With the theme of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – United by Trade’, the 42nd edition of the India International Trade Fair (IITF) 2023 – a popular annual event in Delhi’s calendar — was held from 14 November to 27 November 2023 at the newly built Pragati Maidan. Entrepreneurs from various countries, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), non-government agencies, artisans, and self-help groups exhibited their products and services to a diverse audience.
Packaging South Asia recently visited the fair and one of the key observations was the meticulous attention given to the packaging of products. Even though every stall had its way of attracting the audience, their innovative and attractive packaging played a substaintial role in converting the wandering and curious audience into customers.
The textile products such as pashmina shawls from Kashmir, silk sarees from Banaras, and Sambalpuri sarees from Odisha were packed in transparent plastic wraps, while the packaging style of the food products differed from one stall to the other. The dry fruits in the Afghanistan corner and the halwas from Kerala were packed in eco-friendly reusable containers.
One of the many attractive packaging formats that stood out was that of Deeshive Organic, which offered small samples of a variety of honey in a decorative carton-based packaging with a transparent film on the upper part. The large jars of honey were sold in small jute bags, tuning well with the company’s organic theme. Various cosmetic product companies followed suit with attractive carton-based packaging.
A standout trend that Packaging South Asia noticed was the prevalence of stand-up pouches with nearly every stall adopting this packaging format. Stand-up pouches not only provide a better shelf appearance but also enhance visibility, making products more appealing to potential customers. The versatility of the stand-up pouches was pretty evident across various product categories. Be it dry fruits, ready-to-eat snacks or various condiments, the stand-up pouches became the go-to choice for many exhibitors as they offered a balance between form and function. The pouches ensured that the products were not only protected but also presented in a manner that captivated the eyes of consumers.
Although the MSMEs mostly stuck to the traditional packaging of transparent plastic wraps and films, quite a few start-ups and established companies displayed a diverse range of packaging that took into account the sustainability factor.
There were companies opting for carton-box packaging for soaps, biscuits, tea powder, and even instant mixes — reflecting a growing awareness and commitment among businesses to reduce their environmental footprint and cater to the increasing demand for eco-friendly options.