44,000 Pack Into Pack Expo International

Oct. 26, 2022
First show since the pandemic indicates robust manufacturing strength and investment.

Pack Expo International, one of the country’s largest trade shows and featuring a big “Processing” area, closed today (Oct. 26) with more than 44,000 attendees, surpassing the pre-pandemic 2018 event.

2,200 exhibitors showcasing packaging and processing innovations took up 1.2 million square feet of Chicago’s McCormick Place. PMMI-The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (formerly the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute) was the sponsor.

Held in even-numbered years in Chicago, this was the first Pack Expo International held since the pandemic (in 2019 and 2021, the smaller Pack Expo Las Vegas was held live). “The end user base was eager to come back and see equipment in person,” said Jeff Kaplan, VP integrated systems for Hamrick Packaging Systems. “For our industry, the economy looks like it will be robust in 2023. Customers are acting on buying automation and not just talking about it.”

In 2019, the market for packaging machinery was $10.8 billion; this year the industry broke the $15 billion mark, a growth of 40%, according to PMMI’s State of the Industry U.S. Packaging Machinery report.

On the other hand, PMMI's short-lived spinoff ProFood Tech, a targeted food & beverage processing show that was held in Chicago in April, has been terminated. Processing equipment is once again a part of Pack Expo.

Exhibitors at Pack Expo International are vendors of packaging and processing equipment; attendees are packaged-goods manufacturers. Food & beverage is the largest single category of attendees.

The show also features vendor presentations and technical sessions. The Packaging and Processing Women’s Leadership Network breakfast brought together nearly 1,000 attendees to hear Dawn Hudson, former Chief Marketing Officer at the National Football League and Former President and CEO of Pepsi Cola North America, talk about her experiences in the workforce.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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