Only Second Package to Win PPC President’s and Innovation Awards
Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation earned the top two awards in the 61st annual National Paperboard Packaging Competition presented by the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC), becoming only the second company to win both honors with a single package design.
Competing against more than 240 entries in total, the “Family Time Snacks Perfect Popper” popcorn box, created and manufactured by Smurfit-Stone, won the PPC’s President’s Award and its Innovation Award. The Innovation Award was created in 1994.
“Research data indicated that an overwhelming number of popcorn consumers don’t eat out of the bag because of the mess and inconvenience, instead pouring the product into another container,” said John Riconosciuto, vice president and general manager of Smurfit-Stone’s Consumer Packaging division. “The basic concept of the Family Time Snacks Perfect Popper had a flat paperboard carton with a pouch of microwave popcorn glued inside. The consumer would only need to ‘pop-up’ the carton and cook in the microwave. Then, the carton fills up, the lid peels back and the carton becomes an instant bowl.”
Smurfit-Stone developed a structural design with a leak-tight seal, without compromising the automation, set up, stay up, and overall package functionality. The package is a structural first that effectively meets all the requirements of an extremely demanding microwave popcorn application.
In addition to outstanding package graphics, the unique structure is designed for efficient packaging line performance. The outer carton blank is produced and shipped flat to the customer’s plant, where a modified folder/gluer places the pouch of popcorn inside the blank via a rotary pick-and-place, then folds and glues the carton together. An overwrapper is used in-line to deliver a completely finished product ready to be shipped.
Paperboard was selected as the packaging medium, replacing the popcorn bag, for many reasons, particularly versatility in such a demanding application.
Mark Baker was Smurfit-Stone’s structural designer for the Family Time Perfect Popper, and the package was produced at the company’s Fort Wayne, IN, folding carton facility.
Key judging criteria for the President’s Award included excellence in internal production/converting, excellence in the consumer product company environment, and excellence in the retail consumer environment.For the Innovation Award, entries were judged upon structural integrity and technical excellence.
Smurfit-Stone also earned 2004 National Paperboard Packaging Competition excellence awards in the following categories.
Original Gourmet Cookies -- Angie Learn, structural designer; produced at Fort Wayne, IN
Sugar Foods Crouton Cartons -- Jerry Pfieffer, structural designer; produced at Renton, WA
Utz Chocolate Covered Pretzels -- Angie Learn, structural designer; produced at Valley Forge, PA
Birds Eye Veggies Rock! -- Angie Learn, structural designer; produced at Valley Forge, PA
Mrs. Smith’s Premium Pie Slice Two Pack -- Al Brandenburger, structural designer; produced at Stone Mountain, GA
Continental Mills 5 for 1 Recipe Carton -- Jerry Pfieffer, structural designer; produced at Renton, WA
Spalding Coca-Cola Fountain -- Rich Hall, structural designer; Rod Guest, graphic designer; produced at Valley Forge, PA
Paperboard Not Packaged
SBH Marketing Inc., Boxcard -- Mark Baker, structural designer; Janet Szabo, graphic designer; produced at Fort Wayne, IN
Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (Nasdaq: SSCC) is the industry’s leading manufacturer of paperboard and paper-based packaging. Smurfit-Stone is a leading producer of containerboard, including white top linerboard and recycled medium; corrugated containers; point-of-purchase displays; multiwall and specialty bags; clay-coated recycled boxboard; and is the world’s largest collector and marketer or recovered fiber. In addition, Smurfit-Stone is a leading producer of solid bleached sulfate, folding cartons, flexible packaging, and labels. The company operates approximately 250 facilities, located primarily in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and employs approximately 35,000 people.
The Paperboard Packaging Council (www.ppcnet.org) is a leading trade association serving converters and suppliers of all forms of paperboard packaging, including folding cartons, rigid boxes, paper cylinders, and laminated small-flute containers.