Flexible packaging pays it forward





The 2013 Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards winners highlight sustainability, printing and technical innovation, raising the bar for package looks and performance.

Kate Bertrand Connolly, Contributing Writer — Packaging Digest, 2/27/2013 3:00:00 AM

Flexible packages continue to shine in the marketplace. The array of innovations displayed by packages entered in the Flexible Packaging Assn’s 2013 Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards competition drives home the point.

Of the 78 packages submitted for consideration in this year’s competition, 25 received awards in categories such as Packaging Excellence, Printing Achievement, Technical Innovation and Environmental & Sustainability Achievement.
Judges for the competition were Larry Alehman, master faculty, Western Michigan University; Michael Richmond, Ph.D., vp, Packaging & Technology Integrated Solutions, a division of HAVI Global Solutions Direct LLC; and our own Lisa McTigue Pierce, executive editor of Packaging Digest.


Here are the Gold Award winners:



FPA Kraft YES Pack

Foodservice salad-dressing  pouch says YES
The Kraft YES Pack won the competition’s top honor, the Highest Achievement Award. The award reflects the judges’ view of the package, a 1-gal pouch for salad dressing, as the entry making the biggest contribution to advancing flexible packaging. The Kraft YES Pack also won a Gold Award for Packaging Excellence and a Silver Award for Environmental & Sustainability Achievement.


Kraft’s pouch, designed for foodservice applications, was designed as a replacement for 1-gal rigid plastic jugs typically used for salad dressing in commercial and institutional kitchens. Made from a high-strength, multilayer, nylon/polyethylene film, the pouch was designed for the rigors of a busy food-prep area. Exopack LLC supplies the film.

The acronym “YES” is shorthand for the pouch’s Yield, Ease-of-use and Sustainability features. With regard to yield, Kraft reports users can squeeze up to 99 percent of the dressing out of each pouch, which means they get about 2 oz more creamier dressing out of the YES Pack than from a rigid gallon jug—and without the mess. 

Ease of use is a function of the pouch’s structural design. With dual easy-grip handles (there is a handle at the bottom of the pouch, too), the four-corner-sealed pouch is easy to carry. A spout fitment on the top of the pouch, together with the handles, enables precision pouring.

As for sustainability, the Kraft YES Pack “requires 50 percent less energy during manufacture of the packaging compared to a rigid jug,” says Barbara Pritikin, senior manager, Kraft Foodservice, Integrated Marketing Communications. Compared with rigid gallon jugs, the emptied pouches take up 50 percent less landfill space, and transporting the pouch film generates 70 percent fewer carbon dioxide emissions.

The Kraft YES Pack also reduces foodservice operators’ garbage volume and handling, because the pouches take up 86 percent less space in garbage cans.


Exopack LLC, 877-447-3539



Amcor PushPop


Pop-open pack design adds fun factor to portion control
Winning a Gold Award for Packaging Excellence, the Amcor PushPop from Amcor Flexibles combines portion control, easy opening, convenience and just plain fun.

The PushPop pouch is designed with top and bottom gussets, and the top gusset is laser scored. Consumers simply push their thumbs into marked areas on the top gusset, give a little tug and the package pops opens along the score lines. The bottom gusset lets the PushPop stand up and makes it possible to eat one-handedly from the pouch. 

“Amcor and brand owners have packaged both savory chips and sweet cereal snacks in PushPop, and the package has been a hit with consumers,” says Wally Hasselbring, product manager at Amcor Flexibles. The PushPop package currently is produced in Europe and North America. Packaging Digest editors have seen Sun Chips from Frito-Lay in this package.

Significantly, high-speed vertical form-fill-seal equipment can be retrofitted for about $50,000 to make and fill the PushPop pouch, which is made from a laminated film.

Although the pouch is sold in multipacks, the shape and the size of the side panels provide a billboard for brand graphics after the consumer opens the secondary package.


Amcor Flexibles, 847-362-9000



Beacon Cardio Focus


Flexible sheet converts into recyclable medical-device tray
Thanks to its innovative design and use of materials, the flexible tray for a heart catheter won two Gold Awards—one for Environmental & Sustainability Achievement and another for Technical Innovation. 

The CardioFocus balloon catheter die-cut tray, produced by Beacon Converters Inc., is made from a sheet of 100 percent virgin, 0.035-in. thick, flexible HDPE. A series of tabs creates the tray’s triangular sidewalls, which run the length of the package. The tray design includes carabineer hold-downs to secure and protect sensitive parts of the product, which is a medical device used in ablation therapy for atrial fibrillation. 

The package offers several environmental benefits vs the rigid PETG trays commonly used to package medical devices. Beacon reports that the HDPE tray has 32 percent less volume and weighs 50 percent less than comparable PETG trays. And less energy is required to manufacture the HDPE trays. 

In addition, “after use, the [CardioFocus] tray can be knocked down into its original flat format and compactly segregated into the recyclable waste stream,” says Alison Tyler, technical director at Beacon Converters.
The HDPE trays also provide a benefit for cardiologists, acting as a catheter-prep tabletop and serving “as an organizer in close proximity to the sterile field,” Tyler adds.


Beacon Converters Inc., 201-797-2600

Ampac No 2 PouchRecyclable pouch pioneers new territory for flexible packaging
Savvy Green Eco-Clean Laundry Detergent, packaged in the new Ampac No. 2 Pouch, won a Gold Award for Environmental & Sustainability Achievement. This pouch represents a breakthrough in flexible packaging, as it is one of the first primary flexible packages designed to be recycled. 

The pouch is made from a coextruded HDPE blend and can be recycled with post-consumer shopping bags at grocery store drop-off points. Conventional pouches are typically made from laminated films and are not currently recyclable.

The Savvy Green LLC stand-up pouch also has a smaller eco-footprint than conventional pouches, because pouch manufacturing is vertically integrated. Ampac extrudes and prints the No. 2 Pouch film and converts it into pouches at its Seattle plant. The Savvy Green pouch is surface printed in nine colors, using solvent-based inks. The high-definition flexography delivers sharp print resolution. 

A specialized matte varnish is applied over the printing. “The overlacquer provides a much more natural look and feel and also protects the print from the product during filling,” explains Millie Nuno, marketing manager, Ampac.
By eliminating the lamination step, the energy, materials and waste associated with laminating also are eliminated. Ampac reuses the scrap from pouch production, converting the unused material back into resin pellets that are used to manufacture other products.

The pouch complements the brand owner’s environmental mission while attracting attention at retail. Savvy Green “wanted to stand out on the shelf among the other organic cleaning products. They also wanted a recyclable packaging solution,” Nuno recalls. 

Ampac has adopted GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition How2Recycle Label for the No. 2 Pouch. And Trex, the largest user of recycled HDPE, has approved the pouch for use in its decking and railing products.


Ampac, 513-671-1777

Motor oil producer turns to flexible packaging
Two awards went to the Eco-Ultra Motor Oil FlexPak pouch: a Gold Award for Environmental & Sustainability Achievement and a Silver Award for Packaging Achievement. 

Star Packaging Corp. produces the package for brand owner Universal Lubricants LLC at facilities in Tampa, FL, and Atlanta. According to Star, the package is the first stand-up pouch used for an automotive lubricant product in the U.S. The 1-quart pouch is made from a three-ply lamination that’s reverse printed, flexographically, in seven colors using digital photopolymer plates.

The pouch provides both environmental and ease-of-use features. With regard to sustainability, the FlexPak pouch contains more than 70 percent less plastic than a conventional 1-quart HDPE bottle used to package motor oil.
The lighter-weight, more-compact package significantly reduces transportation-related emissions and fuel use because the empty, pre-made pouches take up a fraction of the space of empty HDPE bottles on pallets and in trucks. The empty pouch’s smaller size also reduces post-consumer landfill waste.

Landfills also benefit in another way, because 1 percent or less of the oil in the pouch remains in the package when it’s thrown in the trash vs up to 3 percent of oil remaining in HDPE bottles. 

As for consumer benefits, the spouted pouch makes precise pouring easy—without a funnel—and the oil pours more quickly than with a bottle. The pouch also fits better than a bottle into tight engine spaces.


Star Packaging Corp., 404-763-2800



Halls Twistoff


Twistable stick pack dispenses cough drops, one at a time
A micro-perforated stick-wrap package for cough drops, the Halls Twistoff pack, won a Gold Award for Technical Innovation. The overwrap material—micro-perf’d between each drop—is produced at the Sonoco Flexible Packaging-Edinburgh (Indiana) plant for brand owner Mondelēz Intl.

The package is designed so individually wrapped cough drops can be removed from the package without affecting the other drops in the pack. To dispense a single cough drop, the consumer simply twists the package. 

The package design, combined with the overwrap’s barrier properties, assures that all the cough drops stay fresh until they’re taken from the stick pack and eliminates the problem of single drops rolling around in a pocket or handbag. The overwrap material, a foil/paper extrusion lamination, is printed via rotogravure.

“By adding registered, precision-scored perforations along the length of the package, we’ve incorporated both an innovative easy-open and product-containment feature while maintaining the stick-pack format that is part of the Halls brand essence,” says Pete Gioldasis, marketing manager, Sonoco.


Sonoco Products Co., 800-377-2692


Kusi Wayta
Pouch for gourmet Peruvian snacks conveys quality
A sophisticated in-line print job earned the Kusi Wayta pouch a Gold Award for Printing Achievement. Peru-based Peruplast prints and converts the film for the resealable stand-up pouch.

Four types of snacks, all formulated with indigenous Peruvian seeds and fruits, are packed in 140- and 100-g sizes of the pouch. 

The pouch film is made from 12-micron PET and, for its barrier properties, 7-micron aluminum foil. The PET layer is reverse printed in seven colors with solvent-based inks via rotogravure. The reverse printing, which is sealed into the multilayer film, protects the eye-catching artwork from scuffing. A matte lacquer is printed on the exterior surface of the PET. 

“Inks and matte varnish are applied to the PET film in the same pass. The reverse print is performed first. Then the matte varnish is surface printed in registration with the reverse print, providing the matte effect on some of the areas of the artwork,” explains Eduardo Barberena, innovation and development manager at Peruplast.

Kusi Wayta means “Flower of Joy” in the Quechua language, and the package graphics incorporate native Peruvian imagery.


Peruplast S.A., +51-1-630-8801



Strength and beauty come together in bulk flour pouch
The judges awarded the Aashirvaad Select Atta pouch, which is both good looking and robust, a Gold Award for Printing Achievement. Manufactured and printed by Paharpur 3P, Ghaziabad, India, the pouch holds 5kg of premium-quality atta flour.

“Our customer wanted a vintage look on the graphics and a premium look of the package to assure the customers that this was the same age-old, trusted brand that carries flour from the best wheat grains in India,” says Debarshi Ray, head of quality assurance and process improvement at Paharpur 3P.

But at the same time, the pouch had to be strong. Ray explains: “The biggest challenge was to give the package a premium look and the ability to withstand rigorous handling in Indian conditions. We were able to achieve this by a matte-gloss combination of inks, and we beefed up the structure to cope with the rough transportation and handling issues.”

The pouch is made from biaxially-oriented nylon (BON) laminated to polyethylene, with the polyethylene used as the food-contact surface. The film is reverse-printed in nine colors via rotogravure using a polyurethane-based ink system. The use of polyethylene in the film structure gives the pouch high dart-impact strength.

For shelf impact, the graphics are rendered in a combination of matte and high-gloss finishes. To highlight certain parts of the pouch, such as the brand name, Paharpur 3P used a spot gloss treatment and softened surrounding graphics using a registered matte coating.


Paharpur 3P, +91 120-4389-100


Lindt Lindor
Stand-up pouch delivers premium look and feel for chocolate
The judges gave a Gold Award for Printing Achievement to the Lindt Lindor Assorted Chocolates package, which incorporates a combination of matte and gloss treatments. The all-film, resealable stand-up pouch replaces a square-bottom bag made of paper and film. The package holds 198g of product.

Careful use of matte and gloss finishes on the pouch draws the eye to specific parts of the package, and tightly registered rotogravure printing provides high-quality reproduction of the graphic design’s colors and details. American Packaging Corp. prints the pouch material.


American Packaging Corp., 585-254-9500



Click here to read about the Silver Award winners.







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Persistent Systems Launches PaxPharma, Compliance-based Design to Print Automation

Persistent Systems (BSE & NSE: PERSISTENT), the global leader in software product and technology services, announced the immediate availability of PaxPharma, a compliance-based, Design to Print (D2P) automation solution designed specifically  for pharmaceutical  packaging and product lifecycle management (PLM).  The company unveiled the solution at this year’s Pharma Packaging and Labeling USA 2013 conference held February 26 and 27 at the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue Hotel.

PaxPharma, the newest offering in the Paxpro Enterprise Collaboration Solution suite and the first of its kind for the pharmaceutical industry, delivers the entire D2P supply chain on one easy to use platform – from NPI/NPD, product design and CAD, to labeling, artwork management, PLM and document lifecycle management for pharmacovigilance.

“PaxPharma delivers an enhanced user experience through a fully integrated solution with secure data transfer across modules that significantly helps reduce human error, ensure regulatory compliance, and improve time to market,” said Ram Pazhayannur, VP of Paxpro, a Persistent Systems Business Unit.  “We are very excited to deliver this next generation compliance-based automation solution for the pharmaceutical industry that simplifies the entire D2P process across the supply chain – from brand managers, to suppliers and customers.”

PaxPharma includes a unique FDA rules database module that manages the rules and regulations set by the FDA for each product type, from OTC drug to cosmetics.  This module automatically selects several of the FDA rules based on product attributes specified by the labeling specialist – greatly reducing errors and providing significant time savings.  Near print-ready Drug Fact Templates (DFT’s) and labeling documents can be produced using this module  allowing marketing managers to have better control of their artwork and labeling assets while reducing dependency on graphic artists and post production iterations. 

PaxPharma modules include:

·         NPI/NPD

·         BOM/SKU

·         FDA rules database for accurate and compliance-based product labeling

·         Artwork lifecycle management

·         Document Lifecycle  management for pharmacovigilance

·         Real time reports

·         Project Management


PaxPharma comes integrated with:

·         Adobe Illustrator – for artwork and label design

·         Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks for CAD

·         Oracle AutoVue  for 3D viewing and proofing

·         Global Vision for text and artwork auto-proofing 


PaxPharma is available immediately.  For more information please visit: http://www.paxpro.com.

Ram Pazhayannur VP, Paxpro presented a session on “Addressing Technology Transitions in the Pharma Industry in Order to Arrive at Next Generation Solutions” Tuesday, February 26 at 2:30PM.  Using case study examples, attendees gained insight by looking at how other industries have transformed from a services/product nature to being solution focused.  This session discussed the role technology plays in this transformation and provided examples of how big data, social media, mobile technologies are catalysts in this changing landscape.

To arrange a meeting with Persistent Systems at Pharma Packaging and Labeling USA 2013 please contact Ilona Mohacsi at ilona@penvine.com.

About Persistent Systems:
Established in 1990, Persistent Systems (BSE & NSE: PERSISTENT) is a global company specializing in software product and technology services. For more than two decades, Persistent has been an innovation partner for the world’s largest technology brands, leading enterprises and pioneering start-ups. With a global team of more than 6,000 employees, Persistent has 300 customers spread across North America, Europe, and Asia. Today, Persistent focuses on developing best-in-class solutions in four key next-generation technology areas: Cloud Computing, Mobility, Analytics and Collaboration, for telecommunications, life sciences, consumer packaged goods, banking & financial services and healthcare verticals.

Paxpro, by Persistent Systems, is an Enterprise Collaboration Solution that helps integrate the Design to Print (D2P) supply-chain process, across pharmaceutical, food and beverage, health and beauty, telecom and other regulated industries. Paxpro solutions provide the backbone for brand managers to get their products released to market faster, error free and at costs significantly lower than with traditional ERP and PLM systems. Global brands across the world rely on Paxpro for their D2P processes, which are delivered securely over the cloud and in compliance with standards including 21 CFR Part 11 and GMP.

Forward-looking and Cautionary Statements: For risks and uncertainties relating to forward-looking statements, please visit:

All trademarks, trade names, service marks, and logos referenced herein belong to their respective companies.

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Onesixtyfourth’s CultureQ Research Shows Why Brands Are Like ‘Friends’

Who’s your best brand friend? CultureQ, branding consultancy Onesixthyfourth LLC’s ongoing research initiative with Millennials in the U.S. and the U.K., finds an emerging trend of young consumers having fewer – but more meaningful – brand relationships. The result translates into Millennials demanding greater versatility from brands and building an inner circle made up of complementary brand friends.

For example, recent CultureQ research shows that, on average, Millennials are deeply committed to just 12 brands.  Almost 75% of Millennials in the U.K. and 69% of Gen Y’ers in the U.S. find cheating on their favorite brands “unimaginable.”

The brands they classify as favorites include such segment-dominant brands as Apple, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Google, Nike and Microsoft as well as more niche names like J. Crew’s Madewell retail brand; Supreme, the cultish street-wear retailer; and Trader Joe’s, among others – but not necessarily because of big marketing budgets, notes Anne Bahr Thompson, founding partner of Onesixtyfourth.

“Big ad spends are not enough to sustain the relationship,” she adds. Having a trusted inner circle of a few go-to brands is becoming the norm for Millennials. Increasingly, they feel ‘burdened with choice,’ so much so even big brand activity can fail to register. As in real life, the acid test of a satisfying, loyal brand friendship is rooted not in the occasional grand gesture, or in constant talking and not listening, but in thoughtful, empathic actions, and the many small, meaningful gestures that both enrich and improve Millennials’ lives.”

According to Ms. Bahr Thompson, some motivational states of Millennials to consider in your branding include:

  • Treat them as a valued friend, not a consumer – Curate individualized experiences based on what you know about their interests.
  • Mirror their personal values – Millennials have the strongest connections with brands that mirror their personal values and interests.
  • Make them proud – Being accepted by the group is a more natural state for Millennials than being the lone promoter.
  • Make their life less complicated – Millennials see their favorite brands as essential hubs through which they manage their daily routine.
  • Deliver what you promise – Trust is based in consistency and Millennials become disconnected from brands when the delivery doesn’t match with them.

CultureQ reports are available individually or as a subscription service with opportunities for customization. For more information about CultureQ, visit www.onesixtyfourth.com.

About Onesixtyfourth
Onesixtyfourth is a trend-based, brand and communications strategy boutique that connects brand values with people’s values. Onesixtyfourth specializes in insight, foresight, strategy, and innovation and focuses on making it easier for brands to reach, communicate, and interact with customers.

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Quadpack Launches the Apollo Comb Foamer


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Amcor Flexibles wins Gold and Silver at Annual Flexible Packaging Association Achievement Awards

Amcor Flexibles was the proud recipient of two awards at the Flexible Packaging Association’s (FPA) Annual Achievement Awards held on 26 February 2013, in Naples, Florida. The FPA is the leading trade organization for flexible packaging converters and suppliers. The Annual Achievement Awards honor packaging and converting organizations that demonstrate breakthrough technologies, printing techniques, package structures, environmental advantages and new end-uses.

“For Amcor Flexibles to be recognized for our great packaging solutions is an honor,” said Tom Cochran, vice president and general manager – Americas & Medical Europe, Amcor Flexibles Europe & Americas. “Our customers continuously challenge us to develop packaging solutions that complement their new products, and we are proud to meet that challenge and grow together,” he added.

Amcor Flexibles received the Gold Award in the ‘Packaging Excellence’ category for its Amcor PushPop portion control package, serving the snack food market. “When a package and its contents can work together to create a memorable consumer experience, we have served our customers well,” said Art Castro, vice president sales & marketing – Americas & Medical Europe,  Amcor Flexibles Europe & Americas.  

Amcor PushPop adds a “fun factor” to portion control packaging. The packaging material and package design combine to provide an easy-open, convenient package. Existing form-fill-seal equipment can be retrofitted at a modest cost to produce this gusseted pouch. The enhanced consumer experience of the opening feature supports the use of this portion control package as an element of a healthier approach to eating. The Amcor PushPop package is protected by Amcor in some geographies through patent applications and registrations.

Furthermore Amcor Flexibles received the Silver Award in the ‘Technical Innovation’ category for Amcor Dent Resistant – Compact Formpack serving the prescription and OTC blister pack markets. “Our R&D efforts are focused on innovations that offer benefits throughout the supply chain,” concluded Castro.

The newest Amcor Formpack can be inserted without denting into an overpack designed for Child Resistance or Adherence/Compliance packaged medications. Improved forming properties allow a deep draw without fracturing and a 10-20% decrease in individual cavity width/length. This results in up to a 10% reduction in the overall package size. Amcor Dent Resistant -Compact Formpack extends the use of flexible packaging to medications that are improving healthcare while containing costs.

The goal of the FPA Annual Achievement Awards is to showcase the diverse uses for flexible packaging: 127 entries were received this year, 25 packages were honored with achievement awards.

About Amcor Flexibles Europe & Americas
With 68 plants in 21 countries, Amcor Flexibles Europe & Americas, a division of Amcor, is a market leader and the world’s largest supplier of flexible packaging. We deliver innovative packaging solutions and provide enhanced quality products for the food, beverage, pharma, personal care, medical and industrial markets. Its award winning approach towards sustainability makes Amcor Flexibles Europe & Americas the preferred partner for customers looking for responsible packaging solutions.

About Amcor
Amcor Limited is a global leader in responsible packaging solutions, employing more than 33,000 people worldwide, operating in 42 countries across 300 sites.  Amcor supplies a broad range of plastic (rigid and flexible), fibre, metal and glass packaging solutions to enhance the products consumers use in everyday life. Amcor also provides packaging-related services that help customers succeed through collaboration and innovation driven by art and science. Amcor is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.




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DIAMOND, The Firstborn of COSMOGEN’s 2013 Brush Collection is Ready for Spring


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DSG Studio Develops Identity for Kurant Vodka


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A New Age of BOPET Film Production Using Direct Film Casting


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