The winning entries were recognized during the FPA Welcome Dinner & Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards Ceremony held Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in conjunction with the 2019 FPA Annual Meeting (March 6-8) at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale.
This year, 54 packages were submitted in the competition, for a total of 140 entries (some packages were entered into multiple categories). Fourteen packages were honored with 26 Achievement Awards in various categories.
The judges for this year’s competition included Cory Francer, Senior Editor, packagePRINTING magazine; Robert Kimmel, Sc.D., Associate Professor and Director, Clemson University Center for Flexible Packaging, Clemson University; and David Luttenberger, Global Packaging Director, Mintel Group Ltd.
Sustainability continues to be a focus, with a number of entries using bio-based and compostable materials. Kimmel notes, “ We saw several examples of bio-based and compostable materials. But what we thought was most significant is several excellent examples of conversion of multilayer films, which have previously been diverse materials, into materials which will be recyclable in the existing recycle streams, particularly the polyethylene stream. We feel this is very important for the future of the industry.”
Multisensory elements incorporated into flexible packaging was a growing trend seen in this year’s competition. “The multisensory aspect of flexible packaging has really taken several steps forward between films that have a leathery feel to communicate that aspect of a product and soft touch materials that really entice a consumer to reach out and feel the product,” says Francer.
Industry collaboration on packaging was also seen as a growing trend. According to Luttenberger,“We saw collaboration this year not just between one or two suppliers, but among multiple suppliers—sometimes two, three, or four suppliers. But what impressed me even more was that we're seeing collaboration across continents, looking at technologies developed in one region and applying them to another, on a global scale. I think that's going to really take the industry forward as well.”
The 2019 Award recipients are:
HIGHEST ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The Highest Achievement Award is evaluated by the judges as possessing overall packaging excellence, significant attributes in all award categories, and contributing most to the advancement of the industry.
Molson Coors – 12 Pack Cooler Bag
Molson Coors’ 12 Pack Cooler Bag from Bemis Co., Inc., creates a fresh take on the ubiquitous beer carton. The new flexible bag delivers portable convenience with a pouch that expands into a larger, reusable bag that provides additional convenience features. This innovative package features easy-carry handles and can go directly into the refrigerator or cooler. The film’s sturdy, high performance structure allows consumers to reuse the bag. Reusability provides brand benefits to communicate benefits and quality to brand-loyal consumers over and over again.
GOLD ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
Harney & Sons Master Tea Blenders Pouch
Harney & Sons desired a flexible pouch with luxurious graphics that would protect the aroma and flavor of their fine teas while supporting their environmental values. TC Transcontinental Packaging, in collaboration with Charter NEX Films, Inc. and The Dow Chemical Co., achieved all of Harney & Sons’ key criteria of excellent shelf appeal, shelf life, and recyclability. This pouch is the first commercial example of a package which contains EVOH, for oxygen barrier, and moisture barrier properties in a format which is 100% recyclable for in-store drop-off.
Nutro Ultra Grain Free
This Nutro Ultra Grain Free flat bottom box pouch from Plastic Packaging Technologies, LLC offers powerful shelf presence through providing purposeful features. The straight sides of the flat bottom enables excellent casing and freight density, outstanding shelf presentation at retail, and ideal home storage. The resealable feature also enables the consumer to keep the product fresher for longer periods of time without having to switch it to a new container. With the eye popping graphics on the package, this product sets itself apart from the rest of the market place.
Willow® Pump Leak-Proof Pouch
Willow® from Vonco Products, LLC, is the world’s first all-in-one wearable breast pump that fits inside a bra. Integral to the system is a doughnut shaped milk bag. Each disposable bag holds 4 oz. and features a one-way valve so milk goes in and doesn’t come out. A fresh bag is tucked inside the Willow® pump for each use. Moms can either pour the milk into a bottle for immediate use or they can store it in the refrigerator or freezer.