The 2016 Awards for Packaging Innovation — the 28th occasion that materials group DuPont Co. has issued the awards – revealed how manufacturers and brands are responding to pressures and trends currently bearing down on packaging.
The drive for greater sustainability has been a major influence on packaging development for some years. Independent judges in the DuPont awards noted that entries reflected the packaging industry's continuing commitment to sustainability, with innovations around source reduction, lowering energy use during manufacturing, reusability and reducing food waste.
“A theme that I've noticed is that packaging sustainability and environmental impact is still alive and well," said Jeff Schuetz, staff vice president for global technology consumer packaging at Sonoco Products Co. "We don't talk about it so much, but it's become much more mainstream in terms of how people are designing packaging with environmental impact in mind.”
Judges revealed their thoughts about trends emerging from the 2016 awards in a series of videos released by DuPont. “I think there are a number of trends”, said Colin Yates, global petcare packaging sustainability director for Mars Inc. in Germany, “Everything from e-commerce [to] customization, but still trying to maintain mass production.”
The connection between sustainability and packaging innovation is being seen as an opportunity. Ramon Agustines, general manager of flexible packaging division at Philippines-based Universal Robina, said: “The conception of the package is an opportunity for developers to say something about why the package is important and why it is created. They can communicate that thoughtfulness to the public so people can be more conscious about selecting the product, focusing on not just what's inside, but how the packaging was thought out and how it should be either used or discarded, and how it improves the functionality of the package.”
Looking at just the flexible pouches in the awards, there were a few companies gaining recognition this year.
Aptar Food & Beverage partnered with Daisy Sour Cream in the U.S. to create the Daisy Squeeze-Flexible pouch, which was recognized as a diamond finalist winner in the 2016 DuPont awards. This is an inverted, wedge-shaped pouch with an innovative flip-top dispensing closure, creating a stand-out design with shelf appeal.
The self-sealing valve-in technology coupled with the ring pull fitment seal, custom closure and film structure work effectively together as a total packaging solution. The Daisy Squeeze package helps eliminate risks of contamination from dirty utensils, minimizes wasted product and provides easy-to-control and drip free dispensing.