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Flexible Packaging
11 Influential Flexible Packs: FPA Gold Award Winners
Five of the 11 exemplary flexible packaging Gold Award winners in the FPA competition.

11 Influential Flexible Packs: FPA Gold Award Winners

These flexible packaging innovations showcase exceptional convenience, utility, sustainability, and shelf impact.

Innovative flexibility in structure, sustainability, convenience, and utility characterized the winners in The Flexible Packaging Association’s 64th Annual Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards Competition. The awards were announced in conjunction with the 2020 FPA Annual Meeting earlier this month in Bonita Springs, FL.

This year’s competition drew 73 packages totaling 206 entries, with a number entered in several categories. Thirty packages were honored with 48 Achievement Awards in various categories including 11 gold awards highlighted in this slideshow.

The judges were Min Degruson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Packaging, University of Wisconsin – Stout; Matt Reynolds, Editor, Packaging World; and Mike Richmond, Ph.D., Principal, PTIS, LLC.

An ongoing megatrend, sustainability, was echoed by a number of entries that used bio-based and compostable materials, noted Richmond. “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.”

Another growing trend: The ongoing transition of products previously packaged in rigid containers into flexible packaging.

“Several of the entries looked like traditional rigid packages, but they were made of flexible packaging,” noted Degruson. “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 entries also addressed consumer convenience, making it easier for the consumers to shop, transport, dispense from, and use packaging.

 

The Highest Achievement Award was bestowed on Aeroflex as evaluated by the judges to possess overall packaging excellence, significant attributes in all award categories, and contributing most to the advancement of the industry. It also won Gold for...

  • Expanding the Use of Flexible Packaging
  • Packaging Excellence
  • Shelf Impact
  • Sustainability
  • Technical Innovation

Manufacturer: 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 compliant 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.

 

Predilecta Sacciali Jar Shaped Pouch

Awards:  Gold Award — Shelf Impact

Silver Award — Expanding the Use of Flexible Packaging

Silver Award — Packaging Excellence

Manufacturer: Amcor Flexibles Brazil, www.amcor.com

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.

StreamOne R Retortable Recycle-Ready Polyester

Awards:  Gold Award — Sustainability

Gold Award — Technical Innovation

Silver Award — Packaging Excellence

Manufacturer: Paxxus, Inc.

StreamOne R is a revolutionary, high-performance, all-polyester packaging solution designed for the #1 polyester  (PET) 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.

 

4D Bags with Handle.

Award: Gold Award — Shelf Impact

Manufacturer: Uflex Limited

Uflex developed a brick-shaped, all-panel registered bag/pouch with a handle and reclosable 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 fourth dimension to the product making it a unique four-sided flat flexible bag that offers the luster and barrier properties of the film and prominent carton like display.

 

Hill's All PE "Recyclable" Pet Treat Bags

Awards:  Gold Award — Packaging Excellence

Silver Award — Sustainability

Silver Award — Technical Innovation

Manufacturer: Plastic Packaging Technologies, LLC

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. 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.

 

Skratch Labs Limited Edition EF Pro Cycling HP Mosaic Packaging

Awards:  Gold Award — Printing

Gold Award — Shelf Impact

Manufacturer: ePac — Flexible Packaging

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.

See 10,000 unique Skratch Labs pouches support Tour de France team, published August 2019 by PlasticsToday.

 

Insura Seal Verification

Award: Gold Award — Technical Innovation

Manufacturer: Amcor Healthcare Packaging, www.amcor.com

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 package 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.            

 

Paqui Tortilla Chips Pillow Pouch

Award: Gold Award — Shelf Impact

Manufacturer: Printpack

Amplify Snack Brands redesigned its 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.

 

FlexiTube for Bio Creative Labs – USA

Gold Award — Expanding the Use of Flexible Packaging

Gold Award — Packaging Excellence

Silver Award — Technical Innovation

Manufacturer: Uflex Limited

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.

 

Premade STANDCAP Inverted Pouches

Awards:  Gold Award — Expanding the Use of Flexible Packaging

Gold Award — Packaging Excellence

Silver Award — Sustainability

Manufacturer: Glenroy, Inc.

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.

See Inverted pouch trend upends food packaging: Chico Honey, published October 2019.

 

 

Stacy’s Women’s History Month Packaging

Award: Gold Award — Printing

Manufacturer: Printpack

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.

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