Label Summit Africa 2014 closed in Cape Town last week as 279 senior delegates came together to discuss local and global issues, hear about applying new technologies and find new ways to develop business strategies with access to industry experts and real life case studies. Held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) between 10-11 March, the two-day conference and table-top exhibition is South Africa’s largest dedicated label industry event.
The second edition of the Summit featured over 20 market leading exhibitors including Flint Group, Kemtek Imaging Systems, MPS, New Africa Inks, Nilpeter, Nuova GIDUE, Omet, Paragon Inks South Africa, Prati and Xeikon. Attendees included label and packaging converters, designers, industry suppliers and brand owners with representatives from Appletiser, DairyBelle, Parmalat and Unilever amongst others. Networking activities were ample as delegates broke the ice at a private dinner and reception and private tour of Nitida wine estate, where they had the opportunity to taste some of the wines; then blend, bottle and label their own.
The conference program was packed with 14 sessions including a mix of technical presentations, business case studies and panel discussions. Highlights included the keynote speech which was delivered by Filip Weymans of gold sponsor Xeikon. Weymans outlined the growing importance of personalization and how packaging is acting as a trigger in creating positive emotions between the consumer and brands. He went onto explain how trust in brands is being instilled at a local level as the market is adapting to embrace the use of social media platforms to build communities in specific regions.
Other stand-out presentations from the first day included Dr Séamus Lafferty of Accraply. Lafferty looked at South Africa’s position in the shrink sleeve label market and challenged converters to up their game in raising quality standards to compete on a more global footing. Lafferty defined the massive opportunities open to converters to easily increase their market share by drawing on the importance of investing in and using the best materials available going forward. HP’s Christian Menegon and Graham Finke of Didget Printing presented on the merits and value of adopting an alternative digital business model. They explained that to meet the rising use of personalized consumer engagement campaigns, a digital printing capacity can create a whole new set of rules and opportunities as printers can enhance the brand owners’ sales efforts by being capable to process short run jobs.
The two panel discussions were also well received. The African converter panel discussion with panelists including SA Litho’s Leon Witbooi, Uwe Bögl of RAKO labels Cape Town, Sachen Gudka of Skanem Interlabels Nairobi and Associated Printers’ Peter Frost explored their own regional variations, emerging technology trends and applications for future investment. The panel gave a unique insight into how vital it is to understand local cultures and markets in order to succeed in catering for their own specific needs. The brand panel discussion featured contributions from Indigo Brands’ Mark Anley, Johan Heckroodt of Lutzville Vineyards and Parmalat’s Garron Arendse. They evaluated several topical areas including the rise of the private label and how packaging improvements can preserve brand heritage.
Opportunities in brand development, product design and positioning were focused on during day two. Mark Anley from Indigo Brands also separately looked at developing innovative and iconic packaging and covered the mounting domination of short run printing and personalization. Brandesign’s Mike Taberner considered the worth and consequence of forging strategic partnerships in the supply chain to better serve brand owners. Highlighting the design and the role of the supplier - from supplier to creative force - Taberner reasoned the need for and significance of a collaborative execution throughout the entire branding and design process.
Lisa Milburn, managing director of Labelexpo commented: “We would like to thank everyone for their involvement and proactivity in this year’s Summit. Label Summit Africa 2014 has proved to be a very thought provoking and valuable event. Feedback from our delegates has been hugely positive with many attendees maximizing their time here to network with their peers and develop new working alliances. We’re seeing the South African label and packaging industry evolve in sophistication as consumers engage more with brands which has brought about more of a pull rather than push sales and marketing culture and mentality. Like much of Africa and the emerging market countries as a whole, the South African label industry is experiencing a strong period of growth at 6% per year and this will be maintained as the young middle class demographic continues to expand and drive demand.”
Quotes from exhibitors:
Pascal Duchene, Codimag: “Label Summit Africa 2014 has been a good opportunity to better understand the South African market specifically and meet local label market players. We are excited by the potential business development.”
Jepser Joergensen, Nilpeter: “Nilpeter is reinforcing its position on the growing African label and package printing market. Label Summit Africa constituted an excellent platform for strengthening our network. We were particularly happy to meet so many existing and new customers from Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya. At the event, the Nilpeter team presented advanced packaging solutions in flexo and offset and prime label solutions with the latest high-end flexo technologies. It is our hope that future events on the African continent will attract even more converters from both East and West Africa.”
Claudia Fabbri, Prati: “The Prati's Saturn control machines, as well as other devices for an overall labels and reel control such as VEGAPlus Booklet, the Alhena IML Converting line and the STARPlus solution for non-stop rewinding, generated strong interest from the visiting delegates at Label Summit Africa 2014. Prati Company was one among the 20 market leading exhibitors and during the Summit we had the opportunity to meet several clients who had already experienced the high reliability of our control devices for labels. These two days were very useful also to start new contacts with other label printers, converters and brand owners from South Africa as well as other regions visiting this important event. During a free exchange of ideas, we had the opportunity to give them a better working knowledge of the latest technologies, applications and processes for label finishing and they had the opportunity to check how Prati is working with an approach to the real needs of converters, who have to front new market trends and conditions.”
Stéphane Rateau, SMAG: “These Label Summits are always interesting to learn about local markets: label printers, rules of the market, growing of the local market, actors and major suppliers. This is in fact a real Who’s Who in life. For the SMAG side, the goal of our visit to Label Summit Africa has been achieved as we have established a partnership with the company Sareltech as exclusive distributor for South of Africa. Sareltech is a medium size company well established since many years in Cape Town, very service oriented and currently distributor of BST (web guide and camera inspection system).”
Filip Weymans, Xeikon: “Label Summit Africa fits with Xeikon’s strategy in terms of educating the market upon trends, technology and opportunities. Although it is clear that Africa provides good opportunities it doesn’t come for free and requires investment of time to bring the knowledge across. This summit has been the ideal event to reach a broad range of people and share a whole range of ideas.”