Interpack organising team hails successful return for key packaging and processing show

Major technology breakthroughs in robotics, automation and wider equipment capabilities all contributed to Interpack’s organising team hailing the week-long event as a key success in drawing a diverse international audience from across the globe, reports Neill Barston.

Confectionery Production played its part in proceedings at the event, which ran between 4-10 May in Düsseldorf, which saw an extensive array of equipment, systems and wider industry technology gaining a debut at the much-anticipated packaging and processing sector showcase.

According to official figures, there were visitors from 155 countries, many with firm intentions to buy, with a total of 2,807 exhibitors placing their latest offerings on display, many of which unveiled genuine market innovations and industry solutions. In the wake of its perceived success, dates have already been release for the next show – which is scheduled to take place in Düsseldorf between 7 to 13 May 2026. (See our June edition for full event review, as well as additional exclusive coverage online).

Attendance for this year’s fair was put at around 143,000 people (two thirds of them from overseas), against the previous high of over 170,000 achieved in 2017, yet organisers believed that the quality of those attending from around the world was notably high.

Bernd Jablonowski, Executive Director at Messe Düsseldorf, commented: “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.”

While there were many visitors from across Europe, the largest visitor nations were India, Japan and the USA. Around 75% of visitors came from middle or top management, with considerable excitement surrounding the trade fair’s return after a long six-year pandemic-enforced break.

As the organisers noted, “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. 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.

Furthermore, the Interpack team noted that despite the considerable background challenges that remain on a global level, including supply chain challenges, geopolitical issues including the ongoing war in Ukraine, as well as ingredients and general operating cost rises, the achievements in Germany this past week should not be underestimated.

One of its core focuses had been placed on the requirement for greater automation, combined with a renewed focus on sustainable operating practices and changed consumption habits that are part of wider international business 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.

Notably, 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.

In addition, there were 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

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.




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