'The standard of entries was quite exceptional', says Tony Woods, Director of the UK Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association (MPMA). Discussing the Best in Metal Awards that were held towards the end of 2006, Woods adds, 'The Ballantine's hip flask shows what can be achieved in metal packaging'.
Winner of the overall Supreme Gold Award and Gold Award in the Consumer Appeal category, the flask was made by CROWN Speciality Packaging for Chivas Brothers, based in Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, and designed by the French company Hot Shop.
The design includes the use of pearlescent ink to create depth, plus a new Soft Touch varnish to complement the pillow embossing - which at 3mm is over five times the normal level of emboss on a standard spirits tin. The effect is enhanced by blind emboss stitching.
Other winners include the Club luncheon meat can made by Impress Metal Packaging, in Deventer, in the Netherlands. The pack moves away from the standard three-piece steel can to a two-piece aluminium can.
'This was the most technical entry. [The can] is a hard shape to form from a single flat piece of aluminium,' explains Woods.
For the first time, the awards included a sustainability category, with three highly recommended entries - lightweight steel containers for Cadbury biscuits, nestable steel pails for paint from Akzo Nobel Decorative Coatings and the use of squat beverage cans for food snacks by Zeina Foods in Belgium.