The SupplySide West and Food ingredients North America show brings food & beverage and nutrition professionals back together.
Over 11,000 attendees across the food & beverage, dietary supplement, and personal care industries recently gathered in Las Vegas for the SupplySide West and Food ingredients North America trade show. The event brings together buyers and suppliers in this booming industry to connect on trend-driving ingredients and new emerging technologies.
Epson was one of more than 700 exhibitors, demonstrating three models of ColorWorks digital on-demand label printers. Epson product manager Andrew Moore was on the show floor and sat down with us recently to share some impressions from the event.
Tell us more about Epson’s decision to attend SupplySide West?
Anywhere there’s label and packaging discussions going on, we need to be there. And we’ve always found that at SupplySide West we get strong booth traffic and great response. Even with things the way they are, it was an awesome show for us.
What were some of your takeaways at the event?
For starters, there’s still a ton of people out there who are not aware that this type of on-demand desktop packaging label solution is available. And second, the people that are aware and have been using competing solutions sometimes find they’re coming up short. The technology they’re dealing with is not meant to be a permanent solution. Our technology is designed to last at least five years.
People were also impressed with our speed. As you know, Epson is one of the leaders in art photography printers. We brought that quality into our label printers. This means our customers can get a great-looking prime label in seconds, right there in their shops. They’re thrilled to find they can manufacture their product, package it, label it, and ship it on the same day. That’s a game-changer for them.
What were some of the trends being discussed at SupplySide West?
This community is very much into highly branded, very colorful boutique-type labeling. Being able to do that in the past required going to a commercial label printer and ordering 20,000 labels minimum. But regulatory bodies, whether it’s the FDA or someone else, frequently pressure the manufacturers to reformulate. Reformulation means printing new labels to update the nutrition tables. We also see the need for these short runs with prototypes or limited-edition items.
Epson allows customers to do short runs quickly and easily. It’s a simple software change. Regardless of the label, the printer is designed to simply upload the digital file and print in any way you want.
How did you feel the show was impacted by the pandemic?
Show management mentioned that attendance was about 55% of what it was in 2019. Nonetheless, even at 55%, the people who did make it were serious buyers. In most cases, the people I talked to were owners or executives of their company.
How big of an international presence was there?
We met a fair number of people from Asia, and some from Mexico and South America. There was a bigger global presence at the show this year than I’ve seen in any show prior.
Tell me about the Epson booth.
We had a slightly smaller booth than usual — but we still had our three main printers on display, including our ColorWorks C3500, C7500, and C6000. We wanted to showcase something for everyone. The C3500 is perfect for someone just starting out, and the C7500 is ideal for production runs because it prints about a foot a second in full resolution. Then we also had the new C6000 series, which is fully loaded with the latest tools and is designed to drop into just about any corporate label printing environment.
What did being at SupplySide West tell you about the prospects for in-person events?
I’m optimistic about the 2022 shows. I think this event proved that people are excited to attend in-person events again. The industry is willing to take the necessary precautions to safeguard the health and safety of all attendees.
I think it is critical to get back to in-person events to meet with customers and to allow them to physically engage with our solutions. In-person shows definitely offer a benefit that you can’t get from a virtual event.
Andrew Moore is Epson’s Product Manager representing Epson ColorWorks. To learn more about Epson’s digital label-printing solutions, click here