Booth sales for The PROCESSING ZONE, a new exhibit area atPACK EXPO International 2010 (Oct. 31–Nov. 3, 2010; McCormick Place, Chicago), have exceeded expectations and the area has been expanded to 70,000 square feet, according to the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI).

“PMMI originally estimated The PROCESSING ZONE could reach as much as 50,000 square feet,” says Charles D. Yuska, president and CEO, PMMI. “We’ve exceeded our estimates, and we’re expanding to accommodate the demand.”

Officials say the new pavilion will highlight the latest processing technologies for a range of market sectors including food, beverage, baked goods, snack food, meat, dairy, produce, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

“The commitments from processing suppliers demonstrate the industry’s support for PACK EXPO’s expanded focus on the packaging and processing supply chain," says Yuska. "With processing solutions integrated directly into PACK EXPO, consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) will be able to address the production line as a complete process and find innovative technologies to help improve overall operational efficiency."

Last fall, PACK EXPO announced a broadened exhibitor focus that aligns the show with the total systems approach brand owners are taking with their manufacturing teams. As a result, many of PACK EXPO’s expected 1,600 exhibitors - including Heat and Control, Marlen International, Mettler-Toledo, MultiVac and ProMach - will include packaging and processing innovations in their booths regardless of their location on the show floor, Yuska notes.

“Our attendee research shows the majority of attendees come to PACK EXPO to investigate packaging and processing solutions - not one or the other, but both,” he says. “We are pleased that these leading companies are either joining PACK EXPO for the first time, or expanding their presence to showcase their full range of solutions.”

Officials say PACK EXPO International 2010 "will be the single largest packaging and processing event serving the Western Hemisphere," with more than 1,600 packaging and processing suppliers expected to exhibit in over 1.1 million net square feet.