Propak Cape Exhibition is taking place in Cape Town in October


Trends driving growth in the South African packaging industry

This year’s Propak Cape Exhibition, taking place in Cape Town in October, is the perfect event to showcase the key trends driving growth in the South African Packaging Industry. Visitors to the show will be able to engage on all the latest packaging trends and growth drivers operating to expand the local packaging market in the next 5 years.


According to an industry report by Mordor Intelligence, the South African Packaging Industry is expected to grow from $10.35-billion in 2023 to $12.91-billion by 2028, at a compound annual growth rate of 4.52%. The growth in the market is being driven by an increasing number of young consumers and increasing demand for consumer goods.


Rising household disposable income is another factor growing demand for convenient food products, further propelling the market for fresh food packaging.

A growing young, mobile population is driving the move towards small packs and multipacks as the demand for food-on-the-go increases. Due to busy lifestyles and a growing population of qualified professionals, the country has a high market penetration of ready-to-eat meals, which is also anticipated to support the expansion of bags and pouches-based packaging solutions over the next 5 years.

Rapidly growing urbanisation

Rapidly growing urbanisation and better health awareness have also seen an increase in the consumption of convenience and health food and products, as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, creating demand for different packaging solutions. The number of people aged 12-24 has steadily risen as a percentage of the population, driving demand for carbonated/soft drinks, bottled water and alcoholic beverages and convenience food, which will add to the demand for packaging solutions. In addition, the trend for smaller families living in smaller accommodation with less storage space, is making consumers more appreciative of space-efficient packaging where carton packaging has become the suitable solution.

Major global beauty and cosmetics companies are also capitalising on the industry growth expected in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the beauty industry expected to double in size in the next decade as the population and disposable incomes in the region grow.

Growing concern about the environment and recycling

At the same time, the growing concern about the environment and recycling is resulting in an increase in the demand for sustainable packaging solutions. There is an increased focus on using eco-friendly materials to reduce waste and environmental impact, such as biodegradable, recyclable, or compostable materials.

The packaging industry will also benefit from the growing applications of new technology and smart packaging solutions. Integration of technology, such as QR codes, augmented reality, or temperature-sensitive sensors, which enhance consumer experience, share information, or track product freshness, have the ability to interact with the customer and provide them with more information about the product and connect them online.

Local packaging industry takes centre stage

Many of these packaging trends and more will be on show when the local packaging industry takes centre stage at this year’s Propak Cape exhibition taking place at the Cape Town International Conference Centre (CTICC) from 24-26 October. Visitors to this year’s event can expect to see thousands of new and innovative products from across the packaging, plastics, print, labelling, food processing and related industries, showcasing all the latest market related trends and developments.

Visitors to Propak Cape 2023 will get to see the introduction of the latest AI-powered machine vision products and technologies from Westplex which will be displayed at the show. The newCognex In-Sight 2800 and 3800 machine vision system integrates advanced AI algorithms with high-resolution cameras to enhance packaging processes. It offers real-time quality control, identifying defects, inconsistencies, and errors in packaging materials with remarkable accuracy.


The system optimises production lines by triggering events or detecting and alerting operators about any potential issues, minimising downtime and resource wastage. Westplex will also display the RDI Motion Amplification Cameras for representation of movement that was previously invisible to the naked eye; as well as the FLIR Online Thermography Cameras which identify hidden defects through precise thermal imaging at this year’s show.

Rhine Ruhr Process Equipment will launch the new Life Portfolio at Propak Cape 2023, a comprehensive range of homogenisation, mixing, filling, and labelling solutions featuring state-of-the-art technology from partners never before seen in South Africa. The company will be showcasing the TPS Inline High Shear Mixer, ideal for demanding applications requiring high shear rates and mixing intensities.

The company will also display the ViscoJet IBC-mount Agitator designed for use in intermediate bulk containers, as well as the DeVree Semi-Automated Volumetric Filling Machine ideal for a variety of applications, including filling bottles, cans, jars and tubs.

USS Pactech will be showcasing a Wipotec OCS track & trace solution for 2D bar code printing and verifying at Propak Cape 2023. The company believes that the new track and trace solution will become the new standard for retail packs to trace products through the value chain as 2D-code technology becomes the universally accepted standard.

The company will also display a range of machines for the food sector, such as the SN pouch machine for stand-up pouches with zipper running recyclable mono material, a Multiweigh 14 head scale, a PFM MBP RX 800 continuous intermittent bagger, a Variovac Optimus thermoformer and a Supervac belt type vacuum packing machine. For the beverage sector, USS Pactech will exhibit a Comac 10/2 can filler/seamer for carbonated products up to 6000 cans per hour, which is of particular interest for craft breweries and wineries.

Filkraft will introduce the Filkraft Uniblock, an affordable automatic method for rinsing, filling, and capping for the growing South African beverage industry. The company will also demonstrate the Filkraft K700 Linear Self-Adhesive Labelling Machine; the Filkraft K50 Semi-Automatic Level Filling Machine; and the Filkraft K150 Economic Rotary Level Filling/ Capping Machine from the European market.


Ishida South Africa will launch the new Ishida IX-EN Series at Propak Cape. The new versatile X-ray inspection machine protects product contents and guarantees product security.


The X-ray inspection machine can be used in a wide range of packed products, making use of the patented Ishida Genetic Algorithm (GA) technology which enables any operator to optimise the X-ray system for greater sensitivity to specific foreign bodies.

Contaminants can be detected in steel, aluminium, tin, glass, stones, dense rubber, bones and shells, providing unrivalled food safety and brand protection. The IX-EN Series also offers many important quality control applications such as counting components, weight estimation, missing or broken items, product voids or deformations. Ishida will also have many live demonstrations on their stand.

PMD Packaging Systems will display their recently developed, locally manufactured Taurus sachet machine. The company also recently signed an exclusive agency agreement with Czech company Velteko and will be exhibiting the Velteko 360 Doy Pack machine at Propak Cape 2023, for the production of stand-up pouch packaging.

Just under 200 exhibitors

With just under 200 exhibitors at the show, Propak Cape is an opportunity for visitors to see the latest in primary and secondary packaging, cutting-edge equipment in the food processing industry, and the newest production techniques and materials in plastics. Modern trends in packaging printing and the vital role of labelling will be in the spotlight, and visitors will also gain insight into state-of-the-art production machinery, equipment, and services.

Propak Cape is supported by the Institute of Packaging SA (IPSA), Packaging SA, Plastics SA, Printing SA, and the Aerosol Manufacturers Association (AMA). IPSA will be running a one-day high-level Responsible Packaging conference alongside the show on the Wednesday, 25 October.

Content-rich free-to-attend seminars will take place each day of the show, presented by industry experts.

Visitors can register online for free access to Propak Cape at

Specialised Exhibitions is a division of Montgomery Group.


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