…As Interpack trade fair holds in May
(By Adebayo Oladejo)
Pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria have been advised to improve their products’ packaging as this affects how consumers perceive and purchase the products.
The counsel was given by the regional representative of Trade Fair Services Limited (the West African representative of Messe Dusseldorf, Germany), Mr Akhigbe Itua, while unveiling plans for this year’s edition of Interpack Processes and Packaging Trade Fair, scheduled to hold between 8 and 14 May in Germany.
Mr. Ituah, who spoke at a press briefing organised to review the upcoming trade fair at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos in February, noted that as the purchasing power of Nigerian consumers continues to grow, the demand for quality packaging becomes the “core differentiator” on the store shelf.
“Packaging is very important to the pharmaceutical manufacturers and others because it is the last step the manufacturing companies take before they get to the consumers, and the way a product is packaged plays a prominent role in deciding its acceptability or otherwise,” Ituah noted.
He also added that “in terms of curbing the menace of counterfeiting which has ravaged our pharmaceutical markets, packaging and proper labeling can be used conveniently to differentiate between a genuine product and the fake one. There is no way one could imitate a genuine and well packaged product that will make it look like the original.”
Providing more information on the forthcoming trade fair, Ituah said the event would have about 2,700 exhibitors from over 60 countries who would present the future direction of packaging technology to 166,000 visitors in Dusseldorf, Germany. He added that Trade Fair Services Limited, which had been in existence for over 30 years, would provide consular, travel, accommodation and on-site support to Nigerians who would be travelling for the event.
He explained further that the scope of business interests that would be covered at the trade fair would include processes and machinery for food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, consumer goods (non-food), industrial goods, packaging materials as well as services for the confectionary and bakery industries.
Advising pharmaceutical manufacturers on the benefits of the fair, Ituah said,”My advice to them is that they should try as much as possible to be part of this year’s edition as it is the biggest platform for manufacturers all over the world. It is also going to be a platform that will afford them opportunity to meet other manufacturers, speak to machine manufacturers, makers of consumables, make them know the direction where technology is going, understand the basis for knowledge transfer, get inputs from much more established companies with regards to how they can improve their own manufacturing businesses here in Nigeria and many other benefits. So, it’s definitely going to be a worthwhile experience for them.”
Speaking further, Mr Ituah said those who are already familiar with Interpack know that the trade fair, which is held every three years, is the biggest international summit of an extremely dynamic sector, where the latest innovations in packaging products and associated process technology can be seen firsthand. He added that the fair is the leading and largest global platform for packaging and related processes technology.
Speaking on the unique features and opportunities that abound in Germany, Sophia Stefan from the German consulate used the platform to highlight the global attraction of Germany as a business destination, noting that those travelling to Germany are open to an avalanche of opportunities. According to her, Germany offers high level of productivity, innovation and quality of life to its citizens and visitors, while the government places a top priority on education and infrastructural development.