Sidel, a global provider of liquid packaging solutions, recently had its debut participation at PROPAK, East Africa’s leading printing, packing and plastics conference and exhibition, which was held in Nairobi, Kenya from the 17 to 19 of March 2015. The three-day event brought together beverage industry professionals from across the globe to meet and share insights with key industry players in the East Africa beverage value chain. The conference features Georgios Diakakis, regional commercial manager at Sidel, who discussed the various options available to producers who want to design, optimise and validate their packaging for different supply chains and production conditions. Sidel, the gold sponsor of ProPak, also showcased its latest innovations in PET packaging solutions. These solutions included RightWeight, an approach that ensures bottles are lighter yet also stay attractive, protect beverages and lead to higher consumer satisfaction, and the Sidel StarLite Base, a new design to the base of standard PET bottles proven to give added durability, stability, and overall resistance to the bottles. ‘Africa is an important market for us as it rapidly responds to innovative solutions which address evolving market needs,’ said Georgios Diakakis. ‘Over the past few years, with the help of our local agent, we have expanded our presence in Kenya and across the entire African continent. We now have 50 field service engineers based in Africa for after-sales support and installation, and we believe that our participation at ProPak will offer us a unique prospect to get even stronger foothold in the fast-developing East African markets,’ he added. Through the course of the event, Georgios discussed the various products available to producers – from creative and technical design to finite element analysis, bottle feasibility and eventually industrial production. He will also cite a number of successful case studies from different parts of the world, which demonstrate the creation of real value in the real world. Dominique Martin, regional commercial director for Sidel in Africa said, ‘At Sidel, we have always been committed to sharing our experience and know-how with our existing partners, and we will continue to do so for our future partners, in the markets in which we operate. Adding significant value to our customers’ businesses manifests itself in lower costs, higher market presence on the supermarket shelves and of course a responsible approach to sustainable production. Our relatively recent GMEA set up offers closer proximity to our customers and enables us to develop a better understanding of the culture and the trends of the markets in which we operate.’ In 2013, Sidel established the Greater Middle East and Africa (GMEA) Zone with its headquarters in Dubai, UAE, and supporting offices including in Johannesburg. The GMEA team comprises of 120 employees with many different experts including Account Managers, Customer Service Managers, Project Managers, Layout Designers, Field Service Engineers, Planners, Coordinators and Site Managers. According to Euromonitor, at the end of 2014, bottled water was the most consumed beverage item in Kenya with a total of 292 million liters and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6 per cent till 2019. Carbonated soft drinks ranked second with 270 million liters at the end of 2014, and a CAGR of 3.1 per cent till 2019. ProPak is an annual event dedicated to suppliers involved in the packaging, food processing, printing, labeling, and plastics industries. Last year, over 2000 trade visitors came to Nairobi from all over Africa and the rest of the world to interact with more than 60 exhibiting companies from over 15 countries.
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