The event also provided insights into where the beverage industry is heading and the challenges and opportunities that it faces going forward. Almost 500 participants attended the two day event from 24-25 March which covered a wide range of topics.
The invitation-only event, presented in association with Sidel, saw thought leaders and senior players from across the beverage industry gather at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Chengdu. Commenting on the event, the second time KNOWLEDGEshare Live has been staged in China, Fan Li Dong, Vice President of Sidel Greater China said -"China is one of the world's fastest growing beverage markets. Beverage companies are constantly looking out for new packaging ideas to stand out from the competition and bottling solutions to drive costs down. The KNOWLEDGEshare platform brings together key players from across China to discuss these issues. We are hosting this event in China for the second consecutive year and are delighted to see an increase of 75% participation rate compared to last year."
Following a welcome to the delegates, the scene was set with a presentation on the demands of tomorrow, recognising issues such as rising global population - a particular factor in China - and the challenges this presents. Individual sessions then considered a range of beverage industry-specific topics. The opening session looked at the bottle and how the value of PET can be unlocked, including how packages can be reinvented and how innovation can be adopted through labelling. The second session addressed the liquid and included a review of beverage industry trends throughout the world, how to innovate to meet changing demands and a look specifically at dairy beverages, particularly the market for PET packaging in liquid dairy products and the production and processing requirements for milk beverages.
The focus of the second day was the line and how tomorrow's beverage production line can be defined. Subjects covered included hotfill technologies, packaging for premium water, how to drive
higher productivity through automation and how beverage plant efficiency can be improved. On the evening of the opening day, a gala dinner provided opportunities for networking, as well as a highly entertaining evening for the attendees.
KNOWLEDGEshare is an online forum for the global beverage industry, supported by live events around the world which provide the opportunity to take the ongoing discussions to the stage. Throughout KNOWLEDGEshare Live 2015 in Chengdu, the focus was on a collaborative approach to much more effectively address the common challenges in beverage production. Areas discussed ranged from raw materials through to package design, sustainable methods of production, transportation, point-of-sale, the consumer and beyond.
Continuing the successful format of the KNOWLEDGEshare Live events, in Chengdu participation from the delegates was actively encouraged. An interesting development from the previous event in China was the introduction of iPads, with the delegates using them to contribute by raising questions on the topics discussed during the sessions and voting on a range of issues. This ensured that opinions were captured from the different perspectives of those who attended, with questions raised via the iPads answered in a dedicated Q&A session.
This was the fourth staging of KNOWLEDGEshare Live, with events held in Germany and Dubai, in addition to the previous staging in China in March 2014. Comments from those who attended clearly demonstrated the value of KNOWLEDGEshare Live 2015 in Chengdu:
"The professional organisation and innovative concept of the event left a strong lasting impression. I look forward to continued discussions driven by Sidel in the future."
Mr Yi Deping, General Manager, Zijiang Enterprises
"The innovations and technologies discussed at KNOWLEDGEshare Chengdu were of a high level. From packaging innovations to processing solutions, the technologies presented at the event meet the exacting needs of today's beverage industry. We benefitted greatly from the discussions and solutions showcased."
Mr Wang Jie, Chief of Lean Department, Wahaha Beverages