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Best in SA packaging shine at Gold Pack Awards 2019

The winners of this year's IPSA Gold Pack Awards, the premier showcase for the South African packaging industry, was announced at Inanda Club in Sandton on 30 October. Dating back to 1973, the annual event celebrates local companies in the packaging industry that are driving innovation and professionalism.

Big wins for Unilever. From left: Bill Marshall, Institute of Packaging of South Africa (IPSA) national secretary with Unilever SA representatives Mmabore Molaba, assistant packaging manager; Sanesh Allopi, packaging manager; Aman Ramdayal, assistant packaging manager and Garth Williams, packaging manager. Image credit: Unilever

This year's judging panel included Andy Rice, Gunnar Sigge, Ralph von Veh, Wendy Knowler, Annabé Pretorius, Shabeer Jhetham and Vanessa von Holdt, all boasting valuable experience in packaging and related industries.

The panel evaluated award nominees on teamwork, co-operation and creative problem-solving, and looked for excellent application and execution of any new, innovative and creative design, marketing and technology applied to packaging in South Africa. It is understood that the concept or technology may not necessarily be original, but it has been used in a manner that makes it exceptional or stand out.

After two full days of judging, all finalists and medal winners were selected. In addition to the coveted IPSA Gold Pack Trophy, a host of Special Judges Special Mention Medals were handed out. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded in each of the product categories, as well as to the best entries across each of the major substrates and special categories.

Big winners on the night were Unilever, which walked off with 4 Gold medals, including recognition for its Sustainable Living Plan; and the Goats do Roam 3l Bag in Box Wine Carton entered by Shave & Gibson Packaging, which scooped the main Gold Pack Trophy and Gold in the Alcoholic Beverages Packaging category and Best in Paper category.

Trophy, Special Awards and Gold medal winners, and reasons for their win are listed below.

IPSA Gold Pack Trophy, Best in Paper (Gold) and Alcoholic Beverages Packaging (Gold)


Entry: Goats do Roam 3l Bag in Box Wine Carton
Entrant: Shave & Gibson Packaging
Convertor: Shave & Gibson Packaging
Brand owner: Fairview Wine Estate


This handbag-shaped carton was designed for the Goats do Roam brand to meet the specific brief to play on the words "bag-in-box". Extraordinary technical development was required to meet the client’s exacting creative requirements. Nothing is standard and a determined ‘can-do’ approach was required to create what appears to be a playful, witty piece of packaging that fits cleverly into the brand’s image and character.

Judges Special Mention Medal (Gold)


Sustainable Living Plan: Unilever South Africa

The way this initiative has been embraced by convertors across the board is impressive, and it's made a major impact on the packaging industry in South Africa.

The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan sets out to decouple the company's growth from its environmental footprint, while increasing its positive social impact. Launched in 2010, the plan has three main goals, one of which is to halve the company's environmental impact by 2030. Unilever was quoted repeatedly in the motivations put forward by the convertors.

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Judges Special Mention: Sustainability (Gold)


Entry: Stamped Corrugated Paper Trays
Entrant: Mpact Limited
Convertor: Mpact Limited
Brand owner: ZZ2 Tomatoes


A home-grown, proudly South-African solution offering a viable alternative to single-use plastic packaging. To keep production energy costs to a minimum, a key design objective was to develop a tray not formed by heat or hot-melt adhesive. These printed corrugated trays substitute single-use plastic trays and are stamped by a simple and energy-efficient process from food-safe papers derived from sustainable fibre sources.

The trays feature corner pleats and serve as effective base protection for fruit prone to bruising during distribution. Globally very few people have dabbled and perfected this production method and the resulting stamped corrugated trays are food safe, 100% recyclable, compostable and biodegradable.

Judges Special Mention: Print Excellence


Entry: The Tempest Gin
Entrant: Glass Decorations
Convertor: Glass Decorations
Brand owner: Bartinney Wine Estate


This pack required some excellent technical and creative work for the bottle decoration to match that of the carton using three different decorating processes. An autumn-purple base vignette coating, fading into a subtle satin gold and natural colour UV organic print and adding silver foiling as a final accessory – all sourced via local suppliers – resulted in this evocative and appealing packaging combination.

Star for Africa (Gold)


The award recognises packaging produced in South Africa specifically for the country's neighbouring states.

Entry: Ideal Mayonnaise Tub 400g
Entrant: Dairypack Tubs
Convertor: Dairypack Tubs
Brand owner: Pangolin Products (Zimbabwe)


Zimbabwe's first mayonnaise in a plastic tub. The 100% label coverage provides oxygen barrier protection, while the widened rim enables a superior foil seal, which extends shelf life. This is essential in a market where demand is highly unpredictable, and the supply chain is rough. The tubs and lids are lightweight and nest compactly for efficient transportation to Zimbabwe, where they are filled. This is preferable to importing blown PET jars or finished product in glass, as done by many competitors.

Substrate Awards


Judging for these categories is more focused on the technical issues and challenges particular to the substrate used for the packaging.

Best in Glass Packaging (Gold)

Entry: The Royal Rhino
Entrant: Consol Glass Pty
Convertor: Consol Glass Pty
Brand owner: Nature's Own Beverages


This packaging was inspired by the rhino and the critical need to protect these animals. Creating this organic, unique bottle posed special challenges. Typically, for cooling purposes in bottle manufacturing, a stipple is used. This industrial note was out of place in a product reflecting our natural heritage.

Instead, the wording 'Royal Rhino' was used on the base edge to serve the same purpose. An embossed rhino is hidden on the base of the bottle, leaving the horn itself completely smooth. The bottle simultaneously echoes the commitment of the convertor and brand owner to sustainability.

Best in Metal Packaging (Gold)

Entry: Brut 120ml Aluminium Aerosol Deodorant
Entrant: Nampak R&D and Unilever
Convertor: Nampak Divfood
Brand owner: Unilever


This light-weighting exercise, benchmarked against Unilever's global standards, required increased extrusion capabilities and also the skilled technical ability of all people involved in the processes. The result is a significant saving of material and a reduced demand on natural resources.

Gold medal category winners


Food packaging

Entry: Ideal Mayonnaise Tub 400g
Entrant: Dairypack Tubs
Convertor: Dairypack Tubs
Brand owner: Pangolin Products (Zimbabwe)

This packaging features full label coverage enabling superior branding. This lightweight polypropylene pack nests compactly for efficient transportation and with its securely recloseable lid is especially appealing for re-use.

Health, Beauty, Medical and Pharmaceutical

Entry: Vaseline Blue Seal Shrink Sleeve Range 250ml
Entrant: Unilever, New Era Labels, Berry Astrapak
Convertor: New Era Labels and Berry Astrapak
Brand owner: Unilever

This packaging was produced in concert with Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan and celebrates eight different countries and ethnic groups. The sleeves were printed in-line with a specialised combination of gravure and flexographic printing.

Household Products

Entry: Sunlight Dishwash 750ml and 400ml
Entrant: Unilever South Africa, Serioplast and Extrupet
Convertor: Serioplast
Brand Owner: Unilever

This bottle, now using 100% rPET, removes 1,800 tonnes of PCR from the waste stream in harmony with Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan. This South African icon and market leader fittingly is leading the way in educating consumers as to the merits of recycling and will surely encourage others to follow and result in even greater environmental benefits.

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Alcoholic Beverages

Entry: The Royal Rhino
Entrant: Consol Glass
Convertor: Consol Glass
Brand owner: Nature's Own Beverages

The exotic elegance of the endangered rhino is magically captured in this beautifully-formed bottle inspired by the rhino horn. With no mid-line, no straight lines and entirely unconventional silhouette, this unique bottle has the stature to convey a powerful message of conservation.

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Entry: Schweppes 200ml sleeve range
Entrant: MCC Label Dbn
Convertor: MCC Label Dbn
Brand owner: Coca-Cola

The full-length shrink-sleeves have been used effectively to create a striking new branding for the range used specifically in the hospitality industry. The move aims to give the range a premium look and encourage sales, increase efficiency and promote product differentiation within the hospitality industry.

Packaging Related

Entry: OctoGrip Lid
Entrant: Contan Buckets & Pails
Convertor: Contan Buckets & Pails

This polypropylene lid for 20L paint buckets, re-closes securely after first opening for colour tinting. The robust tamper band is designed for rough supply chains. After the band is removed, the closure system remains intact with a plug, inner seal and eight sturdy locking tabs securing the lid to prevent accidental spills.

Transit and Secondary

Entry: Mars Royco Conversion to Corrugated Automation
Entrant: Mpact and Mars
Convertor: Mpact
Brand owner: Mars

The result of a collaboration between Mars and Mpact Corrugated to design new retail-ready, wrap-around cartons for Royco products. The cost-saving conversion from carton board to corrugated was achieved with the installation of new Somic automation to erect and auto-pack products on existing lines.

Click here for the full list of Gold Pack Awards 2019 finalists, and Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winners.

About Lauren Hartzenberg

Retail editor and lifestyle contributor at Bizcommunity.com. Cape Town apologist. Food fanatic. Dog mom. Get in touch: lauren@bizcommunity.com
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