Taking the competition's 2019 Highest Achievement Award was converter Bemis Co., Inc. (Neenah, WI) for the Molson Coors 12-pack Cooler Bag. The package 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, and that reusability provides brand benefits to communicate benefits and quality to brand-loyal consumers over and over again.
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. The Molson Coors Cooler Bag also was recognized with the following honors: Gold — Expanding the Use of Flexible Packaging; Gold — Printing & Shelf Impact; and Silver — Packaging Excellence. More info: www.bemis.com/na
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.
Sustainable, multisensory trends
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.”
Several of the entries highlighted the transition of products previously packaged in rigid containers to flexible packaging, and addressed consumer convenience, making it easier for the consumers to shop, transport, dispense from, and use flexible packaging.
More info on all of the 2019 winners: www.flexpack.org