Packaging Excellence Category
Mashed potatoes get steamed with Ore Ida’s Steam n’ Mash package from Heinz North America. The steam-in-bag concept takes a new turn to provide the ultimate in convenience preparation (also see PD, Sept. 2008, p6 .) Heinz wanted a lightweight, flexible package instead of a rigid tray for its convenience. Alcan Packaging (www.alcanpackaging.com) delivered, with a block-bottom, microwaveable, laminated PET/high-performance sealant film bag structure that’s vertically formed, filled and sealed. In-register laser venting helps the pouch stand up to the high-heat levels attained during the 10-min cooking process. The product cooks without any additional consumer steps. Converted by Alcan’s Joplin, MO plant and reverse-flexo-printed in 10 colors, the Steam n’ Mash bag serves as a high-impact pouch billboard with photography of the cut potatoes inside and the finished mashed potatoes. The package also meets demands of frozen food distribution, and withstands extended cooking cycles and safely vents excess steam to provide steamed potatoes quickly from the microwave.
The Bella Rosa specialty imported cheese selection package teams vacuum skin-packaigng from the Cryovac Food Packaging Div. of Sealed Air Corp.(www.sealedair.com) with Arthur Schuman Inc.’s brand recognition as a world class specialty cheese provider. The resulting “cheese board-style” package targeting clubstores provides novice and experienced cheese connoisseurs with a premium selection of cheeses that can be served at any occasion with little preparation required. Not only does the cheese look attractive in its three-dimensional presentation, but the vacuum-pack preserves it and it can be displayed in stores vertically, without any cheese toppling out.
According to the FPA judges, Genpak LP (www.genpak.com) has opened a new window on flexible packaging with an exclusive die-cut window rollstock for the standup, gusseted bag for Mission Foods’ Original White Corn Tortilla Strips. Without sacrificing any of the qualities that made the earlier premade bag a success, the new packaging format has added substantial value to the manufacturer while decreasing their overall cost per package, PD is told. The rollstock helps save on inventory space of storing premade bags. Automated production, a peelable opening and extended shelf life that increases a freshness are all advantages. The package is hermetically sealed to reduce chances of infestation.
Printing Achievement Category
The Café Altomayo family features top-notch, colorful gravure-printed graphics produced by .Peruplast S.A. (www.peruplast.com.pe) that improve traditional coffee artwork, say the FPA judges. The vibrant 8-color reverse-printed gravure graphics using solvent-based PU inks on one-side chemical-coated PET film uses a combination of matte areas with glossy windows to produce an unusual, appealing look. The visuals and textures demonstrate flexible packaging to its best advantage and sensible cost-benefit solutions against more expensive rigid containers.
Graphics for the Masafi gourmet potato chip package earned kudos for Flex America, Inc. with its 8-color gravure-printed abstract design in a matte finish using special environmental friendly Toluene/MEK-free, alcohol-based inks. A protective overcoat required a specially engraved cylinder used for optimum coating protection. A dull-finish matte effect was achieved using a specialty matte-finish film; not matte colors. The structure incorporate matte-finish BOPP/coextruded PE/high-barrier metallized PE. The quality graphics make the pack stand out on store shelves and invite the consumer to try the chips.
The innovative and clean look of the package for Pampers Sensitive Swaddlers, a hypoallergenic, “healthy” product for babies, converted by Pliant Corp. (www.pliantcorp.com), features a soft, matte appearance created with matte inks, conventional inks and a matte varnish applied in an innovative order during printing. The eye-catching package has a such a “soft as a baby” appearance that consumers may want to pick it up and cuddle it.
Environmental & Sustainability Achievement
Printpack Inc.’s (www.printpack.com) standup refill pouch for Dial Liquid Soap supports sustainability in multiple ways. The pour spout conserves product, and the refill size can fill up to two 221-mL Dial bottles. Because flexible packaging generates 90 percent less waste than rigid, the refill pouch saves more than 500,000 bottles per year from going to landfill. Printpack says the pouch saves energy during the manufacturing process and fuel for transportation is saved due to a significantly lightweighted package. The pouch is a winner for manufacturer and consumer alike.
Colgate-Palmolive’s new Softsoap® hand soap refill is another standup pouch winner from Alcan Packaging. This one is equipped with a fitment closure and is collapsible, which saves on material bound for landfills. As the pouche empties, consumers can squeeze the very last bit of soap from the package by flattening the pouch. Its environmental benefits also are found in reduced emissions, waste and energy consumption because Alcan says that its manufacturing process uses half of the nonrenewable energy and carbon dioxide emissions compared with comparably sized PET bottles. The materials used to produce the pouch weigh 50 percent less.
Technical Innovation Category
The Triad solvent-free overwrap, from Rollprint Packaging Products (www.rollprint.com) is a new, barrier overwrap developed using a proprietary metallocene-based sealant and a special bonding concept. Engineered to provide exceptionally strong hermetic weld seals for high-speed, chemically-sensitive pharmaceutical applications at a cost-competitive price, solvent-free Triad has a sealant layer that bonds to foil—which can be challenging—without the use of solvent or water-based materials. The extrusion-coated lamination of polyester, foil and metallocene is designed for high-speed (more than 100 ft/min) chemically-sensitive, pharmaceutical applications.
Typical applications include blow/fill/seal, unit-dose containers for inhalation therapy or diagnostic kits that require an overwrap to help achieve barrier properties. The structure serves as an ideal alternative to adhesive, solventless and water-based laminations for a broad variety of “life science” applications.
Cargill’s Diamond Crystal® Jiffy Melt® bagwww.exopack.com), the laminated PE bag with handles facilitates filling, thanks in part to the air valve, while the elimination of trapped air makes the large-format bag (25 to 40 lb) easy to stack and palletize. Positioned over a registered punched hole on the back panel of the bag, the valve eliminates the need for tear-away perforations and helps prevent direct-water contact that could compromise the hygroscopic ice melter contents. Sophisticated trapped-print graphics and a UV-resistant film structure, inks and coatings give the package plenty of market pizzaz and allow for outdoor storage. The bag is able to be filled on the company’s existing packaging equipment without modification. Avery Dennison (www.averydennison.com) provided the venting label/valve technology, which consists of a combination vent and label that permis the controlled release of unwanted air from the filled, sealed bag.
An iconic package developed by Flex America, Inc. (www.flexamerica.com) for Fritolay’s Lays potato chips incorporates a patent-pending, moisture resistant, one-way air evacuation valve that allows for entrapped air to escape. Produced by Exopack ( marketed in India is made using high-barrier, plasma-metallized PET film that protects the chips and exhibits a dazzling appearance. Reverse-printing of the colorful graphics is by gravure. For the first time, consumers can open the pouch from one end to the other, in a straight line, in one stroke, courtesy of a horizontal laser score at the top of the bag.. The chips are provided with a sauce that be opened and “sprayed” or poured on, thus the bag was designed as a “serving bowl” container. This is said to be an improvement from a previous pack that didn’t feature the easy-open laser scoring.
Pliant Corp.’s clear/white bakery bag for Lewis Bakerie uses FreshView™ coextruded film technology to upgrade the package and the look of the product as well as eye-catching graphics with excellent opacity. A transparent panel provides visibility to the baked goods and Pliant says the converting process and packaging process weren’t impacted by the new package.
Mars Galaxy Mistletoe Kisses are anything but the usual chocolate bar. Typically, chocolate bar wrappers are opened at one end. Using Amcor Flexible’s ZigZag package, a tube-like structure, the pack of Galaxy Mistletoe Kisses can be opened anywhere along the wrapper, presenting a key benefit for consumers who want to share the candy or save part of it for later. A zigzag edge along the package’s seal differentiates the pack on the shelf and allows Mars to meet demands for eating-on-the-go and sharing.
On the medical side, the Osurance™ lids with zone-coated adhesive from Oliver Medical (www.olivermedical.com) eliminate the risk of product contamination as they’re manufactured using an automated adhesive coating and die-cutting process located within a certified ISO 14644-1 Class 8 cleanroom. The device doesn’t come in contact with the adhesive, which is coated only where the seal is made. The coating process is applied along the flange of the flexible package. Oliver says this eliminates adhesive exposure to the medical device. Porosity of the base substrate is maximized, resulting in more efficient ethylene oxide gas sterilization.
A highly opaque bread bag for Sara Lee’s Soft & Smooth whole grain white bread improves shelf appeal with an outstanding graphic design supported by an innovative Printpack film that incorporates a clear viewing window and a white area that has rich graphic opacity and brilliance. An innovative method of applying a gaming code within the layers of ink solves technical issues experienced by most coding methods, Printpack says. Overall, the Printpack Clear Choice film allows the bag to display an excellent example of eye-catching flexographic printing and an easy to identify gaming opportunity, while the clear area of the bag allows the consumer a glimpse into the high quality product inside.