For those in the product packaging and processing business there was only one “place to be” from 4 to 10 May: interpack in Düsseldorf. Under the heading “Welcome Home” the trade fair welcomed visitors from all over the world. The joy of finally coming together as an industry was great.
It delivered what it promised and exceeded exhibitors’ expectations: the world’s largest and most relevant packaging trade fair set standards yet again from 4 to 10 May, connected the industry on a global level and acted as both a marketplace and content hub. Visitors from 155 countries, many with firm intentions to buy, came to interpack 2023. 2,807 exhibitors showcased the power and creativity of the packaging industry with their technologies and solutions. What was easy to see were the numerous impulses, ideas and concrete business deals which will be implemented over the coming years.
At the end of the trade fair Bernd Jablonowski, Executive Director at Messe Düsseldorf, says: “With interpack we were able to finally hold one of the Messe Düsseldorf’s most important events again. It has reported back impressively and reinforced its position as the global platform for the exchange amongst all players in the packaging sector, related process industries and all user industries. Our targets were exceeded by far.”
Altogether approx. 143,000 visitors travelled to interpack in Düsseldorf, two thirds of them coming from abroad. Alongside many European countries, the largest visitor nations were India, Japan and the USA. Around 75% of visitors came from middle or top management.
“interpack at last!” was a phrase frequently heard in the halls – because after a six-year break the big community was finally able to meet again in person. And this was reflected in the joy on people’s faces. “interpack 2023 will reverberate with us for a long time – both in business and personal terms,” says Director Thomas Dohse after seven trade fair days adding: “The mood in the halls was great and the inter-cultural exchange enriching for all sides. It was ‘simply unique’ again.”
This was underscored by the positive feedback from visitors, 96% of whom stated they had achieved their trade fair objectives. Just as satisfied were the exhibitors whose expectations had been exceeded many times over. “We thank Messe Düsseldorf for the outstanding organisation. I’m confident that I’m speaking on behalf of all companies here. interpack 2023 is simply a must for suppliers and users from all over the world to exchange experiences and do business,” says Markus Rustler, President of interpack 2023 at the conclusion of the event.
Transformation as an opportunity
Considering current market developments, the enormous challenges but also the even bigger opportunities, this interpack definitely proved one of the most important ones in its history. The need to automate, the will to act sustainably and changed consumption habits are all expressions of transformation.
interpack’s strategic orientation towards the four Hot Topics: Circular Economy, Resource Management, Digital Technologies and Product Safety found concrete expression in numerous innovations. The trade fair, which has traditionally been a key cornerstone in the innovation cycle of the packaging industry and related process industries, also more than lived up to this claim this year.
Sustainable packaging technologies
All facets of sustainability were top themes at interpack. Exhibitors presented high-end technologies and holistic concepts that consider efficiency and sustainability along their entire production line. “Many companies in the consumer goods industry have set their own sustainability targets,” says Richard Clemens, Managing Director of the Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association within VDMA at interpack. “Over the past few years, packaging machinery manufacturers have succeeded in implementing sustainable packaging concepts by means of corresponding technical adaptations and newly developed machinery solutions. interpack is the showcase for innovations and, at the same time, the point of departure for developing further towards a sustainable circular economy,” says Clemens summing up.
The many solutions celebrating a world premiere at interpack also included a host of packaging materials and supplies in all their diversity. In excess of 1,000 exhibitors were showcased in this segment alone, making for a new record.
interpack is not only a business but also a content platform for the sector, both live and digitally. A total of 50 talks were hosted at the Tightly Packed TV studio care of interpack and ‘packaging journal’, thereby generating additional visibility and reach of the top themes and trends through live streams. Some 200,000 viewers dialled in during the run-time of the trade fair alone.
The Spotlight Talks & Trends Forum proved a visitor magnet and focused on seven themes on seven days including amongst others, logistics, circular economy and e-Commerce. The programme was presented jointly by interpack, the dfv Conference Group and PackReport.
New and fresh impulses
Also attracting plenty of attention were the other Specials such as the interpack Start-up Zone, the joint stand Co-Packing, several award ceremonies spotlighting exciting packaging innovations, the ‘SAVE FOOD Highlight-Route’ with new approaches to fighting global food loss and waste and the promotion of women at ‘Women in Packaging’. The special buzz at this premiere came by way of the approximately 200 women from the international sector, who exchanged and established new networks during interpack.
components – which was held as a concurrent event with 80 exhibitors in a separate hall – also went down well with visitors. The upstream industries supplying components and software to packaging technology and process engineering play a prominent role in the digitalisation of manufacturing processes.
The next interpack will be held in Düsseldorf from 7 to 13 May 2026.
“The mood at interpack 2023 was excellent and we are happy to be part of this event again. It felt like in previous years and we are very satisfied with the quality of visitors. We were able to welcome numerous international delegations as well as all key business partners to our stand and thrill new potential customers.”
Markus Rustler, Managing Partner at Theegarten-Pactec GmbH & Co. KG
“Great mood, packed stands, good and plenty of business – this is how interpack 2023 can be summarised. Our member companies are very satisfied. On the weekend – as expected – many customers came from overseas. The quality of visitors was very high – some of the machines were purchased straight off the stand. After the six-year break people delighted all the more at seeing the interpack family finally coming together again in Düsseldorf. To us, interpack is, and always will be, the leading trade fair of the industry.”
Richard Clemens, Managing Director of VDMA’s Food Machinery and Packaging Machinery Association
interpack for IMA is historically a point of reference in the exhibition panorama. As a matter of fact, in this 2023 edition we attended with an almost 5000 m2 booth: the biggest ever. 46 machines, 12 new models and 22 machines IiOT connected, expressing IMA’s commitment towards innovation and digitalisation. Great emphasis on sustainability as one of the main pillars of the IMA System, presenting solutions to handle new eco-friendly materials on our equipment. We recorded excellent attendance and our customers were extremely pleased by our polyhedric portfolio characterised by innovation.
Monica Cervellati, Corporate Communication and Exhibitions Director IMA
“interpack 2023 has been a success for Metsä Board. In our Innovation Lab area we provided inspiration for the visitors around circular packaging solutions made with renewable and easily recyclable materials helping to reduce the use of plastic. This year’s discussions exceeded our expectations. The quality of visitors was surprisingly high coming from all over the world and fulfilled fully the expectations we had in exhibiting at this international fair.”
Marjo Halonen, VP Communications Metsä Board
“interpack is an important trade fair for us. In 2017 we were still represented with a smaller stand, for 2023 we opted in favour of an enlargement. What we especially liked is the trade fair’s high international attendance and the new hall concept. We will be back in 2026 again.”
Andreas Grabotin, Zone Director DACH markem-imaje
“Interpack 2023 was one of the most eagerly awaited events for our industry. It was a great opportunity to meet our customers and partners again and to start new projects and collaborations. We exhibited more than 50 machines with a focus on sustainability, digital innovation, laboratory solutions, sterile packaging, inspection and traceability. In particular, our visitors showed interest in eco-friendly solutions, in our innovative robot with parallel architecture and AI applications. I was impressed by the determination of visitors who visited us with specific requests. At the same time, we regret that due to the difficulties the world is facing in this moment, we couldn’t meet customers from some geographical areas.”
Valentina Marchesini, Director of Human Resources and Head of Marketing & Communications at Marchesini Group S.p.A.
"For Uhlmann Pac-Systeme, interpack was a great success. Our stand concept with its clear focus on sustainability was very well received by visitors. We also stimulated the interest of trade fair visitors who actually did not have us on their programme. Sustainability as a driver of innovation in products and services, both at Parenteralia and Oral Solid Dose - this is what our customers are looking for and this has also enabled us to develop new contacts. The live experience and the opportunity to just get in touch, that's really a trademark of interpack, and we're very happy that the fair could take place again."
Gabi Bauer, Head of Marketing & Communication Uhlmann Pac-Systeme
"Process and packaging technology for a better life - that's what visitors experienced at the Syntegon stand. This included numerous solutions with answers to market trends such as automation, digitalisation and sustainability. And the feedback from our customers showed that we have met their requirements. Whether new machines, entire lines or services, the interest was great. The first interpack with our Syntegon brand was a complete success for us".
Dr. Michael Grosse, Vorsitzender der Geschäftsführung Syntegon
“The face-to-face conversations proved a tremendous added value for us. On all days we registered a high number of visits by customers and interested parties. Concrete business deals were already concluded during the trade fair days, and a multitude were initiated. At interpack we placed a lot of emphasis on flexible solutions for a wide variety of confectionery machinery for chocolate, marshmallows and jelly as well as on service and digitalisation to also always support customers beyond the initial equipment purchase.”
Jessica Runkel, Managing Director Winkler und Dünnebier Süßwarenmaschinen
“We are pleased that we can finally exhibit at interpack again after six years and meet with so many international customers after the pandemic period. Our principal theme at interpack is holistic line integration. As a total solutions provider we have extended our portfolio in various segments and are delighted that this has met with such strong interest among our many visitors.”
Tobias Weber, CEO Weber Maschinenbau GmbH
“Reusability has become a key criterion for packaging – be it of glass, paper or plastics. Starlinger’s circular solutions for Big Bags made of rPET and rPP went down especially well with our visitors at interpack. Our customer Packem from Brazil, a pioneer for Big Bags in recycled PET, was awarded the WorldStar Packaging Award for its Bag-to-Bag project. This was a special trade fair highlight for us!” Angelika Huemer, Managing Partner, Starlinger & Co Gesellschaft m.b.H.
“We were absolutely delighted to be at interpack again at last after six years! To my mind, nothing replaces direct customer contact. We have brought along many new products to the trade fair, including various innovations with a focus on sustainability, process reliability and handling. Our stand at interpack was a perfect communication platform to enter into dialogue with customers and obtain direct feedback on our new products. Overall, the quality of visitors and also the volume were very good. We plan to be back in three years.”
Axel Schäfer, Global Head of Marketing & Commercial Product Management, Schütz GmbH & Co. KGaA.
"interpack is an important source of impetus for the transformation to more environmental protection and efficient production processes in the packaging industry. These are precisely the points we are targeting with our holistic solutions - whether with resource-saving packaging systems, comprehensive service offerings or forward-looking machine technologies. The strong interest shown in our solutions at interpack proves to us that we are on the right track.
"Dr. Johannes T. Grobe, Geschäftsführer Sales und Service der KHS Gruppe
"interpack 2023 was very successful for us - even in direct comparison to the last interpack, we recorded more visitors at our stand. We also rate the quality of the leads we captured as very positive."
Adrian Ritzhaupt, Group Director Commercial & Service, Mosca GmbH
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