Winning packaging


Each year, countless new types of packaging are launched on the market. If they have been developed in a particularly clever, sustainable or appealing way, they can be entered for a packaging award.

The award ceremonies are organised by the respective national association (in Switzerland, the SVI, in Germany, the DVI). If packaging wins a local award, it qualifies for entry to the WorldStar Award organised by the World Packaging Organisation (WPO). This year, as Head of Packaging Development at Mibelle Group Personal Care, I was asked to join the main jury for the German Packaging Award. Of course, I was happy to accept. After all, it’s always exciting to take a look behind the scenes and to actually experience live the announcement of the winners.

The packaging entered was judged at the trade fair in Nuremberg. All 200 samples from eight countries were set up in a huge room, sorted into categories and a Brief description provided. 34 winners then had to be chosen from these 200 exhibits in ten categories.

The close scrutiny of a distinguished professional and main jury 

The packaging, which largely came from the categories “Functionality & convenience” and “Designing & processing”, was first subject to the critical eye of the professional jury, which included representatives from trade associations of the materials industry. A main jury, consisting of a wide range of packaging experts, high-school professors, designers, trademark owners and commercial enterprises, then took another very careful look at the samples/models.

Choosing the winners

There are two stages to the judging. In the first stage, the professional jury evaluates all packaging. It’s sometimes difficult to understand the new development on the basis of the description provided. However, the experts know the market best and are able to evaluate the level of innovation of an entry. They then present their results to the main jury. In the second stage, it’s the turn of the main jury, of which I was a part. We again examined all packaging, category by category, and made a shortlist of packaging that would be considered for an award. Although there were generally several awards per category, it was often difficult to make a decision. Due to the heterogeneous composition of the jury, there were lots of differing opinions and lively discussions. However, at the end of the day, the decision was always made by majority. A short review text was then written for each winning packaging, explaining the reasons for the decision. You can see the 2016 winners here.

Award-winning Mibelle Group packaging

Thanks to our innovative packaging specialists, the Mibelle Group has already won multiple packaging awards, for example, for the innovative “refillable jar” for the I am Face Q10 day cream in 2012, for the “M Plus Oexo Power” spray bottle in the Sustainability category in 2015, and for the “smartSlide” closure in the Technology category in 2016.

Irrespective of who wins, such an event clearly demonstrates the diversity of packaging applications and the creativity that goes into solving problems that we didn’t even know existed. An ingenious box for transporting a joint of beef stands alongside the latest development for a bioplastic film; eye-catching solutions for displaying goods alongside prototypes with printed electronics.

The “Young talent” category was also particularly interesting and offers students the opportunity to present their ideas. My favourite was “Tragweite“. This is a new packaging for potting soil that transforms the concept of “I am buying 20l of potting soil” into “I am buying a green balcony”. Once again, this shows that the packaging also maketh the product!

This short YouTube film (in german) provides a quick look behind the scenes of the German Packaging Award.