The Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) announces the winners in its 2018 AmeriStar Package Awards Competition. Judges considered more than 70 packages for nine category awards, four student awards and AmeriStar’s top three awards. A roster of 16 judges from various segments of the packaging industry evaluated this year’s entries in person, examining package innovation, product protection, economics, performance, marketing and environmental impact.

The top three AmeriStar awards include the the Sustainable Package Award, the Design Excellence Award and the Best of Show Award.

Best of Show Award Winner

SureHandle PET Containers, Pretium Packaging

The Best of Show Award honors a package that surpasses all judging criteria and that judges unanimously rated “outstanding” in every category.

Pretium’s one-piece, carafe-style SureHandle packaging gives brand owners a new option for larger PET containers with handling convenience. Available in monolayer PET, which facilitates the recycling stream, the SureHandle containers come out of the injection mold with the integrated handle already in place. They offer improved pouring control and enhanced top load capabilities. This new technology creates all sorts of possibilities for products—including beverages, foods and household and industrial chemicals—making those products in larger containers easier for younger and older consumers to use as well. The containers come in 64 ounces and 2 liters.

Design Excellence Award Winner

Artistry Signature Select Personalized Serum, Amway

The Design Excellence Award recognizes the package that best integrates structure and graphic design. Judges considered how improved functionality can persuade consumers to think about the product in a new way, as well as design benefits such as presentation and findability on a shelf.

This customizeable, all-in-one skin treatment consists of a base serum that customers can mix with up to three concentrated amplifier caps, each targeting their unique skin concerns. A high- barrier closure and nitrogen environment protect the ingredients in each of the five amplifier formulas until they are infused with the base serum. To activate the power-infused technology, users twist the amplifier on the base serum bottle and then slowly twist it off. The activation produces a visual surge and an audible whoosh.

The pressurized technology seen in this package has previously been commercialized in the beverage industry, in tea. From a manufacturing perspective, this packaging required new equipment to ensure proper orientation of the two closure sub-assemblies, as well as stations for gassing and snapping the parts together.

Sustainable Packaging Award Winner

89-oz. Simply Beverages, The Coca-Cola Company

The Sustainable Packaging Award honors the most resourceful package in the AmeriStar competition. Judges considered how packaging can reduce its impact on the environment, evaluating efficient energy usage; recycling efforts; and effective use of reusable, recyclable and eco-friendly packaging materials.

Coca-Cola replaced its resin code #7 extrudable PETG material with resin code #1 grade EBM PET for its 89-ounce Simply Beverages containers, effectively removing more than 14 million pounds of PETG material from the marketplace. Containers produced with PETG create challenges for recyclers because PETG appears the same as resin code #1 PETE material to consumers. As a result, PETG is frequently recycled in the code #1 channel, leading to processing issues for recyclers. The material conversion to EBM PET eliminates that problem. The material was developed in joint partnership between Coca-Cola, Indorama Ventures and CKS Packaging.


Category: Beverages, Alcoholic

COOLEO, Cooleo

COOLEO, a double-layered, insulating glass wine bottle, was invented as a convenient way to keep wine cool without ice or buckets. Instead of a cork, the bottle is designed with a glass closure that allows for reuse and upcycling. The clear, Borosilicate glass is scratch- and temperature-resistant, and the double-layered design keeps drinks colder for longer than a typical wine bottle. The concept could easily be extended to packaging for other beverages.

The 1970s Vodka, TricorBraun

1970 Vodka knew they wanted to deliver their cocktail in a tall, glass bottle with a mix of feminine and masculine design elements. They wanted their product, a new concept in vodka- based spirits with a modifier, to stand out from other brown liquors, which are typically packaged in short bottles. The design objective was to have this product thought of as a liqueur, without having the package look like a liqueur bottle. To achieve this objective, TricorBraun created a tapered design with an offset neck, a bottle shape inspired by automotive industry packaging. Because of the design’s tapered, flat panels and heavy, thick base, the bottles were molded using a semi-automatic process and then hand-labeled and hand-filled.

Category: Beverages, Non-Alcoholic

SureHandle PET Containers, Pretium Packaging

Pretium’s one-piece, carafe-style SureHandle packaging gives brand owners a new option for larger PET containers with handling convenience. Available in monolayer PET, which facilitates the recycling stream, the SureHandle containers come out of the injection mold with the integrated handle already in place. The containers offer improved pouring control and enhanced top load capabilities.

This new technology creates all sorts of possibilities for products—including beverages, foods and household and industrial chemicals—making those products in larger containers easier for younger and older consumers to use as well. The containers come in 64 ounces and 2 liters.

Category: Food, Shelf-Stable

Granola Goes Nuts, PepsiCo and Printpack USA

This horizontal flow wrapper features a cross-directional, laser-scored pull strip opening feature for a mess-free, on-the-go eating experience. The wrapper is 100-gauge metallized polypropylene, with a precision-scored channel directly above the metallized layer. Carbon dioxide lasers are applied within a 2-micron tolerance, a significant development that allows for preservation of the barrier properties.

Pattern-applied cold seal adhesive and unique radial scoring create the pull-tab feature at the fin seal, giving the consumer an easy starting point to open the package and maintaining product shelf life integrity. Despite the material’s inherent tendency to crack and tear in the machine direction, six individual score lines control control tearing in the cross direction.

Mentos Pure Fresh Gum Wallet, Perfetti Van Melle

With a VELCRO Brand PRESS-LOK closure and AMCOR Flexibles PushPop technology, this double-gusseted wallet pack is not only eye-catching but also offers a flexible, on-the-go alternative to a rigid primary container.

A noteworthy feature of the Gum Wallet is its application of a pre-cut zipper in registration, allowing for better seal quality and aesthetics on the side of the package. The Gum Wallet’s shape allows the product to flow ito the top portion of the pouch, creating a uniform shape unlike a standard doy bag. This uniform shape allows the packages to be precisely packed into a showbox and displayed flat at the checkout lane. From a design perspective, the Gum Wallet’s hidden fin seal enables graphics and text to be displayed on the front and back sides, without a fin/lap seal interruption. From a production standpoint, this package was designed to use materials allowing for high vertical form/fill/seal speeds while maintaining aesthetics quality seen in pre-made pouches.

SureHandle PET Containers, Pretium Packaging

Category: Packaging That Saves Food

Cryovac FlexPrep EZ Dispensing, Sealed Air Corporation

IoPP introduced this category to the AmeriStar Package Awards Competition in 2017, as part of the World Packaging Organisation’s Packaging that Saves Food initiative, to recognize packaging that minimizes food losses and food waste, extends shelf life and improves the supply of food. This is the first AmeriStar Award given in this category, and the winner is from the Food Service subcategory.

Cryovac FlexPrep EZ Dispensing is an innovative condiment and sauce dispensing pack that improves back-of-house operational efficiency, provides a minimum condiment yield of 97 percent and manages portion control. Utilizing flexible pouch technology and a variety of sizes, FlexPrep allows back-of-house operations to address different velocity or usage demands, as well as the need for additional sauce and condiment options without the need for more kitchen space.

The packaging also reduces prep time by eliminating the need to transfer condiments and sauces into secondary containers. Because the package enables the user to store the product longer and dispense it entirely in the dispensing pouch, shelf-life for certain condiments is nearly doubled, enabling improved portion and inventory control and reducing product waste significantly.

Category: Health and Beauty Aids

Burt's Bees Lip Butter Tins, Burt's Bees (Clorox)

Consumers often complain that the friction-fit tins commonplace in the lip care category can be difficult and frustrating to open. The challenge intensifies when they get lip balm on their fingers. Burt’s Bee’s Lip Butter Tins address this concern with a custom pop-top tin that can be opened and closed using one hand. While the pop-top tin is not a new concept in packaging, it  is new to lip balm. The recyclable Lip Butter tin is smaller than typical tins and features an angled lip on the closure and sufficient space in the cap for the closure to tilt to one side and pop off. These tins tins have an extra thick coating of anti-rust polymer to protect the packaging in moist conditions. The tins also carry a noteworthy economic benefit: They are designed to run on existing packaging equipment.

EVO Dial Pack, Plastic Ingenuity

The dial packaging for this hearing aid and batteries product from Rayovac was redesigned to enlarge the tab that adheres to the battery. The package was also upgraded to provide an audible indexing feature when the dial is rotated, and offer a more enjoyable and intuitive user experience. A notable feature of this package is the new dispensing design. A relief area was created on the injecton-molded dial, enabling the battery to be extracted from the package using a finger while other batteries in the pack remain secure. This design enhancement is important for geriatric consumers; with dexterity issues, they formerly would flip over the package to extract a battery, often causing other batteries to spill out. The new pack also has a micro perforation that allows consumers to remove the package from the card, converting it into a transportable version, without affecting performance.

Once the door on the package is opened and notches securing the door are broken, a living hinge at the top of the door allows for repeat opening and closing. To close the door, tabs on the door are pushed to provide secure locking. The door on the package works with all four battery sizes. Door-notch strength is designed to withstand 3 to 4 pounds of force, keeping the door closed and the batteries securely in place inside the package—especially during distribution.

Category: Industrial/Commercial

EcoPure, Sealed Air Corp.

EcoPure is a bio-based polyethylyene foam made from renewable materials that is flexible, less brittle than other foams and has improved moisture resistance, while also providing cushioning benefits. It is made using a new foam extrusion process using green polyethylene polymers made from renewable sugarcane ethanol, giving the foam the potential to reduce carbon dioxide gas emissions by more then 50 percent compared with petroleum-based foams.

EcoPure uses a new chemical formulation and compositional structure, and it offers high compression strength, outstanding creep of less than 10 percent, good tensile and tear strength and a higher percentage of closed-cell foam. This material demonstrates a novel idea of using bio-polymers to produce closed-cell, resilient foam for protecting packaged items during transit. The new foam product has potential applications in industrial and consumer electronics, household items, medical equipment and in the cold chain, among other areas.

Decon-Cycle, Decon Sproc 200 Plus, TricorBraun

This 5-liter simple mix system is an HDPE Handleware package that includes a top chamber to separate the mix until it is ready to be activiated. Concentrate is dispensed by pressing the bellow in the lower section of the package to release water into the lower container. The handle is ergonomically located in the side of the larger portion of the container to improve pouring control. A smaller opening in the lower portion of the container reduces waste by dispensing the product more precisely.

This package eliminates regulatory concerns about proper mixing and sterility of the solution- based product and addresses other regulatory concerns. It reduces the number of bottles needed from two to one for this solution product and can be recycled within most single- stream recycling programs.

Category: Medical Device

Euphora Packaging, Medtronic

Medtronic has observed the user environment to develop this packaging for the Next Generation Balloon Angioplasty medical device under the SC Euphora and NC Euphora product family. These angioplasty balloon catheters are used to support widening of a blocked or narrowed blood vessel in the coronary arteries. The pull-shelf carton “chamfered design” makes it easy to remove from shelving areas by way of a new fold-over lip glued in place at the opening section of the shelf carton to provide a smooth user-facing carton edge. This feature is not found on the standard industry carton design, which typically has an exposed board edge that can be sharp to the touch, leading to paper cuts on users’ hands or ripped gloves. In naddition, a thumb notch in the Tyvek® layer allows the end user to easily determine the correct opening point of the sterile pouch in dim lighting. Also lending assistance is a printed “opening” symbol on the Tyvek layer to give the end user a visual indicator where the sterile pouch should be opened.

SoBliss, Selenium Medical

The distinctive feature of this packaging is that it is completely rigid, thereby protecting the different flat medical devices inside. This packaging for implants offers a number of evolutionary details. They include:

  • vertical all-around sealing
  • a hinge with a puncture-proof Tyvek system
  • a new fasten configuration, allowing 360-degree transparency for accurate product identification
  • a single-use top lid with a one-flop opening hinge, which contributes to sealing efficiency and reduces the likelihood of sterilization failure

In usability testing at HealthPack 2017, operating room nurses and technicians said they appreciated the intuitive opening system. The optional SoTab holder acts like an integrated spring, stabilizing and protecting the implant.

Category: Other

Boll & Branch E-commerce, Veritiv

These gift boxes of luxury bedding and towels were designed specifically for online sales. The boxes feature double-sided flexo print and custom modular inserts that make it easy to switch between three sizes of shippers for differently sized gift boxes. This enables customers to purchase at larger volumes and streamlines the packing process at fulfillment centers where the product is loaded. The features of this packaging, combined with the brand owner working with its contract packager to improve pallet configurations, has sharply reduced the number of damaged cartons and greatly improved the consumer’s package opening experience, which is critical for success in e-commerce.

Category: Promotional/Display

Brisk Black Panther Collectors Kit, PepsiCo

Inspired by the high-tech nation of Wakanda in Marvel Studios’ 2018 American superhero film “Black Panther,” this kit features distinctive, premium packaging to create one-of-a-kind memorabilia. The contents include a tactile Black Panther can with an attachable clip-on mask, an electronic carton that illuminates with HiLight Smart LED lights and four additional cans that each feature a different character from the film. PepsiCo used 3D printing to create the Nylon mask, and a raised texture on the Black Panther can also mimics the iconic mask. The Okoye, Nakia, Shuri and Erik Killmonger cans are decorated with shrink sleeves and a matte varnish.

The graphics were designed for illumination on the electronic carton, which includes a printed circuit board embedded inside the paperboard structure, miniature LED lights and a button to activate the lighting. Batteries power the carton to create an incredible experience that lasts about 20 seconds each time the button is pressed.


1st Place

Wash-Pro Dissolvable Detergent Sheets, University of Wisconsin–Stout

These dry detergent sheets are a great alternative to the mess, bulk and weight of rigid laundry detergent bottles. The paperboard carton is designed to hang on the wall instead of being stored horizontally. A perforated tear-off section reveals a thin plastic film through which the sheets are gravity-fed, and another perforation on the back reveals a hang tab for the consumer. A thin film sheet in the opening where sheets are dispensed protects the exposed sheets. This package would be filled horizontally on a manufacturing line, similar to how facial tissue is loaded into a carton.

2nd Place

Monster Bites, California Polytechnic State University

This package is a spill-proof children’s toy that doubles as a shareable candy dispenser. The design consists of three modular components: the hexagonal main package, the top cap and the bottom sleeve. The main package contains the candy and displays the main graphics. The inner container and outside wrap are made of paperboard. The top cap doubles as a sharing cup and reveals a new version of the monster when it’s removed. The bottom sleeve slides up and down to allow access to the opening of the candy dispenser. The package is reclosable and has adequate barrier properties to keep the candy fresh. It’s intuitive enough for its 5- to 13-year-old audience, and even has a create-your-own version that lets kids draw their own monster to display on the package.

3rd Place
Niu Coconut Oil, California Polytechnic State University

Niu addresses the problem of struggling to get the last of a food product out of a package. The extrusion blow-molded container is made of HDPE material and its round shape forces the coconut oil to collect in a way that makes it easy to scoop—and it resembles a coconut. The container can be heated and cooled repeatedly. What’s more, the container’s inward curved base enables it to be steady on uneven surfaces. It’s a simple idea that helps not just with convenience, but also with reducing food waste. In addition to a drip guard and hand grips that double as labeling sections, the package includes both a lip and a leveler, so consumers can easily measure the right amount of coconut oil, whether it’s in a solid or a liquid form. The container is placed in a paperboard sleeve with plenty of billboard space for marketing this product to health-conscious consumers.

Honorable Mention:
Serious About Cereal University of Wisconsin–Stout

These students came up with a way to make cereal packaging easier to open and increase its shelf life. The consumer typically needs to pull, tear or cut the bag open, with the potential for mess afterward both inside and outside the package. Serious About Cereal’s inner bag introduces a laser-score opening and tear notch—an idea for easier opening that also has been introduced in other dry food products—plus a resealable seal strip. The adhesive tape seal strip works just like a piece of tape that can be reused multiple times.