The winning entries were recognized during the FPA Welcome Dinner & Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards Ceremony held Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in conjunction with the 2020 FPA Annual Meeting (March 4-6) at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs, Florida.
This year, 73 packages were submitted in the competition, for a total of 206 entries (some packages were entered into multiple categories). Thirty packages were honored with 48 Achievement Awards in various categories.
The judges for this year’s competition included Min Degruson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Packaging, University of Wisconsin – Stout; Matt Reynolds, Editor, Packaging World; and Mike Richmond, Ph.D., Principal, PTIS, LLC.
Sustainability continues to be a focus, with several entries using bio-based and compostable materials. Richmond notes, “I'm excited about how the industry has really stepped up to the sustainability and circular economy challenges with enhanced barriers and recyclability, increasing the post-recycled content, and reusability.”
An increasing trend seen for this year’s competition is the number of entries that contain both matte and spot gloss aspects. “Packaging World has covered these awards for the past couple of years, and one thing that I’ve seen with more frequency, and now more than ever, is the matte background with a spot gloss to make something pop out whether it's a message or branding that’s highlighted against a delicate background,” says Reynolds.
The transition of products previously packaged in rigid containers to flexible packaging was also seen as a growing trend. According to Degruson, “Several of the entries looked like rigid, traditional looking packages, but they were made of flexible packaging. That's something that stands out to me because companies are addressing that consumers want to see the traditional rigid packaging or glass jar, but the packaging is made as a flexible packaging to reduce the material usage.”
Several of the entries also addressed consumer convenience, making it easier for the consumers to shop, transport, dispense from, and use flexible packaging.
The Highest Achievement Award went to Innventure's AeroFlexx
AeroFlexx is a ‘new to the world’ package format that is revolutionizing the liquid packaging industry as the only flexible package providing features and benefits that are superior to that of a conventional bottle. It uses an air frame to integrate tailored rigidity into a flexible film, creating a package with no discreet closure; clean and controlled one handed dispensing functionality; a 360 degree palette for branding; a structure that is e-commerce complaint without additional protection, all with at least 50% less plastic than a bottle. The package is consumer preferred, customer centric, more sustainable, and cost competitive with bottles and designed to disrupt the entire liquids packaging value chain. READ MORE ON AEROFLEXX HERE.
Gold Achievement Winners, pictured below, were:
• UFlex Ltd.'s 4D Bag with Handle (image below)
Uflex developed a brick shaped, all panel registered bag/pouch with a handle and re-closable option that can either stand-up or lie down. It is similar to flexi-cartons and is an excellent rigid carton replacement product. The standability and shelf prominence of rigid packaging are now combined with the functionality of flexible packaging in this new ‘4D Pack.’ All six panels of the bag are printed and can be made of different substrates. The look of the bag creates excellent shelf appeal, helping it catch the immediate attention of the end user. For convenience, the bag can be carried from a top handle while its re-closable option allows product dispensing through the zipper. The bag adds a 4th dimension to the product making it a unique 4 sided flat flexible bag that offers the luster and barrier properties of the film and prominent carton like display. READ MORE ON THE 4D BAG HERE.
UFlex also produced the FlexiTube (image below)
Uflex developed three variants of the Super Foods Natural Hair Care FlexiTubes for Bio Creative Labs – USA. The FlexiTubes provide 360 degree printing with a soft matte finish and an excellent reproduction of graphics. The gold metallic lines were provided with a holographic layer thus eliminating the use of a foil stamping process. READ MORE ON THE FLEXITUBES HERE.
• Plastic Packaging Technologies, LLC developed, for Hill's, an All PE "Recyclable" Pet Treat Bags (image below)
Overcoming all conventional limitations known from using only polyethylene (PE) films for highly engineered packages, these all PE laminated bags allowed the international brand-owner to launch into fully "recyclable" flexible packaging formats without any compromises in appearance or performance. Combined innovation in new materials, equipment, and processing methods features results with equal clarity, graphics, aesthetics, rigidity, puncture-resistance, machineability, barrier properties, grease-resistance, varied closure options, and easy-opening with laser-scoring with no package appearance or performance compromises. In fully recognizing the current uncertainties of requirements around the recycled PE material for end-markets, the EVOH barrier film also incorporates the compatibilizing additive to neutralize any potential negatives to the recycling stream. READ MORE ON THE ALL PE "RECYCLABLE" PET TREAT BAG HERE.
• Amcor Healthcare Packaging's Insura™ Seal Verification (image below)
According to the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health, suspected problems with a package’s seal accounted for approximately two-thirds of all 2017 packaging-related recalls. In 2018, according to the FDA’s recall database, over 16 million medical devices were recalled due to package seal failures. Suspected seal failures are managed cautiously since true failures almost always result in compromised product sterility. While package fabrication issues lead to some failures, inaccurate device placement and equipment wear can also cause failure. Currently, it is difficult to assess seal integrity once the packaged is filled and the final seal is made. Although destructive tests lead to statistical confidence in the integrity of the product, they are wasteful. Non-destructive techniques are either time consuming or, like machine vision methods, are unable to confidently find all types of failures. To overcome these deficiencies, a package closure indicator that functions with conventional packaging materials and equipment at typical filling speeds was developed that generates a color change when critical seal parameters, namely temperature, pressure (intimacy of contact), and time, are achieved. Color continuity indicates a lack of defects while color intensity correlates well with seal strength. READ MORE ON THE INSURA SEAL VERIFICATION PACKAGE HERE.
• Printpack's Paqui Tortilla Chips Pillow Pouch (image below)
Amplify Snack Brands redesigned their Paqui tortilla chip packaging to create a striking brand block on the shelf. They chose a design with a large logo, a strong focal point, and simple food photography to create a memorable package that would make it easy for consumers to find and remember their brand. The enhanced graphic appearance of the packaging uses vibrant contrasting colors and interesting visual effects created through the printing process. READ MORE ON THE PAQUI PILLOW POUCH HERE.
Printpack also won with it's Stacy’s Women’s History Month Packaging (image below)
This collection of limited edition packages tells the story of a female entrepreneur’s journey to success and is designed to inspire and support female entrepreneurs. The packaging’s purpose is to connect and align the brand, female entrepreneurs, and supporters of female-founded businesses. These were sold online through the United Way to help fund new and emerging businesses to celebrate Women’s History Month and as part of the Stacy’s Rise Project. READ MORE ON STACY'S WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH PACKAGING HERE.
• Amcor Flexibles Brazil's Predilecta Sacciali Jar-Shaped Pouch (image below)
The Sacciali brand jar shaped pouch combines the best of flexible packaging technology for lightweight and long shelf life with increased shelf impact using graphic design and a shape factor to enhance consumer interest at the point of sale. The “mason jar” shape nods to the traditional glass packaging common in the sauce category. However, flexible packaging offers the significant benefits of a 97% weight reduction over glass, leading to a wide range of sustainable benefits. READ MORE ON THE JAR-SHAPED POUCH HERE.
• Glenroy's Premade STANDCAP Inverted Pouches (image below)
Premade STANDCAP inverted pouches extend product freshness, stand out on the shelf, provide time-saving and utensil-free convenience for users, and make an eco-friendly impact by reducing fossil fuel usage, water usage, and greenhouse gas emissions when compared to alternative package formats. READ MORE ON THE PREMADE STANDCAP POUCHES HERE.
• ePac—Flexible Packaging's Skratch Labs Limited Edition EF Pro Cycling HP Mosaic Packaging (image below)
Skratch Labs developed a limited-edition package for their sports hydration drink mix to celebrate EF Education First Pro Cycling’s participation in the Tour de France. Inspired by the striking metallic pink and blue color-shifting design of the team’s jerseys, ePac and Skratch were able to create a truly unique stand-up pouch using ePac’s all digital printing platform and HP’s Mosaic variable print enhancement technology. Each pouch in the entire 10,000 unit print run is unique and features an exclusive color-shifting design. READ MORE ON THE SKRATCH LABS LIMITED EDITION MOSAIC PACKAGING HERE.
• Paxxus, Inc.'s StreamOne®R Retortable Recycle-Ready Polyester (image below)
StreamOne®R is a revolutionary, high-performance, all-polyester packaging solution designed for the #1 polyester recycle stream. It has been engineered specifically for applications requiring retort or autoclave sterilization. StreamOne®R maintains its ultra-high barrier and reliable hermetic seals even after processing at high temperatures, ensuring that product quality and shelf life are not compromised. The consistent high barrier that StreamOne®R provides allows products that previously required an aluminum foil barrier to move to an environmentally friendly package, supporting brand owners’ sustainability initiatives.READ MORE ON STREAM ONE HERE.