Awards for Smart Packaging: from QR and NFC to a Worldstar winning antimicrobial CRYOVAC material

SEE® (formerly Sealed Air), a longstanding AIPIA member has been recognized by the World Packaging Association (WPO) with a 2024 WorldStar Packaging Award in the food category for its CRYOVAC® brand Darfresh® mono-PET rollstock. The WorldStar competition recognizes advanced packaging design and technology and is the pre-eminent international packaging industry award. 

Developed for JBS Foods Australia to keep the company’s Swift brand lamb cutlets fresh using packaging that’s recyclable by the consumer, SEE’s latest CRYOVAC® material leverages specially formulated high-barrier top and bottom webs to create a vacuum skin that fits around the product, leading to less waste across the supply chain, it says.

The tamper-evident clear pack, which allows consumers to see both sides of the product, is designed to prevent physical and microbial spoilage and deliver an extended fresh-chilled shelf life of 18 days, according to the company. The lid film is designed for recycling.

JBS Foods’ switch to this mono-PET material has enabled the recovery of more than 60,000kg of packaging through council curbside collection programs in Australia. SEE’s optimization of the pack design has resulted in reduced plastic consumption of 5,000kg per annum, it claims.

In addition the rollstock earned gold in the food packaging category and silver in the sustainable packaging category at the 2023 Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design Awards. 

Elsewhere, California-based Bumble Bee Seafoods has featured QR coding as part of its brand reinvention journey. That includes the development of a new brand identity and packaging design, recently announced as the winner of Chief Marketer's 2023 Pro Award for Best Package Design.

The iconic seafood company, which has existed for 120 years, continues its reinvention efforts with a unique new brand identity and modern updates using connected features via the QR codes to further enhance its product packaging design.

"Recognizing the nature of an aging category, Bumble Bee Seafoods has worked to stand out against a literal sea of sameness with a focus on appealing to the next generation. Our new pouch design, complete with modern recipes that jump off the page and QR links to the recipes, helped to improve purchase intent in consumer testing," said Dana Kowal, brand marketing director at Bumble Bee. 

While, at the end of last year, Pentawards announced several winners in its Brand Identity & Connected Packaging category, including an AR experience activated via an NFC tag on Diagio’s premium Johnnie Walker Blue Label brand. The company worked with creative packaging design studio Butterfly Cannon to win a Gold Award

Each of the 10 bottles in the Cities of the Future 2220 series depicts a different locale, including Taipei, Berlin, London and even a future settlement on Mars. By scanning the NFC chip in the label, customers are able to explore a vibrant society that has embraced new scientific developments to unlock humanity’s creative potential, the campaign claims.

“The concept delivers brilliantly on our key message of the rarity and extraordinary quality credentials of Johnnie Walker Blue Label. The stunning design communicates this on pack in a way that speaks our target consumers’ language, whilst achieving great on-shelf standout and luxury craft cues,” said Jeremy Lindley, global design director at Diageo

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