Leaders of the Pack

The Flexible Packaging Association has announced its 2003 Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards. This year's winners are a testament to the fact that converters are using the latest and the best technology available to respond to consumers' needs. From on-the-go pudding sticks to baby food in a pouch, the honored products definitely “pack” a punch on store shelves worldwide. Here are details on a few of the winners.

Packaging Excellence
Cryovac Div., Sealed Air Corp., Saddlebrook, NJ, earned a highest achievement award for its Cryovac Simple Steps package. The package employs technology that enables meat products such as pot roast, meatloaf, barbecue, and stews to be cooked, shipped, displayed, and reheated all in the same package. It features a unique vacuum skin seal as well as a total seal that keeps the product stationary in the tray and reduces leaks. The EZ open tab to peel off the film reportedly eliminates the need for consumers to puncture or cut the film either before or after reheating.

Curwood, Oshkosh, WI, also was a highest achievement award winner for the Hershey's Portable Pudding Stick Pack. This stick pack reportedly is the first portion-controlled aseptic stick pack on the market. The package is said to provide a new solution for families on the go as it requires no refrigeration, eliminates the need for utensils, and is fun for kids to use. The package uses a high-barrier film that is cost-effective, easy to open, reduces waste, and requires less storage space than cups. The Hershey's Portable Pudding Stick Pack also was a gold award winner in the technical innovation category and a silver award winner in the environmental achievement category.

Technical Innovation
International Dispensing Corp., Millersville, MD, received a gold award for the Aseptic Gravity Flow Valve package, a patented technology said to be opening new foodservice markets for flexible packaging by allowing aseptic, low-acid products such as dairy beverages, sports drinks, non-preserved juices, and ready-to-drink coffees, to be dispensed safely from a flexible bag or pouch. Reportedly it is the only valve worldwide capable of meeting the rigorous USA sterilization protocol required in the aseptic criteria. Additionally, the valve technology includes a tamper-proof, built-in, break-away closure said to ensure product safety.

Printing Achievement
Progressive Packaging Ltd., Aurora, Ont., Canada, earned a silver award for the Lundberg Family Farms Rice Chips package. Combining new digital, thermally developed plates with ten-color gearless flexographic printing allows for fast setups and superior graphics on this snack chip pouch, the company reports. Employing a 120-line screen with 1% minimum dot is said to make the bag's graphics “jump off the pouch,” enhancing shelf appeal.

Environmental Achievement
Amgraph Packaging, Versailles, CT, was a gold award winner for its Beechnut Rice Cereal for Babies On the Go pouch, a stand-up pouch with a resealable zipper said to offer a new look and feel in packaging for infant cereal. Intended to provide an additional solution to the brand's current folding carton, the stand-up pouch allows parents to store, carry, and reseal the product easily. The package structure is stiff enough to hold its shape during the filling process, yet not so thick that the use of high heat and long dwell times are necessary to seal the pouch. The pouch employs six-color electron beam lithographic printing that enables the company to print and lacquer with no odors, volatile organic compounds, or solvents. Amgraph Packaging also received the gold award for printing achievement and a silver award for packaging excellence.

For a complete list of winners contact: Flexible Packaging Assn.; 971 Corporate Blvd., Ste. 403; Linthicum, MD 21090; 410/694-0800; flexpack.org


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