Faster, higher, stronger

PETplanet Insider talked with Exhibition Director Petra Westphal for her assessment of this special trade fair year and specifically of Drinktec 2022.

Does the beverage and liquid food industry also have Olympic aspirations? Manufacturers of beverages and liquid food and machine manufacturers have long since recognised the potential. Digitalisation and digital transformation are one of the four main topics at Drinktec 2022, which will be held in Munich from September 12 to 16, 2022. With its range of exhibitors and supporting program, the trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry offers broad views and focused approaches aimed at helping the industry become faster, achieve stronger results, and intensify its focus on sustainable plant concepts in the coming years.

PETplanet: How do you assess the trade fair year 2022 in principle?

Petra Westphal: Everyone looks forward to trade fairs. We need personal exchange for inspiration as a basis for innovation. Moreover, the challenges are currently immense. We need face-to-face conversations, the experience with all senses and the feeling of mastering the challenges side by side with all participants of the community.

PETplanet: Why is the Drinktec trade fair particularly important for manufacturers of beverages and liquid food and machine manufacturers worldwide?

Petra Westphal: At Drinktec, there are solutions and innovations for current and future challenges. In addition, a unique quality of advice and a range that covers all service spectrums through its internationality and diversity. That is why we have chosen the following four key themes for this year: first: Digital Transformation and Digital Solutions; second: Consumer World and Product Design; third: Sustainable Packaging and Production and finally forth: Water and water management.

Of course, the whole issue of cost and energy savings will play an immensely important role due to current occurrences. I am sure that we can expect many answers here.

PETplanet: Can you preview for us two or three highlights that visitors and exhibitors can particularly look forward to?

Petra Westphal: Curtain up for Drinktec: the big bang is happening live on site. We know from the Drinktec talks that there are concepts for brewing processes that aim for zero carbon consumption, and then the whole topic of non-alcoholic beverages – especially alcoholic beverages whose alcohol content is minimised or completely reduced to zero – will play an important role. The topic of “free from sugar, animal products, colourings and unnatural additives” will also continue to be relevant.

PETplanet: How strongly will the PET sector and everything that goes with it be represented at Drinktec?

Petra Westphal: A whole hall and the complete range – from granulate to preform production to blow moulding machines and recycling. And I think it will also be about showing the advantages of PET in all its facets to counteract the plastic bashing.

PETplanet: Can you give us an update on exhibitor and booking enquiries and planning for drinktec?

Petra Westphal: All in all, we can expect high quality and a showcase par excellence. I think what counts in the end is that the community gets answers to all its questions, that it is inspired to become creative itself and to secure tomorrow’s business in these challenging times. Drinktec inspires and shapes the future of the industry. For the ‘numbers people’: We expect 1,200 exhibitors from over 70 countries, who in turn can look forward to 65,000 visitors from over 170 countries.

PETplanet: Apart from Europe, which countries and regions will be particularly well represented and how can this be assessed in terms of the expected visitor flows, especially in times of Covid?

Petra Westphal: As in the past, exhibitors come from all countries that have a supplier industry. China, for example, is represented just as much as the USA, Japan or India. We also have an exhibitor from Ukraine. On the visitor side, we expect the world in Munich – but there are unlikely to be hardly any representatives from China and Russia.

Corona is not an issue at the moment. And if it is, we not only have the various options in the drawer but have also successfully tested them all. In addition, our halls are equipped with a modern ventilation system. 

PETplanet: What events, lectures etc. are planned and what will they offer in detail?

Petra Westphal: Here, everyone is invited to let off steam at Drinktec. Our supporting programme offers a colourful bouquet of current and forward-looking topics. Those who are interested are spoilt for choice!

PETplanet: What will possibly be new or different at this Drinktec than at previous Drinktec fairs?

Petra Westphal: There will be a Start-Up Area: Young entrepreneurs will challenge each other in pitches and report on their innovations in the Speakers Corner. We want to bring together long-standing and well-founded expertise with new and wild approaches. Then there will not only be beer tastings at place2beer, but also tastings of edible oils, fruit juices and maybe even milk. We have further developed our app with additional matchmaking options. This is especially true for the solution directory and the innovation guide. Here, we have once again sharpened the profile. Last but not least, Drinktec offers the fireworks of inspiration that not only inspire but also shape the future of our industry.

PETplanet: We thank you very much for these insights and look forward to a meeting of the industry that looks to the future and not to the past!

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