Flexible Packaging Association 2009 Award Winners

Innovation in flexible packaging takes many forms. It comes from unique opening solutions, reduced waste, market extension, gorgeous graphics, and new technology. To celebrate these advancements, the Flexible Packaging Assn. (FPA), Linthicum, MD, honors 24 packages in its 2009 Achievement Awards Competition. Here is a look at the top award winners.

Highest Achievement & Technical Innovation

With its Southern Selects Asparagus package, Cryovac Food Packaging Div., Sealed Air Corp., Duncan, SC, has contributed most to the advancement of the flexible packaging industry, according to the judges. By improving the way fresh asparagus is sold in retail stores and the way it is prepped and cooked by the consumer, Cryovac earns both a Gold Award for Packaging Excellence and the Highest Achievement Award.

The clean asparagus is vacuum-skinned, which is said to improve shelf life over traditional packaging methods. It enables consumers to steam the asparagus quickly in the microwave and also provides consumers with a more energy-efficient alternative to boiling water.

Cryovac also earns a Gold Award for Technical Innovation for its Multi-seal package, which features an easy-open and reclosable deli package that is said to work consistently time after time. This unique thermoform package makes a reclosable option available without adding the extra equipment costs of using a zipper or tub.

Social Responsibility

By providing outstanding insulation characteristics to facilitate shipment of medical vaccines to remote areas of the world, Coldpack, San Diego, CA, receives both a Gold Award for Packaging Excellence and a Special Citation for Social Responsibility. The Coldpack AntiFreeze Vaccine Backpack is designated as an approved vaccine transportation system by the World Health Organization.

Temperature fluctuations can have a negative impact on vaccine efficacy and shelf life. The Coldpack system reportedly offers superior thermal and air cushion protection to solve this problem. Vaccines are said to arrive safe, stable, and secure.

Less for Landfill

Bemis Co. Inc., Polyethylene Packaging Div., Terre Haute, IN, is honored for its Advance Pak Laminated Rack Header Bag with Hanger Hole. Manufactured using less material, it minimizes landfill waste and reduces shipping costs, earning it a Gold Award for Environmental & Sustainability Achievement.

The bag features an easy-open, tamper-evident perforation. Eye-catching, shelf appeal graphics are achieved from high quality eight-color reverse process printing trapped between layers of film, protecting the brand image from scuffing.

Printing Whets the Palate

Crisp graphics, bright colors, and high densities help project the high quality of a product. By providing superior rotogravure printing on the Ghirardelli 100% Cacao Baking Chips package, American Packaging Corp., Rochester, NY, wins a Gold Award for Printing Achievement.

The package features increased image sharpness, deeper colors, higher densities, and clean text. The artwork design and print quality allow the package to capture consumers' attention at the point of purchase.

Rich Finishes

A combination of gloss and matte finishes, as well as hot foil stamping and embossing, on Kraft Foods' Côte D'Or Truffé Block Bottom Bag brings a Gold Award for Printing Achievement to Amcor Flexibles, Cincinnati, OH. These printing effects plus a window help differentiate a premium confectionery on store shelves. Scratch resistance also helps the package retain its premium effect to grab consumers' attention.

Back To Nature

Robbie Mfg. Inc., Lenexa, KS, has created a Hot N Handy Bio-Pouch, made from renewable wood pulp, that provides consumers with value-added features such as increased freshness and a resealable adhesive. Because it is environmentally friendly and will degrade, the company earns both Gold Awards for Packaging Excellence and for Environmental & Sustainability Achievement.

Bio-Pouch reportedly is the best sustainable solution for fresh-prepared sandwiches in the market. Compared to rigid polystyrene containers, the Bio-Pouch uses 92% less crude oil, reduces CO2 emissions by 56%, and reduces packaging material waste 75% by weight.

Branding Bonus

A stand-up pouch for Branli's Cruji Nola Yoghurt from Verde Valle nabs a Gold Award in Printing Achievement for Printpack Inc., Atlanta, GA, The pouch combines matte finishing of the PET printing layer with a metallic background that enhances its high quality graphics.

Convenient reclosable features contribute to maintaining product freshness. An attractive graphic design is said to capture consumer attention while communicating the brand identity.

Exotic Impact

Zeda Dark Angel Revealingly Dark Bronzing Intensifier benefits from the dramatic impact created by vacuum spot metallization applied to high-shrink polymers that conform to shape. This package earns CL&D Graphics, Oconomowoc, WI, a Gold Award in Printing Achievement. Using proprietary techniques, the converter creates a package that commands an exotic yet premium allure.

Holding the Gavel

Judges in the Flexible Packaging Assn. competition culled 24 packages from a total of 79 entries in 113 categories (several packages were entered into multiple categories). The judging panel included Lisa McTigue Pierce, editorial director, Flexible Packaging magazine; Michael Richmond, Ph.D., Packaging & Technology Integrated Solutions; and Keith Vorst, Ph.D., associate professor, California Polytechnic State Univ.

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