Stars galore are born at Starpack 2009

24 Sep 2009

Like athletes in a photo finish it was difficult to separate the Silver and Bronze Star winners from the Gold winners in the race for glory in the Starpack Awards 2009.

Celebrating their 50th anniversary, the Awards were presented during the PPMA Show 2009 at the end of September.  Silver and Bronze winners came up with some stunning solutions across the 16 categories which  included Technical Innovation, Environment, Design and Marketing, Logistic Solutions and the newly introduced Machinery Excellence Award.

Design and Marketing Performance

Brand Design

The Silver Star was presented to Impress Metal Packaging for the UK's first use of embossed print on black lids in the paint market. Used for Crown Paints - Period Colours the metal cans also featured metallic gold printed onto bare tinplate giving a nostalgic eye-catching effect to a premium product.

Impress Metal Packaging also received the Bronze Star for its Innovatively-shaped tinplate aerosol for New Veet® Spray-on Hair Removal Cream from Reckitt Benckiser. But it didn't end there the pack took a Silver Star in Consumer Facing Innovation, sponsored by Packaging Professional, for its excellent shelf appeal and well-executed distortion printing.  A specially developed grade of body plate ensures shape optimisation during the blowing process. The container uses a bag-on-valve to enable the pack to be used at any angle and its ergonomic shape makes the container more comfortable to hold.  

Another Silver winner in Consumer Facing Innovation was Hot Spot used by Pizza Hut from Saica Pack.  Developed to indicate home delivered pizzas were hot, the pizza box includes a circular dot printed on to the corrugated box that changes colour to indicate that the pizza is hot. A target temperature of 40 ºC was set as the trigger to change the colour from grey to pink.

Food Design

CROWN Speciality Packaging was awarded the Silver Star for "The Collection Egg" tin from Cadbury. Already awarded the number one best buy for Easter 2009 by a WHICH magazine independent consumer panel, the attractive pack features a flush fitting inward curl lid into the body sidewall. Its environmental credentials include WRAP targets and the new PAS 2050 conditions promoted by the Carbon Trust.

Bronze also went to CROWN Speciality Packaging for it Marks & Spencer "All Butter Shortbread" tin, while Meridian (Speciality Packaging) was highly commended for its printed carton for a product launch from Speciality Farm Foods. 

Drinks Design

Sponsored by Packaging Today, the Silver Star was won by Alcan Packaging Singen for its Tpod - perforated stickpack concept for a range of premium teas from Bistrozucker Herstellungs und Vertriebsgesellschaft. Featuring a series of perforations and utilising the springback foil development, the clever concept replaces traditional tea bags and doubles as a stirring device. The springback foil allows the pack to regain its shape after filling, while the perforations mean the flavour can be diffused in hot (or cold) water.

Silver was also won by The Edrington Group for the packaging of its new concept Scotch whisky - The Snow Grouse Blended Scotch, the first Scotch intended to be served chilled. The frosted glass bottle, manufactured by O-I Glass, features a see through window: 

water slide transfers are applied to the bottles which are then masked and disk coated using organic paint to achieve an overall etch-effect finish. When the mask is removed, a window reveals a lighter than usual Scotch whisky and a picture of the Snow Grouse in its natural habitat. 

The depth of innovation in the Drinks category meant that a third Silver Star was awarded, this time to Smurfit Kappa Chelmsford for its B-flute presentation pack for the launch of a new bottle shape for Badger Ales (Hall & Woodhouse). Designed to hold 12 different bottled ales the wooden-crate effect pack features real rope handles and is manufactured from 10 components.  Individual parts rest on two blanks, reducing set-up costs and ensuring colour fidelity between the different components.

A Bronze Star was also awarded to Smurfit Kappa Chelmsford for its super lightweight, recycled board crash-lock pack for an Adnams' Champion Beer Selection. The concept also took Bronze in the Environmental Category for New Developments.

CRP Print & Packaging won a Bronze Star for its novel bag-in-box concept in the shape of a handbag for Gallo's White Grenach variety wine.

Health and Beauty Design

A well thought out display for delicate life science products won a Silver Star for Life Technologies GIBCO® cell culture media bottles. The bottles were produced by Graham Packaging Plastics following a three year collaboration process.

The stretch-blow containers are available in three sizes, and are designed for use in sterile conditions under a laminar flow hood.  The design provides improved ergonomics for ‘under the hood' operation, superior handling and storage, easier identification and producing less contamination. The bottles incorporate an angled neck with a wide mouth for easier (and sterile) pipetting and pouring; easy grip lids for one handed opening; and increased stability.

Design house Jones Knowles Ritchie won Silver for its' corrugated E-flute cartons featuring a pinch closure device which are easy to fill and assemble. Holding a range of glass bottles for a young Cornish company's range of organic beauty products, the packs use colour-coded sleeves for each range and tamper evident labels

Bronze Stars were awarded to CROWN Speciality Packaging's lacquered and embossed tins for Jean-Paul Gaultier ‘Solid Perfume Jewels'; and product design house Curventa for the art deco inspired Illamasqua Cosmetics range produced in bespoke, shaped concave plastic packs by HCP Packaging UK.

Luxury Product Design

Two Silver Stars were awarded, going to Chesapeake Branded Packaging for its foil-effect carton for Glenfiddich Whisky Cake; and The Wilkins Group for a dinner party carton display for The Collection by Thorntons.

The use of transparent black ink applied directly to the carton gives the unusual "Gun Metal" background effect to the Glenfiddich Whisky Cake pack. It is enhanced by the addition of matt and gloss varnishes

Thorntons' expensive range of 5 chocolate selections comes in an outer display tray that opens to reveal a choice of five chocolate selection boxes. When laid flat the outer pack forms a tray to create a stunning display for a party or the dinner table.

Bronze went to Ardagh Glass for its redesigned 700ml Windsor 12 year-old whisky from Diageo.

Technical Innovation Awards

Environmental Excellence in Packaging Optimisation, sponsored by WRAP.


Silver was awarded to PortaBrands for its PortaBottle bottle carrier. Deceptively strong the carrier gives significant board savings and has a smaller foot print than many bottle carriers.

Manufactured by Graphic Packaging International/Alexir Packaging, the 6-bottle carrier is manufactured from unbleached kraft paperboard and is claimed to be over nine times stronger than similar bottle carriers. It takes up about 50 per cent less space in transit and in store space, while the footprint of the flat-pack is some 20 per cent less than comparable carry packs. Also winner of Highly Commended Drinks Design.

i2r Packaging Solutions  won Bronze for its Generic Light weight aluminium smooth-wall tray range that provides weight savings of circa 20% compared with traditional foil trays.

Other Bronze winners were the Co-operative's Own Label Bottled Ale Lightweight Glass Initiative and Smurfit Kappa Chelmsford for the Adnams Champion Beer. 

WRAP's Award for Environmental Excellence - New Developments

Silver Star winner Adare's sustainable, recyclable packaging for soft fruits is one of the first fully recyclable soft fruit punnets available on the UK market. Made from recycled non-GM pulp, it is used by Angus Soft Fruits, and features a printed board sleeve incorporating a clear cellulose film window. 

Findus won Bronze for the Young's Eco Flowpack for fresh fish packaging which is produced using 400 micron RPET, while it also uses 20% less packaging material than previously used by sealing in just one layer of material. It is estimated that the change will reduce the amount of plastic being used every year by 57 tonnes.

Technical Development

Marks & Spencer's Grinders crystal clear peel and reveal labels won Silver for Kingsway Printers. The clear ‘no look' label is produced from two layers of clear PET film. The reveal panel is just 50% of the overall label size. The use of "lean" films on both the face and the liner has achieved a reduction of 36% film usage.

A Teamplast Quantum Closure won Silver for Teamplast UK.  Used by Atlantic Grupa Cedevita GO!, this clever closure contains a vitamin powder which, when the closure is turned, forces down a lever to release the powder into natural spring water. The consumer then continues to unscrew and drink.

Bronze went to Benson Group for a beautifully produced carton for Morrisons - Best Berry Pannacotta.                     

Component Development

An EasyLock jar and lid with patented push-on/screw-off threads from Promens won a Silver Star. Said to be the first closure that combines a thread system on both the jar and the closure this allows caps to be snapped into place on the filling line; the jar features several interrupted threads while the threads on the jar are very fine, short and numerous.  The combination provides: easy push-on for the high speed application of lids after filling, easy screw-on / screw-off is provided by the thread of the jar guiding the cap during its rotation on the filling line.

Logistic Packaging Solutions Awards

Split into three categories - Transit Business to Business, Business to Consumer and Retail Ready, Display and Collation - judges were impressed by the both the quality and quantity of entries.

Three Silver Stars were awarded in the Business to Business category.   DS Smith Packaging won for a transit pack for Thorntons' Champagne Bottle which are valued at £60 each.  The corrugated pack protects the product from point of manufacture to store. It unpacks to fold flat for display in store and refolds to be carried home by customer. The base unit is held by two identical fittings, which, once hand assembled, form the top and bottom crumple zones and hold the product securely during transit.

Atlas Packaging won for its Riverford Organics Business Box. The EB flute board outer contains four fruit bowl-sized printed punnets, which are packed two high and divided with a pad that fits into the outer.  The pad had to fit into the outer and be supported by 'wings' designed into the four corners of the pack, this helped support the pad and prevent the fruit from becoming 'bruised'.

Saica Pack won for the Ricoh Athena/Apollo cartridge pack. This fold-over end carton with sloped sides and internal location points eradicates the need for an outer case and is manufactured for kraft paper. It was designed to transport toner cartridges valued at £80 per retail unit. Packaging is reduced by 72,000 kg a year.

In Alcan Packaging sponsored Business to Consumer category, two Silver Stars were awarded. 3MTM Protective Packaging won for a pack with engineered impact absorption built into a one piece thermoformed unit suitable for a wide range of fragile electronic items.  Integrated interlocking bellows ensure all sides close tightly. The triple lock mechanism is easy to use ensuring rapid and secure pack closure, while the inbuilt stacking system means packs can be stacked on top of each other.  

Smurfit Kappa Chelmsford won for ProtektaPak, a one size fits all machine-glued recycled board container which suspends 750ml bottles within the pack to prevent side impact while folding buffers protect the ends. It easily survives the rigours of postal distribution and in tests has survived being dropped from a first storey window. 

Bronze went to Saica Pack for Premier Foods' Avana Wedding & Special Occasion Cake Range. Suitable for 25 cake styles, the one-piece, hand-erected 175gsm White Kraft, 150gsm Recycled Fluting and 280gsm Kraft ‘C' flute pack incorporates a 'drawbridge' feature, to open the front-face of the pack and allows the cake to be slid out without touching the cake.      

Retail Ready and Display & Collation was so well contested that five Silver Stars were awarded. DS Smith Packaging won for a 2-piece RRP for Thorntons 335g Classics. Featuring a tray and easy-open outer for all six packs in the range, the inner pack offers a 50% reduction in material usage. The outer pack has a quick erect crash lock design with a taped seal top.  DS Smith Packaging also won with its E-Flute corrugated countertop transit/display case for Dorset Cereals Cereal Slices. It offers a ‘clean' high sided tray displaying vertically stacked product and a header display that pops up to create good on shelf visibility.

Smurfit Kappa Group UK's RRP for You Are What You Eat - Fresh Berry Snacks from AMS Marketing features bold die-cut curves and an innovative locking device that reduces the tray's use of material by about 18%.

inspirepac won with its Walkers Sensations Retail Ready Shelf and Display Unit which benefits from a tuck-over front edge to provide additional strength.  The top transit section's easy-tear feature means it can be removed easily for display. The case locks directly to shelving systems for stacking in merchandising displays.

Smurfit Kappa Corby RRP for Kerry Foods' Cheestrings is made from solid board for use in the chilled aisles. It features a complex die-cut opening to provide a clean edge outline for the Cheestring logo. Off-set litho printed in four colours, on double white coated recycled solid board, the crash lock base allows the pack to be opened intuitively in just three seconds.

New for 2009 the PPMA-sponsored Machinery Award of Excellence brought Bronze for Newman Labelling Systems' Faulty Label Removal System which provides the pharmaceutical industry with a reliable and efficient means of ensuring that faulty labelling is eliminated, without the waste of rejecting the entire container. A Highly Commended certificate went to Secomak for its Tornado Water Removal System that employs short bursts of directed air and suction to displace and remove water from containers such as cans and pouches.

Designer/Design House of the Year

Crown Speciality Packaging took Silver for its Brown Forman "Jack Daniels Perforated" tin. Judges' commented: "This sleek package creates drama on the shelf through its advanced perforation technique." 

Bronze Star was awarded to StudioDavis for the Ariel Excel Gel Structural Packaging. Judges commented:  "The Pebble Pack is a beautifully designed and well-thought out structural packaging solution for this ground breaking detergent."


  • Starpack 2009 Sponsors and supporters: Waste & Resources Action Programme - overall sponsor; Alcan Packaging Cumbria, a business unit of Alcan Packaging - Food Europe - Gold Sponsor; Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining; PIABC; Accipio Training and Development; PPMA - Processing and Packaging Machinery Association. SUPPORTERS: MPMA - Metal Packaging and Manufacturers Association; Warners (Midland); World Packaging Organisation; Packaging Professional; Packaging Today; Reed Exhibitions & PPMA Show 09. TROPHY DESIGN: Webb Scarlett deVlam.


Further information


Full winners' details including photographs and judges' comments

Starpack Awards

The Packaging Society 

300dpi jpegs of all winning packs available from