German Packaging Awards 2011

I read an article in Packaging World written by Peter Zeiss and titled: “Successful package design is a choice”, arguing that of the thousands of new products introduced by consumer packaged goods companies every year, most fail. While too often, little or no attention is given to the role that packaging plays in a product’s success or failure.

The article gave me food for thought when I viewed the winners of the 34th German Packaging Award organized by the German Packaging Institute dvi. At 09 November 2011 the winners of the Award of the German Packaging Prize 2011 were announced as part of Brau Beviale 2011 in Nuremberg.

The numerous entries were impressive and with German “Gründlichkeit” the jurors considered all the facets: innovation and originality, functionality and manageability, emotionality as well as economic efficiency, ecology and safety.

I made a first selection:
1. The Hopper-box
2. The Wiberg Spice Box
3. Seamless in-mould-labelling for bottle crates
4. The fruit crate “fruit fresh”
5. NOR Absorbit flexible packaging

The Hopper-box
The re-sealable, easy to hold, stable, appealing to touch, crumb-free enjoyment of chocolate is all fulfilled by the hopper box.

The sleek box looks, at first glance, simple but when opened it displays the contents clearly and also has the added advantage of making the chocolates easy to get out without getting any crumbs or chocolate on your fingers. The opening system is intuitive and easy to use. A wave-shaped corrugated strip retains the wafers (buttons) in the box, keeps them apart from each other and protects them against mechanical damage. The Hopper Box design follows a principle which Swiss Glanzmann Verpackungen AG developed for Swiss watch manufacturers for transporting their intricate dials. The corrugated strip also offers ecological benefits as the wafers need not be packed individually, thus resulting in considerably less waste than for comparable products.

The Hopper Box for Choco Mundo GmbH, is made from Iggesund Paperboard, while the structure is created by Urs Leuenberger and Andreas Werner, the Créateur at Swiss Jaclulu Chocolate. The graphic design is from Christian Reichenbach.

The Wiberg Spice Box
Wiberg is a 60-year old German trading company specialised in high-quality herbs and condiments. They introduced the spice box, combining functionality with exclusive design. Designed by Leon Widdison Design in Laufen/Germany, the herbs are protected from light in this high-quality looking, pale metal tin. The special feature however is the functional lid made of plastic and manufactured by G. Junghans Kunststoffwaren-Fabrik. The chute can be flipped up with a click, the sprinkler opening appears and the herbs can be distributed without need of any other object such as a spoon or spatula. The functionality for the end-user and the quality of design was highly rated regarding level of convenience.

Seamless in-mould-labelling for bottle crates
Conventional bottle crates cannot be labelled all over. So far brand names could have only be placed on the straight walls of the bottle crates. With this new technology bottle crate, in-mould-labels cover the whole crate by means of injection moulding. This can be carried out very exactly, and with a seamless design, even the entire surface of the crate can be used for printing. In principle a bottle crate now can completely be encircled with high quality, scratch resistant in-mould labels without a seam. This strengthens the POS significantly and offers new freedom and possibilities for branding.

Delbrouck in Menden (Sauerland) Germany, has developed a new, innovative implementation in-mould label technology in cooperation with Alfa Brewery in Limburg, the Netherlands.
Especially for this technology a new crate has been developed which has a comfortable radius at the edges in order to permit a perfect bending of the label film.

Based on the lessons learned after launching a new crate for the mineral water industry in 2010 (RheinfelsQuelle) Delbrouck now has set a benchmark in injection moulding technology.
At the “edges” the new Alfa crate shows tangy beer splashes over the edges, it communicates freshness and vitality to the consumer. The impression of the crate is modern and premium class. The colours of the labels have a striking effect at the POS and allow a perfect from the competitors. As a matter of course the new crate obtains all relevant standards among internal and external logistics requirements. With best effort and accuracy all aspects concerning washing, filling, sorting and transportation (stacking) are considered.

The fruit crate “fruit fresh”
The fruit crate “fruit fresh”, made of corrugated cardboard, uses for the first time the hollow spaces between the corrugations to apply active materials, in this case an ethylene absorber.

The shelf life of certain fruit and vegetables is profoundly affected by the formation of ethylene gas which, for example is produced by apples during ripening. The ethylene absorbing corrugated cardboard crate can help to slow down the process of decay and reduce losses due to more rapid ripening. To make this “active packaging”, a binding element is applied to the corrugation cavities, the ethylene absorber applied to this in powder or granule form and covering paper put on top of this. The further production of the crate can then carry on as normal. The compatibility with foodstuffs is guaranteed.

A special advantage is that the materials which absorb ethylene are already integrated in the corrugated cardboard during its production. Due to the better distribution of the materials over the entire package, the effect (sorption of ethylene in the packaging headspace) is significantly increased. The products such as fruit or vegetables may thus be harvested, and thus in higher quality and the shelf life and freshness of the products lengthen significantly.

The corrugated cardboard fruit crate is developed by SCA Packaging Deutschland, in cooperation with and based on a patent of the Fraunhofer Institute in München.
Like to know more details of this ethylene absorbing fruit crate? You can read the details and argumentation in United States Patent Application 20100092634 “Method for increasing the shelf life of agricultural products which ….”

NOR Absorbit flexible packaging
We stay with absorbing pakages. In this case the flexible packaging. This flexible packaging has been developed for microwave usage and absorbs fat and moisture during heating without drying out the heated product. Thus, a whole range of interesting uses for bread-crumbed and bread-like food as well as food with fat content comes about. The selected materials in the absorber layer also have thermo-insulating properties which reduce the temperature of the outer packaging, enabling the handling of the package after heating as well as extraction of the food.

The moisture that develops during microwave cooking and the released grease pass through a perforated sealing layer and are absorbed and retained by the packaging’s inner layer. The company, Nordenia Technologies GmbH in Gronau, Germany, claims that even unbreaded foods such as bacon become much crispier than with conventional microwave technology. Furthermore, in contrast to the frying of bacon and similar foods in the pan, no preparation is necessary; time-consuming washing and cleaning afterwards are also eliminated.

An additional steam venting label can be integrated, allowing for especially gentle steam cooking of the food, preserving the natural flavour and the vitamins.

Dual-Chamber Mozzarella Packaging

Since the flexible Nor Absorbit packaging – which can be processed on conventional FMS systems – can replace bag-in-box susceptor packaging, packaging material is saved during production. A portion of the microwave packaging can be produced from renewable raw materials.

I have some more interesting prize-winners from the German Packaging Awards, but some other items request my attention also. So wait a few articles before I return to The German Awards, with among others the Dual-Chamber Mozzarella Packaging, as shown above.

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