Smallgoods, ready meals, lobster and fresh produce packaging designs take centre stage

With the world of packaging design constantly evolving it was encouraging to see packaging technologists and designers being recognised for remarkable innovations at the 2020 Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design of the Year Awards.

Nerida Kelton

By Australian Institute of Packaging Executive Director Nerida Kelton MAIP.

Taking centre-stage were unique smallgoods, ready meals, lobster and fresh produce packs that incorporate innovative circular design elements with functional and intuitive design.

Packaging Innovation Design of the Year Award – Food Category

The Packaging Innovation Design of the Year Award – Food Category has been established to recognise organisations that have designed innovative packaging and/or materials, within food packaging and processing including fresh, frozen or other. All entries were also judged on Sustainable Packaging Design Considerations and what packaging changes they are undertaking to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

Planet Protector Packaging was awarded the Gold Award for the innovative Lobster Protector.

Planet Protector Packaging was awarded the Gold Award for the innovative Lobster Protector. The uniquely designed Lobster Protector packaging is a flat-packed, recyclable, biodegradable, renewable and compostable solution made from 100 per cent food safe materials. This is the first time this has ever been achieved in the seafood industry. The packaging design consists of three key components – that being a wool liner, a fibreboard insert and a corrugated carton with a unique coating to make the carton water resistant. The Lobster Protector is 100 per cent certified food safe and is 100 per cent recyclable and biodegradable, with the critical wool liner compostable (even home compostable). There are no plastic components in this solution.

Disruptive Packaging was awarded a Silver Award for Uniqcor for cold chain environments.

Disruptive Packaging was awarded a Silver Award for Uniqcor for cold chain environments. The key challenge with transporting fruits, vegetables and seafood in cold chain is to maintain structural integrity in the box so that the produce does not get damaged. Uniqcor has been designed with advanced structural strength which allows the packs to be reused up to seven times and are 100 per cent waterproof. The Uniqcor is an environmentally friendly range of food packaging containers that are offered as an alternative to conventional cold chain packaging made from waxed cardboard or Polystyrene.  A stand-out feature is the magazine level print quality of the packaging which allows customers to use the same packs all the way to the end user.

Platypus Print Packaging was also awarded a Silver Award for the Youfoodz Meal Kit.

Platypus Print Packaging was also awarded a Silver Award for the Youfoodz Meal Kit which takes the form of a small suitcase style product, with one of the pieces having a dual purpose converting into a recipe tent card. The packaging has multiple ingredients combined into one kit to be able to prepare a home cooked meal easily. The packaging houses a product which by design eliminates food waste. The exact portion of ingredients is provided to the consumer in the kit style package. The packaging substrate is made from softwood fibres, suitable for refrigeration. As such the consumer can keep the ingredient together in the kit until ready for use. This reduces the likelihood of waste and improves shelf life. The two-piece design reduces the amount of pre-consumer waste and the packaging is 100 per cent recyclable through kerbside collection.

Primo Foods was awarded a Special Commendation for the Red Range Slice Pack.

Primo Foods was awarded a Special Commendation for the Red Range Slice Pack. Primo replaced the packaging of their Red Range Slice Pack products with a smaller and universally sized shelf ready carton made from 100 per cent recycled cardboard. Previously the Red Range products were displayed on shelf via a plastic tray which allows the packs to stand up. These packs, on the plastic display tray, were packed inside larger cartons at different sizes and with varying percentage of virgin kraft board. Removing the plastic display trays was the pinnacle of this improvement. By removing the trays, the carton was able to be designed smaller, which in turn allow for carton size standardisation and for better pallet utilisation. This change saw the reduction of plastic by 99 tonnes due to removal of trays and the reduction of carton weight by 171 tonnes due to using a smaller size carton across the range. Because the new cartons were smaller, more cartons were able to be stacked onto a pallet. This in turns allowed for a reduction in the number of pallets that needed to be handled through the supply chain every year. The new cartons are made from 100 per cent recycled cardboard.

The recurring theme across all packs is that the packaging technologists and designers considered functionality, intuitive and accessible design features, fit-for-purpose principles and actively moved towards more sustainable packaging with improved on-pack communication for consumers.

Now eligible for the prestigious WorldStar Packaging Awards we can’t wait to see these companies receive global recognition for their unique, innovative and sustainable packaging designs.

About Nerida Kelton MAIP

Nerida Kelton MAIP is the Executive Director for the Australian Institute of Packaging and the ANZ Board member for the World Packaging Organisation. She is also a Member of the International Packaging Press Organisation (IPPO).

She has worked in the Packaging industry for over 22 years and holds a position on the Department of Environment and Energy’s National Food Waste Strategy Steering Committee and is the AIP lead for the Save Food Packaging Consortium project within the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre. She is committed to helping the packaging industry understand the role that packaging plays in minimising food waste and to also support recognition of brands that are designing innovative Save Food Packaging. Nerida is also passionate about helping to educate and train packaging professionals about the importance of sustainable and circular packaging design and recognising best practice in this area.

About Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP)

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) is the peak professional body for packaging education and training in Australasia; helping to shape the careers of generations of packaging professionals – from packaging technologists to international packaging business leaders along with a host of people in associated disciplines – sales and marketing, purchasing, production and environment.

The AIP was founded in 1963 in response to a need for packaging technologists to interact and provide a professional identity for individuals within the packaging industry. Having served the industry for over 55 years the AIP is the only professional body designed to provide professional and personal development to all levels of the packaging industry; educational offerings include the Diploma in Packaging Technology, the Certificate in Packaging, the Master in Food & Packaging Innovation, Certified Packaging Professional (CPP) Designation, Fundamentals of Packaging Technology course, half-day training courses, conferences, technical forums, site visits, Influential Women’s Mentoring program, internship program and more. The AIP covers Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia.

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