Looking back on the big show of 2021.

Looking back on the big show of 2021.

Foodtech Packtech is done and dusted, wrapped up and sent on its way until next time. In 2021, after a few uncertain moments earlier in the year, the show proved worth the wait.  

After a tumultuous 12 months of lockdowns, postponed events and general insecurity it was a terrific feeling for the team in mid-April as they put the stand together and prepared everything for a busy few days.

For attendee and exhibitor alike the reality of an actual ‘in-person’ trade show seemed almost unreal at times – and our team were no exception.

“It was great to see so many current and, here’s hoping, future clients,” says Universal’s Sales and Marketing Manager Matt Goddin. “Everyone was happy just to be meeting up and catching up face to face.”

“Having been stuck with video conferencing and emailing for a bit over this last year it can be easy to forget that, at heart, Kiwis are practical, hands-on, solutions-focused people,” says Universal General Manager Jed Goudie. “Nothing beats working out these solutions face to face.”

As the event predominantly caters to the food industry there was obviously much talk about how these solutions had to help companies negotiate a fast-evolving business landscape.

The team certainly noticed an increased appetite for change and improvement. Many Kiwi companies are looking to automate more to ensure consistency of process and ongoing peace of mind.

“Over the past twelve months a lot has changed with their businesses,” says Matt. “While most have seen increases in volume they have often too had to change the way they do things – which has brought with it new equipment needs also.”

The team certainly noticed an increased appetite for change and improvement. Many Kiwi companies are looking to automate more to ensure consistency of process and ongoing peace of mind.

“The mood was very positive overall,” says Jed. “Yes, people generally have been conservative in the last little while. But they are now looking to invest.”

Attendees were also ready to look at potential solutions in far greater detail, a pragmatic approach that showed how companies were taking their technology investment decisions with care.

“The overwhelming feedback on the Spinny machinery was really encouraging,” says Jed. “Everyone was running the figures and seeing just how affordable a pallet wrapper is. Even with low pallet volumes a business case is easily justified.”

It was also an excellent opportunity for the team to network with others on the show, the UP team taking the chance to connect once more with those responsible for recycling plastic waste also.

“They were placing a strong emphasis on the importance of making it easy for identifying the different types of plastic resin when it comes time to sort plastic for recycling,” says Jed. 

“Oji Fibre Solutions definitely impressed with the cardboard waste truck,” said Technical Sales Consultant Garth Hill. “You could quickly see the expertise they have in their work, and the passion the company has.”

The Oji truck proved yet again that often it’s the little things that can make a big difference. At the show this year the UP team found some of these ‘little things’ included the delicious food cooked up by the Morepork food truck, with Jed stating that “it was really hard to go past the pork burgers”.

Thankfully (perhaps due to the short timeframe of the event), these ‘little things’ didn’t make a big difference on the team’s waistlines.

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“Having been stuck with video conferencing and emailing for a bit over this last year it can be easy to forget that, at heart, Kiwis are practical, hands-on, solutions-focused people."

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