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Agenda

The panel topics for the 2024 program have been announced!
Registration, Networking and Breakfast
Welcome and opening remarks by L.E.K. Consulting
Thilo Henkes, LEK, and Ciaran Little, Smithers
Thilo Henkes | Managing Director, L.E.K. Consulting
Opening Keynote
Networking and Coffee
Panel #1 – What do brand owners care about most during 2024-2026?
Panel Details
Top packaging brand owners will unveil their insights into the future of consumer needs, navigating through the evolving landscapes of e-commerce, delivery, and shifting demographics. You’ll gain insights on CapEx decision-making processes in the realm of technology and automation, while weighing the pros and cons of co-manufacturing / co-packing versus self-manufacturing / self-packing. Learn about the strategies for maintaining supply chain resilience for packaging and materials, and dive deep into discussions on price pack architecture amidst inflation. We’ll explore these topics and more including the challenges of balancing SKU rationalization while fostering product and packaging innovation, and analyzing margin versus volume trade-offs, and their impacts on run lengths.

Panelists
  • To be announced soon!
Networking and Lunch Break
Panel #2 – How is environmental sustainability transforming packaging today and in the future?
Panel Details
Environmental sustainability is a key driver of packaging transformation both presently and in the future. This panel will explore how environmental sustainability goals have evolved in scope and urgency, how brand owners are progressing towards meeting them across different formats and end markets, and how converters and material science companies are innovating to meet brand owner needs. We will examine the effects of recently enacted and potential regulations on packaging designs and materials, and how Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) has introduced new challenges and opportunities for packaging innovation and adaptation. We’ll also discuss the risks of government activism if the commitments to environmental sustainability are not fulfilled by 2025.

Moderator: Thilo Henkes, L.E.K.

Panelists:
  • Amy McIver, Associate Director, Specialised & Asset Finance, Macquarie Bank Limited
  • Christopher B. Davidson, Ph.D., Vice President, Sustainability, Westrock
  • Daniel Carraway, Co-Founder & CEO, RWDC Industries
  • Michelle Sauder – Marketing Fellow for Food and Specialty Packaging, Dow
Networking Break
Panel #3 – What is the state of M&A in the packaging ecosystem?
Panel Details
This insightful panel will discuss the longitudinal deal volume trends in the packaging sector, and how they compare to the overall market. We will also explore the reasons behind the deal backlog and the gap between preparation for sale and closed deals in the packaging domain. We will examine the public-private multiple spreads and how they reflect the valuation diversity within the sector. We’ll analyze the impact of interest rates on the outlook for packaging M&A, and how to approach adjustments for destocking in the diligence process. Additionally, we will investigate the drivers of elevated packaging deal volumes in Europe versus the U.S. in 2023, and the outlook for regional variations in the future. Finally, we will share our views on when the deal volumes will return to “normal”, and what challenges and opportunities lie ahead.

Panelists:
  • Brian Flynn, Packaging MD, William Blair
  • Greg Horwitz, Head of N.A. M&A, Amcor
  • Kirsten Colwell, Principal, CD&R
  • Carson Brennan, Chief Financial Officer, Duravant
Endnote
Closing Remarks by Karin von Kienlin, L.E.K.
Evening Reception