The winners of the best can, glass, carton, bottle in PET and packaging design categories at this year’s World Beverage Innovation Awards – help at Drinktec in Munich in September – highlight the breadth of innovation across the beverage packaging industry.
The halls of Drinktec were awash with companies trying to make PET bottles lighter and glass bottle filling quicker. In the best bottle in glass category, Ardagh Group triumphed with its limited-edition Absolut Rainbow bottle design, which celebrates the Swedish vodka brand’s strong affinity with the LGBT community. The bottle features an iconic brushstroke-style rainbow and is emblazoned with the words ‘taking pride in diversity’. Absolut’s relationship with the LGBT community dates back to its very beginnings in the clubs of New York.
It was one of two Ardagh designs shortlisted in the category, along with its redesign of the Gordon’s Gin bottle, and was joined by CAPI’s lemongrass and ginger mineral water variant. The soft drink, which has a light and crisp taste and is free from sugar, is packaged in a distinctively shaped round bottle.
In the best bottle in PET/PE category, the focus was on convenience and elegance. Two Italian companies – SMI and PET Engineering – demonstrated how PET and PE can be used to mimic glass and add a premium touch to plastic bottles. SMI created a PET bottle for Alkalive sparkling water that combines all the advantages of the ductile and flexible PET material with the strong, appealing image of water; while PET Engineering has developed a bottle called Fontevita as part of its Luxo range for the horeca sector that took the category’s top prize.
Also in best bottle in PET/PE were Krones’ memorable Fruit2go bottle design for German beverage company Franken Brunnen, plus PEF from Synvina – a 100% bio-based polyester that is chemically similar to PET but with improved CO2 and O2 barrier protection.
Elsewhere, in the best carton category, there was a variety of finalists that demonstrated why carton packaging and stand-up pouches are so popular.
SIG Combibloc won for its Signature Pack – the world’s first aseptic carton pack linked to 100% renewable plant-based materials – but it faced stiff competition in terms of cartons from the likes of API Group with its new gift carton for Cîroc ultra-premium vodka.
IPI celebrated becoming a finalist with its disruptive Libra cartons, which it described as ‘the perfect blend of shape, appeal and functionality’, while the similarly named API Group featured for a second time thanks to its Taittinger gift box that utilises Diamond lens technology for a stunning aesthetic appeal.
In pouches, Uni Packaging worked with Ice & Co to develop packaging for its Ice & Easy frozen alcohol slushies.
Crown Packaging won the best can or alubottle category for its Crown Islands beer range – an innovative concept that connects beer with music. Also in this category, Montebello Packaging’s custom ‘UShape’ bottle for dry pear cider impressed our elite judging panel, while Ardagh Group’s Minor Figures Cold Brew Nitro Coffee made nitrogen-infused coffee available in a ready-to-drink form.
Finally, in the fiercely competitive best packaging design or label category, PepsiCo triumphed for its Lifewtr bottles, which worked with artists to bring an eye-catching dimension to each design.
Strrd – a range of flavour mixes for a variety of beverages developed in the Netherlands – also made an appearance on the shortlist for best packaging design or label. Consumers simply twist off the lid and pour the flavour mix into spirits, soft drinks, beer, coffee and more.
Ecolean developed innovative packaging for MBWS Frozen Cocktails which it said were “perfect to tempt millennials craving for unexpected experiences”, while Montebello Packaging made a second appearance with its UShape bottles for the work it did with energy brand Panther.
Another bottle from premium packaging company PET Engineering – this time Nova, a series of sleek designs for carbonated products like beer, soda and sparkling water – and Thirsty Plant also made the shortlist for its Damn-7 Pack consisting of seven IPAs in an ice-ready bucket that, once emptied, turns into a bucket that you can wear on your head… yes, you did read that correctly.
The best packaging design or label category was rounded off by Jeeva Natural UK, which made the shortlist thanks to its Premium Organic King Coconut Water and both body labels and neck labels that highlight the brand’s commitment to nature, and in particular the regal king coconuts that go into every bottle.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019