explore new ideas in food technology.  “It’s always rewarding to discover new packaging designs and styles from other countries at AB7,” says Moyo. “It enables us to improve our competitiveness and forge relationships with potential suppliers from around the world.”


One of the UAE’s fastest growing snack producers, Signature Snacks, is now supplying more than 60 countries with its unique line of stylishly packaged biscuits, cookies, crackers, chocolate-coated biscuits, cream-filled biscuits, chocolate-coated wafers and baked chips. “We will be showcasing our premium snack products at Africa's Big Seven for the first time this year,” says General Manager Mazen Nabulsi. “In addition to high quality, we offer different formats of packaging, including premium and trendy styled sharing bags for our bite sized products. I’m certain our packaging plays a large part in our success so far.”


The global consumer packaging market was valued at US$431-billion in 2013 and is expected to reach US$519-billion by 2018, adds Davidson. “Food represented the largest end-use sector at 33.8% market share, with the beverage sector at 25.2%. This is a massive industry opportunity that many packaging manufacturers are under-exploiting, especially in African markets, and that is where AB7 plays a major role as the trade gateway to the continent.”


For more information on AB7 contact:

Lineke van der Brugghen, dmg-ems Africa. 

Tel: +27 11 783 7250. 

Fax: +27 11 783 7269.

E-mail: linekebrugghen@dmgeventsme.com

Website: www.africabig7.com