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EasyFairs packaging shows dedicated to packaging innovation at Birminghams National Exhibition Centre

Ideas for new packaging products will be pitched to industry expert ‘Lions’ at a Dragons’ Den-inspired contest that will be staged at the easyFairs quartet of packaging shows dedicated to packaging innovation, sustainable packaging, outsourcing and technology, taking place at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre on 24th & 25th February 2010.

However, there will be no sign of Theo Paphitis or Peter Jones. Instead, Paul Beer (Boots), Alan Moffat (Heinz), Dr Mark Masento (Tesco), Karen Graley (Waitrose), Josh Brooks (Packaging News) and Dr Gordon Stewart (Packaging Society) will form the Lions’ Lair judging panel.

The panel will be casting their critical eye over an array of the most innovative products put forward by six exhibiting companies.

Packaging Innovations exhibitor Food Packaging Resource (stand 641) will be the first company stepping into the Lair. They will be hoping to grab the judges’ attention with their new ‘Spooncup’ product. This is a unique coffee cup lid which includes a built in stirrer, offering the consumer enhanced safety and enjoyment whilst they drink their beverage on the move. The lid and stirrer can be produced in a number of colours offering independent outlets or chains brand identity.

Michael Pipe, Director at Food Packaging Resource comments: "The lid is manufactured using injection moulding rather than a traditional thermoforming production process therefore offering opportunities for high graphic printing which could be used in media advertising campaigns."

"Funnily enough Dragons Den were very keen to feature the product in their last series, but it just wasn’t the right time. So we are looking forward to taking on the Lions instead and getting their thoughts on the product!"

The second company looking to take on the easyFairs Lions is ECOPACK exhibitor Polythene UK (stand 310). The award-winning firm based in Witney, Oxfordshire has become one of the fastest growing companies in UK packaging, and is now the largest broker of polythene film and bags in the country.

At the Lions’ Lair, James Woollard, Managing Director at Polythene UK will be pitching to the lions the company’s new compostable bags, self-titled ‘Polycomp’ bags.

James comments: "I’ll be demonstrating the powerful benefits of our new ‘Polycomp’ bags. Today, the UK dumps more household waste into landfill than any other EU state. Our polycomp bags will help solve this problem. The biopolymers that we use in the bags consist mainly of starch and biodegrade fully within just 10 days! It’s a fantastic product and one I’m sure will interest the lions!"

Chesapeake (stand 530), are the third company taking part in the Lions’ Lair competition. Over the last few months Chesapeake’s Bradford design studio has developed a new packaging concept, CartonBag™, which offers a lighter-weight alternative to the standard bag in carton format.

Janet Shipton, Divisional Design and Development Director at Chesapeake explains: "CartonBag™ has two versions, one being a window patched carton to simulate a bag , the other is window patched and glued creating a sealed bag in a box. It can be made using a choice of inner liners depending on its contents to either offer product visibility or an opaque finish. Its style offers gift appeal and it can add value to a range of products. It can be hand packed or fully machine automated, so there’s a lot it can offer and we’re confident that it will attract the judges’ attentions!"

Also looking to impress the easyFairs Lions is Clifford Packaging (stand 537). The company will be demonstrating their new BB2 wine box. The unique design slashes the amount of corrugated waste UK retailers dispose of by 70-80%. The patented folding system can be added to many carton designs to make them collapsible and reusable by both the consumer and retailer.

Rowan Tinn, Innovations Development Manager at Clifford Packaging, comments: "We felt the biggest single category/industry that would benefit from BB2 would be the wine industry. By adding the BB2 folding system to a standard six bottle wine carton this means that when the wine is decanted onto a shelf rather than disposing of the carton it now has a secondary use as a wine carrier. So for the retailer this means they do not have the expense of purchasing free issue wine carriers. It also takes a complete layer of packaging out of the supply chain and therefore lowers their carbon footprint. Once the lions have seen our product they’ll be roaring for more!"

The other two companies looking to take part are Cellac UK (stand 504) and Item Products NPD (stand 591). Cellac UK will be showcasing their new innovative re-sealable pack self titled ‘Plix-Pack,’ whilst Item Products NPD will be showcasing their new ‘Trundler system’ which provides easier packaging mobility for all types of corrugated board packaging and POS displays.

The Lions’ Lair contest will be taking place on both the 24th and 25th February 2010 at 1pm, with three of the companies competing each day. Two companies overall will be awarded with the Lions Lair accolade, one from each day, with the results being announced at 2pm after each session. To find out more about the competition or for any other information relating to the easyFairs packaging Shows please visit www.easyfairs.com or phone 020 86224417.

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