PPC Names Winners of 2021 Packaging Competition

The Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) has announced the top winners of its 78th annual North American Paperboard Packaging Competition. These folding cartons and rigid boxes represent some of the best paperboard packaging manufactured by North American converters over the past year.

Paperboard Package of the Year
Kiehl’s – Advent Calendar
Submitted by JohnsByrne Company

Kiehl’s annual advent calendar is one of L’Oreal’s most anticipated holiday releases, often selling out in a matter of days. For the 2020 edition, Kiehl’s challenged JohnsByrne Company to create a new design that offered a premium unboxing experience and eliminated the use of plastic. Moving away from the traditional plastic vacuum-formed tray and pop-up style, this design features a 100% paper-based rigid outer structure that houses 24 snugly-packed straight-tuck folding cartons containing product. The outcome is a beautifully compact and 100% recyclable box that opens into a shelf-ready storybook display.

Folding Carton of the Year
Goose Island Birthday Bourbon County Brand Stout
Submitted by the Accord Carton Company

Accord Carton Company’s design for Goose Island Birthday Bourbon Stout offers a premium brand experience that perfectly reflects consumers’ high expectations of the limited release beer inside. Structurally, the carton offers a dramatic opening experience with a “fold-back” reveal of the bottle. A front pull-tab with reverse cuts achieves the peel-back effect while retaining the continuity of the outside graphics and avoiding a visible perforation pattern. Visually, the gold foil and glass UV stamping capture the consumer’s eye, while soft touch coating and embossing add a premium, velvety feel to the carton when held in hand. The structure combined with specialty finishings makes for a distinctive and gift-worthy beer package design.

Rigid Box of the Year
Cincoro Tequila
Submitted by Taylor Box Company

Take one look at Taylor Box’s Cincoro Tequila, and you’ll understand that providing luxurious, premium packaging was the goal. Made specifically for a VIP audience of influencers within the professional sports industry, the box delivered a “wow factor” with the intricately designed, full-sized bellyband, the distinct and tall shape of the box, the gold metallic foil stamping, and the custom acrylic bottle stabilizer. The black and gold design includes the Cincoro logo throughout, branding the product with effortless sophistication.

Sustainability Award of the Year
CanCollar<sup>®</sup> Family
Submitted by WestRock

Designed to replace hard-to-recycle and increasingly banned single-use plastic rings and LDPE shrink film, CanCollar<sup>®</sup> not only bypasses the plastic, it’s also entirely glue free. Instead, it relies on both a proprietary tooth design to secure the cans as well as a stiff, tear-resistant substrate that provides superior can retention and pack performance compared with competitive alternatives. Converted on WestRock’s CanCollar Fortuna™ packaging machinery platform, this design not only offers brands a robust, sturdy, and surprisingly minimalistic canned beverage solution, it allows them to roll it out at scale.

Innovation Award of the Year
Corona Extra South America — Circular Packaging
Submitted by Accord Carton Company

While Accord Carton Company’s Corona Extra six-pack carrier appears to be made from a regular uncoated stock, the board is comprised of barley straw, a byproduct of the beer-making process that is normally burned or discarded. For three years, Corona Extra’s parent company, AB InBev, worked alongside their partner, Sustainable Fiber Technologies, to hone and create a new process for turning fragile straw into a durable fiber that could be used to make paperboard. During the testing phase, the cartons miraculously withstood being bent, torn, pulled, dropped, vibrated and drenched in water, proving that barley straw has what it takes to be a durable and sustainable substrate.

Digital Application of the Year
MilkBone Custom Cartons
Submitted by Zumbiel Packaging

MilkBone went above and beyond to offer customized, digitally printed dog treat cartons that featured consumers’ very own beloved pets. In addition to working with MilkBone to create an interactive portal for consumers to upload their custom dog photos, Zumbiel designed several static and variable graphic design elements for the cartons. A testament to the novelty of the product and the excellent use of digital printing, the dog treat cartons even found their way on “The Today Show.” Considering the buzz on TV and MilkBone’s social media channels, these custom cartons prove that when you combine beloved dogs with clever omnichannel marketing, anything is possible.

Richard DePaul Award for Creative Design & Converting
Box in a Box
Submitted by TPC Printing & Packaging

Named after the late Dick DePaul, an industry veteran who judged PPC’s competition for many years, this award recognizes exciting and unusual structural design. Featuring 12 structures within one compact package, TPC Printing & Packaging’s Box in a Box would certainly have caught Dick’s attention. In addition to the multifaceted nesting design, this promotional piece features silk screen printing, film lamination, Scodix digital polymer and foil, Ecoshine foil, and cast and cure film.

Judges’ Award
Eco-Pi Urine Sample Collector
Submitted by Graphic Packaging International

With Eco-Pi, Graphic Packaging International harnessed its expertise in pressed paperboard trays to expand into a new market: the health care sector. Eco-Pi, an innovative, clam-shaped pressed paperboard funnel, offers women a sanitary and dignified way to collect urine samples. The design includes a specimen cup with a friction fit aperture as well as a convenient, hygienic handle. Not only does Eco-Pi address a long-time frustration for female patients, it’s also a sustainable paperboard alternative to plastic-based collection methods. Since the medical field generates nearly five million tons of plastic waste each year, Eco-Pi is certainly a welcomed solution.

Judges’ Award
Carmex<sup>®</sup> Mini’s Formed Tray Multi-Pack
Submitted by Colbert Packaging Corporation

Combining both innovation and sustainability, Colbert Packaging’s Carmex<sup>®</sup> Formed Tray offers a glimpse into the future of secondary packaging. By replacing a previous “plastic bubble” blister design with a unique 100% paperboard solution, the new iteration clearly delivers on Carmex’s goal of finding a more youth-driven, consumer-appealing, and earth-friendly packaging solution.

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