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2021 AmeriStar Award Winners

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2021 AmeriStar Awards!

 

BEST OF SHOW AWARD

The Best of Show Award honors a package that surpasses all judging criteria. The winning package received top ratings in every category of judging.

This year’s winner:

Colgate Elixir by Colgate Palmolive

AmeriStar judges rated this package very high not only for its sustainability attributes, but also make it the clear choice for this year’s Best in Show Award. It’s very rare when the same package wins more than one of the Top 3 honors in the same year in the AmeriStar competition, but the judges rated this as a truly exceptional package in multiple ways.

Colgate Elixir is toothpaste reimagined. This award-winning package uniquely marries a PET bottle with LiquiGlide technology, enabling the Colgate Palmolive team to use PET with more viscous toothpastes. The cap opening was developed to dispense viscous toothpaste on a toothbrush while permitting air into the bottle, allowing smooth outflow of toothpaste. Designed for recyclability, including a thick-walled PET-E cap to provide a premium aesthetic while retaining compatibility with the PET recyclability stream. The label is a combination printed PS label, 4 colors with dual matte and gloss varnishes, as well as two cold foil applications and a reverse printed back label. The bottle itself is produced through a Single Stage ISBM process and assembled with an injection molded PP shoulder shroud and a thick-walled PET-E cap.

 

DESIGN EXCELLENCE AWARD

The Design Excellence Award recognizes the package that best integrates structure and graphic design. Judges consider 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 year’s winner:

Colgate Elixir by Colgate Palmolive

Colgate Elixir is toothpaste reimagined. This award-winning package uniquely marries a PET bottle with LiquiGlide technology, enabling the Colgate Palmolive team to use PET with more viscous toothpastes. The cap opening was developed to dispense viscous toothpaste on a toothbrush while permitting air into the bottle, allowing smooth outflow of toothpaste. Designed for recyclability, including a thick-walled PET-E cap to provide a premium aesthetic while retaining compatibility with the PET recyclability stream. The label is a combination printed PS label, 4 colors with dual matte and gloss varnishes, as well as two cold foil applications and a reverse printed back label. The bottle itself is produced through a Single Stage ISBM process and assembled with an injection molded PP shoulder shroud and a thick-walled PET-E cap.

 

SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING AWARD

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

This year’s winner:

A Future of Sustainable Smiles - GSK’s 100% Plastic-Free, 100% Recyclable Secondary Packaging Toothbrush Launch by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

GSK’s first ever 100% plastic-free, 100% recyclable secondary packaging toothbrush launch disrupts the toothbrush aisle with an aesthetically pleasing, consumer friendly, innovative, and fully sustainable concept. This toothbrush twin pack consists of a color matched, thermoformed PaperFoam tray that is compostable and recyclable in the paper waste stream. It is heat sealed to a printed, SBS NatraLock® UltraSeal top card engineered to be used as a plastic clamshell replacement, while maximizing shelf appeal and enhancing sustainability. The top card has a die-cut window glued with clear, heat-sealable compostable cellulose transparent film, allowing the consumer to see the product. Finally, on the back of the cellulose tray are two paper-based labels, also plastic free.

 

 

2021 AmeriStar Award Winners by Category:

BEVERAGES (ALCOHOLIC)

Estrella Damm Rounded Corner Beer Cartons by Graphic Packaging International

As brands work to reduce or replace plastic within packaging portfolios, Estrella Damm, in partnership with Graphic Packaging International (GPI), saw an opportunity to replace plastic with sustainable paperboard and disrupt the beverage aisle with a striking new silhouette. The Rounded Corner Pack developed with Estrella Damm is made from GPI’s AquaKote™ SUS board, using virgin fibers sourced from responsibly managed forests. The package is 100% recyclable and easily recycled post-use to cater to consumer demand for recyclability. Estrella Damm will replace 100% of its plastic shrink wrap packaging for multipack cans, eliminating 99 tons of plastic annually. The rounded corner design meets the goal of creating a unique shelf impact and produces a tight package.

 

 

BEVERAGES (NON ALCOHOLIC)

Boardio® - The Recyclable Paper-Based Can for Coffee by AR Packaging Systems AB

The Boardio® package is a new sustainable choice, even for sensitive products requiring gas-tight packaging. The Boardio® package contains more than 80% fiber and the use of other materials has been minimized. An ultrathin barrier layer of aluminum foil ensures the coffee stays fresh until used and the same shelf life is achieved as the former packaging. Minimized layers of polyethylene provide tight and safe sealing. The coffee is packed in modified atmosphere and the exact material construction has been fine-tuned to withstand the critical demands during high-altitude transportation. The high fiber content makes the Boardio® package recyclable in the paper stream, in the same way as beverage cartons.

 

 

 

Dura-Lite® Light Weight Packaging for Dairy, Water and Beverage by Altium Packaging LP.

Plastic dairy jugs have been around since the 1970s and have been light-weighted over the years. However, the dairy industry had been “stuck” at a weight hovering around 62g (in some cases lower). Reducing the weight further caused severe issues in the supply chain, such as objectionable denting, crushing, and leaking. A significant development effort needed to be made to get to a new lower weight plateau, which is what was achieved by the Dura-Lite® gallon design. Compared to traditional counterparts, Dura-Lite® reduces plastic resin usage by 5-20% while maintaining or improving strength and performance attributes with no extra resources needed to implement. To date, more than 20 million pounds of virgin plastic has been saved through this patented technology.

 

 

Easy-to-Hold, Easy-to-Pour Large Carbonated Soft Drink Bottle by PepsiCo.

What makes PepsiCo’s patent pending bottle a best-in-class design is its pinch grip that works. The new bottle is much more grip-able than the old bottle because it has a 10.4-inch circumference, compared to 13.4 inches. The working pinch grip was accomplished through numerous rounds of Finite Element Analysis and design iterations by balancing material distribution, blow molding process and fill point management. The new 2-liter bottles have an elongated, sloping, pinch grip that can fit all hand sizes, creating a perfect pouring experience for every consumer. These bottles use 24% less plastic label material than the old design, delivering superior performance with a positive impact on the environment.

 

 

Liquipure™ Ultra Mono-Material Flexible Packaging for Bag-in-Box Beverages by Liquibox

Liquipure™ ultra is the first mono-material bag-in-box flexible package suitable for liquid products requiring moderate to high barrier protection. Liquibox’s new recycle-ready packaging uses advanced resin technology that is ultra-strong to provide reliable product protection, and yet sustainably simple to meet recyclability criteria. The packaging also checks the box for performance, as Liquipure ultra boasts a higher barrier than alternative nylon structures, allowing customers to extend the shelf life of their products. It also meets the mechanical performance standards for beverage bag-in-box packaging, making it ideal for retail, food service or e-commerce use.

 

MUD/WTR: Showcasing a Simple, Elegant Coffee Alternative by TricorBraun

MUD/WTR’s packaging reflects the brand’s ethos: simple, elegant, and “less is more.” To showcase the products, a pair of reusable and recyclable custom tins were designed, topped with snuggly fitted pillow lids, evoking tea tins filled with loose tea leaves. The graphics on the custom tins were printed used lithographic printing and the 100% organic ingredients are listed out for the consumer in a large, readable font. A matte finish was added to the tins to ensure no fingerprints mar the final look as the package sits on the store shelf. The tins and lids are reusable and recyclable, another important factor ensuring the packaging's brand consistency.

 

COSMETICS

Aveda Pyramid Holiday Cartons by Graphic Packaging International

The Aveda pyramid gift carton relies on its unusual shape to be innovative for holiday gift giving. The side-seamed, pyramid-shaped carton features a 1-2-3 style bottom to provide ease-of-use while offering a unique appearance. The cartons are produced on 18pt paperboard sourced from renewable resources and are 100% recyclable. The recycling rate of paper and paperboard in the U.S. today is 68% and consumers understand that paperboard is a highly sustainable packaging material. Aveda uses naturally derived ingredients in their products and is vegan and cruelty free.

 

 

 

ELECTRONICS

Medtronic Glass Component Automation Tote by Prent Corporation

Medtronic was seeking a packaging solution to an outdated transportation and automation tote made from a three-piece, injection-molded system. As such, they approached Prent Corporation with two requirements: Safely and effectively transport 30 fragile, glass components, and seamlessly integrate into the customer’s automation process. The solution was one single part that could function as either the top or bottom of the tote; plus, when interfaced with itself, provided a safe and effective tote. The single, asymmetrical part, when reflected onto itself, is snapped into place, safely housing the fragile glass components. Utilizing tight-fitting radii and challenging drafts, the tote provides sufficient protection for the glass components.

 

FOOD, REFRIDGERATED

Impossible™ Burger Patties in a rPET VSP Tray for Dramatic On-Shelf Appearance with Raised Features to Allow Wrap-Around Decorative Band to Protect Product During Transport by Impossible Foods

A proprietary category-disrupting package for burger patties, sealed in clear barrier film utilizing Vacuum Skin Packaging (VSP) technology to create a dramatic, detailed visual appearance that demonstrates how similar Impossible Foods’ plant-based meat looks to animal-based meat. Specifically, the package is comprised of a thermoformed rPET tray with two burger patties and octagonal patty paper, packaged via VSP with an easy open barrier PE film. Decoration is accomplished by a wrap-around Oriented Polypropylene (OPP) decorative band-label, adhered via ultrasonic technology. The decorative band-label also creates a gap between patties when the trays are stacked on top of each other, preventing rubbing and film breakage during distribution.

 

ThermoBox by Smurfit Kappa North America

ThermoBox is the new way to deliver groceries fresh and chilled at the right temperature. Perfect for meal kits, online grocery dough, and any fresh produce that must be refrigerated. ThermoBox offers customers a sustainable solution that is 100% recyclable, decreasing carbon footprint over an Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) solution. ThermoBox addresses the customers’ most critical concerns while providing an easy to open, recyclable, and 100% paper-based solution. This package is shipped directly to the customer, and all crucial touchpoints from the brand and consumer side are covered: convenience, packaging material, protection, and unboxing experience.

 

FOOD, SHELF STABLE

Boardio® – The Recyclable Paper Bottle for Gum and Confectionery by AR Packaging Systems AB

The Boardio® package is the new sustainable choice for a wide range of foods, including gums and confectionery. The fiber-based and recyclable container can replace many traditional packaging types, such as tin cans, plastic tubs, glass jars, etc. CO2 footprint can be lowered by up to 86%, plastic consumption can be reduced by up to 83% and waste to landfill can be eliminated since the Boardio® package is being verified recyclable in the well-established paper recycling stream. The paper fibers come from sustainably managed forests where more trees are planted than harvested. All pack components of Boardio® are delivered flat to the point-of-filling, enabling at least doubled transport efficiency, substantially saving in-bound and internal transportation, as well as warehousing space.

 

Nestle Tapered Hinged-Lid Confectionary Cartons by Graphic Packaging International

Designed for Nestle’s Aero Bliss and KitKat Senses lines of premium confectionery items, these cartons instantly convey the products are unique and delicious to consumers. A premium appearance is provided using carton shape and print enhancements. The inclusion of a hinged-lid feature for improved open/reclose/dispensing also enriches the experience. Metsä Board, being a premium producer of virgin fiber and a forerunner in sustainability, was chosen as the primary supplier. The board grade and caliper were carefully selected to provide a high-quality printing surface for superior graphics presentation, while supplying enough strength to the package to hold up to compression and other forces throughout the distribution and sales process, as well as the consumer’s package usage.

 

HEALTH AND BEAUTY AIDS

Colgate Elixir by Colgate Palmolive

Colgate Elixir is toothpaste reimagined. This award-winning package uniquely marries a PET bottle with LiquiGlide technology, enabling the Colgate Palmolive team to use PET with more viscous toothpastes. The cap opening was developed to dispense viscous toothpaste on a toothbrush while permitting air into the bottle, allowing smooth outflow of toothpaste. Designed for recyclability, including a thick-walled PET-E cap to provide a premium aesthetic while retaining compatibility with the PET recyclability stream. The label is a combination printed PS label, 4 colors with dual matte and gloss varnishes, as well as two cold foil applications and a reverse printed back label. The bottle itself is produced through a Single Stage ISBM process and assembled with an injection molded PP shoulder shroud and a thick-walled PET-E cap.

 

A Future of Sustainable Smiles - GSK’s 100% Plastic-Free, 100% Recyclable Secondary Packaging Toothbrush Launch by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

GSK’s first ever 100% plastic-free, 100% recyclable secondary packaging toothbrush launch disrupts the toothbrush aisle with an aesthetically pleasing, consumer-friendly, innovative, and fully sustainable concept. This toothbrush twin pack consists of a color-matched, thermoformed PaperFoam tray that is compostable and recyclable in the paper waste stream. It is heat-sealed to a printed, SBS NatraLock® UltraSeal top card engineered to be used as a plastic clamshell replacement, while maximizing shelf appeal and enhancing sustainability. The top card has a die-cut window glued with clear, heat-sealable compostable cellulose transparent film, allowing the consumer to see the product. Finally, on the back of the cellulose tray are two paper-based labels, also plastic-free.

 

 

Pravana Pure Light by Berlin Packaging – Studio One Eleven

Traditional hair color powders come in large, cumbersome tubs with a scoop for dispensing. Pravana heard their stylists’ feedback and worked with Berlin Packaging and their in-house design division, Studio One Eleven, to create a custom package that maximizes time and space while minimizing waste. The package is a space-saving, taller and thinner, easier-to-grip bottle. The designers then added a pour cap with a built-in funnel for a mess-free, accurate pour. A second overcap acts as a dosing cup, adding all-in-one, time-saving convenience. To provide options that appeal to all stylists, the bottle’s opening is still wide enough for a scoop, creating a package that does double duty.

 

MEDICAL DEVICE

Deep Blue Hernia Mesh Strand Package for Sutures by Merrill’s Packaging Inc

Prior to this device, doctors would have to thread several sutures through several needles for one surgery, taking a tremendous amount of time and risking puncture injuries. This package and device, of which the package is part of, aids the doctors in effortlessly extracting the sutures and needles during hernia surgery by organizing the mesh suture strands and needles in a logical fashion, making the device and package of extreme value in the operating room. A side benefit is the strands are much less destructive to the organs they are sewn into, distributing the weight over a wider area than traditional sutures. The packaging also protects the device by passing all ASTM testing and sterilization validations.

 

 

Medical Device Card-Hoop Assembly and Packaging Optimization by Medtronic

This innovative packaging system defines new frontiers in medical device packaging by integrating material, “poka-yoke” design and customer-focused features, enabling the package to act as a value-add to the overall therapy. ClosureFast™ is an industry leader in RF ablation treatment of varicose veins. Devices come in both 60 and 100 cm lengths, with packaging designed to accommodate either length. A single card-hoop assembly was created to contain and protect both 60 and 100 cm devices, with a 47% smaller footprint and an 80% reduction in weight. Additionally, a switch was made from the PET to Natural HDPE. The card-hoop assembly not only improves device protection and containment but offers the surgeon the ability to temporarily contain the device in the card-hoop assembly while in the sterile field.

 

 

Miltenyi CliniMACS Prodigy Set by Nelipak Healthcare Packaging

Nelipak Healthcare Packaging has created an innovative package for a blood management tubing set for its customer Miltenyi Biotec. The thermoformed carrier allows the product to be shipped securely with all the components assembled in the correct order, in the correct place, without damage during transit. The packaging provides clear, error-free application of the tubing set to the CliniMACS Prodigy Instrument speeding up preparation time between batches. A handle is integrated into the design, enabling a single person to remove the entire tubing set with either one or two hands. The parts that need to be removed before use have a different color than the other blister packs.

 

OTHER

Clover Remanufactured Toner Cartridge by Smurfit Kappa North America

This package features a corrugated insert for the manufacturer’s toner cartridges. It replaces the previous packaging, which was two expandable foam inserts. The new packaging helps customers meet their sustainability goal by eliminating non-recyclable packaging, since the packaging is 100% recyclable and requires no glue or tape to assemble. A vital function is that it stays inside the box when the customer removes the product. The insert is designed so the end-user can remove the cartridge from the box, take their old cartridge from their printer, and put the old cartridge in the box to be returned to Clover.

 

PROMOTIONAL/DISPLAY

Sharpie Spinner by Newell Brands

The holiday season is a key selling time for Sharpie® Markers. The Newell Brands packaging team was challenged to innovate the structure, maintain costs, and stay within current footprint. The innovation was the markers spinning within the sealed pack, at shelf. A simple three-piece design was developed after several rounds of ISTA-3A testing to get to a performance level of a smooth spinning tray and overall package performance to survive conditions that would be experienced in transit to store shelves. The interior three-piece design and outer box held to the goals of keeping the overall pack cost-neutral and reducing rigid plastic components by half from the original concept.

 

SAVES FOOD (AGRICULTURE)

Belle Harvest Sustainable Apple Packaging by Graphic Packaging International

The new Belle Harvest cartons are 100% recyclable, produced from renewable resources, and provide a unique retail presentation while offering increased product protection, product visibility and a comfortable handle for consumers to easily carry the package. Belle Harvest partnered with Graphic Packaging International's design team to develop a unique structure using ProducePack™, GPI's new line of custom paperboard produce packaging. The Belle Harvest cartons are produced using GPI's 24pt AquaKote™ Solid Unbleached Sulfate, a board grade that was selected for its excellent strength characteristics and outstanding print quality. This board is made from renewable resources, using fiber harvested from SFI-certified, responsibly managed forests.

 

STUDENT

First Place: Gold Medal Flour from the University of Cincinnati

The goal for this University of Cincinnati student team was to redesign and reposition Gold Medal Flour to reflect and communicate the high-quality claim of the product in the packaging design. The new packaging acts as an effective protection and preservation container for the flour and the overall user experience has been improved. This distinctive and sustainable packaging is made with recycled, hard paperboard. The thicker paperboard prevents the flour from leaking, and the channeled corners act as a spout for easy pouring. The transparency on a side panel allows users to easily measure and see the flour inside the carton. The sliding top provides a more flexible method of opening the package and retrieving the flour. Lastly, the large new “gold medal” on the front of the packaging further implies the high quality of the flour.

 

Second Place: Terra – Nature Made Concept from the University of Cincinnati

NatureMade has been a staple on the shelves of the vitamin aisle for years and has many loyal customers. However, the University of Cincinnati student team noticed that this brand’s products were lacking in solutions for a younger audience that wanted to target specific areas of their health. Terra is a new, youthful line of multivitamins seeking to improve the most important cornerstones of your life. From better sleep to general well-being, Terra is one small step you can take toward creating a more vibrant lifestyle. In addition to caring for your own health, Terra gives back to the earth and is packaged in a 100% biodegradable bottle.

 

Third Place: Design of a Recyclable Kraft Bubble Mailer from Conestoga College

The re-designed and recyclable kraft bubble mailer maintains the original design’s favorable features while addressing its adverse environmental impact. This design features a bubble mailer that is partially glued onto kraft and has perforations along its width on both ends. Consumers can easily separate the components using a perforation along the bubble wrap inside the mailer, leaving a small amount of plastic on the kraft. This allows kraft to be recycled and bubble wrap to be reused. The Conestoga student team believes it would not take much to retrofit current machinery to produce the design. The technology to make mailers and perforated bubble wrap are already available in the market. It is only a matter of integration and development to ensure efficient production.

 

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