Bemis Company Inc. is the winner of this year’s prestigious FPA Highest Achievement Award for their Molson Coors 12-Pack Cooler Bag. The bag also won two Gold Awards for Expanding the Use of Flexible Packaging and Printing & Shelf Impact, and a Silver Award for Packaging Excellence. The Cooler Bag creates a fresh take on the ubiquitous beer carton.

The new flexible bag delivers portable convenience with a pouch that expands into a larger, reusable bag with additional convenience features. This innovative package features easy-carry handles and can go directly into the refrigerator or cooler. The film’s sturdy, high performance structure allows consumers to reuse the bag. Reusability provides brand benefits to communicate benefits and quality to brand-loyal consumers over and over again.

The FPA Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards competition is among the most respected in the industry thanks to the outstanding caliber of packaging entries, the objective and methodical judging process and the extensive media coverage of the competition winners. Its focus is on new technologies, processes, printing techniques and sustainability of flexible packaging.

The competition evaluates five categories: Expanding the Use of Flexible Packaging, Technical Innovation, Sustainability, Printing & Shelf Impact and Packaging Excellence. These attributes differentiate flexible packaging from other packaging formats to provide extraordinary packaging solutions. The Flexible Packaging Highest Achievement Award is presented to a gold award-winning package ranked by the judges as having contributed most to the advancement of the industry. For the 2019 competition, 14 packages were recognized with 26 Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards within one or more categories.

FPA thanks the judges of the competition for their time and expertise: Cory Francer, senior editor, packagePRINTING magazine; Robert Kimmel, Sc.D., associate professor and director, Clemson University Center for Flexible Packaging, Clemson University; and David Luttenberger, global packaging director, Mintel Group Ltd.

Sustainability continues to be a focus, with a number of entries using bio-based and compostable materials. Kimmel notes, “We saw several examples of bio-based and compostable materials. But what we thought was most significant is several excellent examples of conversion of multilayer films, which have previously been diverse materials, into materials which will be recyclable in the existing recycle streams, particularly the polyethylene stream. We feel this is very important for the future of the industry.”

Multisensory elements incorporated into flexible packaging was a growing trend seen in this year’s competition. “The multisensory aspect of flexible packaging has really taken several steps forward between films that have a leathery feel to communicate that aspect of a product and soft touch materials that really entice a consumer to reach out and feel the product,” says Francer.

Industry collaboration on packaging was also seen as a growing trend. According to Luttenberger, “We saw collaboration this year not just between one or two suppliers, but among multiple suppliers — sometimes two, three or four suppliers. But what impressed me even more was that we’re seeing collaboration across continents, looking at technologies developed in one region and applying them to another on a global scale. I think that’s going to really take the industry forward as well.”

Several entries also highlighted the transition of products previously packaged in rigid containers to flexible packaging and addressed consumer convenience, making it easier for consumers to shop, transport, dispense from and use flexible packaging.

For more information about the FPA Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards Competition, visit