One-hundred and seventeen entries from 31 Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) members were judged as part of the 68th annual National Paperboard Packaging Competition. The best in paperboard packaging over the past year were honored in an awards ceremony at PPC's Fall Meeting and Leadership Conference on Oct. 14, 2011, in Orlando, FL.
Seven industry leaders and designers in the packaging field adjudicated this year's competition, which took place over the course of three days in July at PPC headquarters in Springfield, MA.
"I am amazed at how hard the judges worked, how diligently they advocated for their views, and how meticulously they examined the way each entry was constructed," says Ben Markens, PPC President. "Their enthusiasm, combined with the high quality of entries we received this year, made this a truly exciting competition."
Entries in the General category were first evaluated by examining the package itself, taking into consideration its development objectives, materials, and design, printing, and converting processes. The judges also measured the package's impact on production, manufacturing, distribution, storage and warehousing; economics (material substitutions, line efficiency, cost reduction); and brand enhancement and marketing. Finally, the package's impact on the retail store shelf was carefully considered.
Entries in the Innovation category were evaluated on how well the structural design or other technical aspects were executed at the converting plant. The judges also took into account how well the package used unique or innovative materials, such as substrates, inks, laminations, coatings and/or converting processes.
This year's Eco category entries were evaluated on a carton's use of paperboard—or how paperboard replaced a less-sustainable substrate—to create an eco-friendly package. Environmental stewardship, material and energy savings, and clean production processes were also assessed.
"The top winning entries this year are exceptional examples of what kind of ingenious packaging structures can be created with paperboard, which is unique in that it is a sustainable, recyclable, and renewable substrate," says Kim Guarnaccia, director of marketing and communications for PPC and the coordinator of the competition.
This year, the top National Paperboard Package of the Year award was presented to Graphic Packaging Intl. (Marietta, GA) for its limited-edition Cheerios Bring on the Gold 2010 Olympics Hockey Shoot Out cereal box, which featured a 3D interactive hockey game on its back panel. Even though the intricate game has many complex pieces, the carton was designed in such a way that it could be run through General Mills' high-speed packaging line, thus keeping costs to a minimum and getting the product to market quickly.
Graphic Packaging was also awarded the Folding Carton of the Year and the prestigious Innovation Award for its Mars Chocolate's Valentine Heart family of packages. Each unique, heart-shaped box was glued to hold a bag of M&M's in place and then hand-locked via a tab on its back panel. To keep the smallest carton from tearing when loading the M&M's bag, Graphic Packaging designed an innovative diecut relief area that was glued for added strength.
The Rigid Box of the Year award-winner was Taylor Box Co. (Warren, RI) for its towel box for Sobel Westex. This package impressed the judges with its complex design that required multiple diecutting and laminating steps before being painstakingly hand-assembled.
The Eco Award went to PaperWorks Packaging Group (Philadelphia, PA) for its Crest Complete holographic toothpaste box. Holographic effects are usually achieved by laminating non-biodegradable PET to boxboard, which makes the package unrecyclable. PaperWorks, however, achieved an equivalent holographic effect by micro-embossing a common reflective coating to the boxboard. This process not only cost less to produce but also eliminated the need for the additional lamination step at an off-site facility, thus saving money on transportation, energy and raw materials.
New this year was the Judges' Award, which was introduced by the jury to honor an exceptional example of paperboard packaging that was neither a folding carton nor a rigid box. The winner was DISC's (Hauppauge, NY) Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging cosmetics display. This cosmetics display was created for Estée Lauder by laminating together 28 layers of 24 pt SBS, and then trimming it on a guillotine cutter. Paperboard was selected over more traditional foamcore and wood because it could be easily recycled after use.
For more information and a complete list of honorees, visit www.ppcnet.org/CC.
Source: Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC)