The Weidenhammer Packaging Group (WPG) has won the German Packaging Award 2011 in the "Sales Packaging" category. The German Packaging Institute presented the award at the Brau Beviale in Nuremberg for the PermaSafe seafood product packaging produced for WPG customer Appel Feinkost. The judges based their decision on the "functional advantages of this packaging, the innovation and the possibilities in packaging design." PermaSafe was specially developed by WPG for sterilised and pasteurised foods. The "reinvention of the metal can" offers the advantages of plastic packaging to the market segment for preserved food, which has been dominated almost exclusively by glass and tinplate cans.
Since 1963, the German Packaging Institute (dvi) has been honouring innovative packaging concepts each year in a competition that is open to all industry sectors and includes all materials. The winners of the international competition automatically qualify for the WorldStar Packaging Award presented by the World Packaging Organisation (WPO). The theme for this year’s German Packaging Award focused on "Alternative concepts. Intelligent solutions. Innovative developments." Some 250 entries were evaluated by the judges. Only seven innovative packaging solutions in the "Sales Packaging" category were chosen for awards by the dvi – including the PermaSafe solution manufactured by WPG.
WPG Sales Director Andreas Rothschink explained: "We are delighted and very proud to receive this award. A German Packaging Award is not something that is presented every day. In a sense, the judges’ decision confirmed what we often hear from our customers. There is a great market need for alternative packaging solutions that combine outstanding product safety with innovative design options. PermaSafe offers a perfect combination of both – along with a number of consumer benefits."
Optimal protection for perishable products
Developed and patented by WPG, PermaSafe now makes it possible to market pasteurised and sterilised products (canned foods) in high-quality plastic packaging. The shelf life of products packed in PermaSafe is essentially the same as the shelf life for canned products packed in glass or tinplate. In contrast to conventional uniform packaging, PermaSafe packaging can be individually designed to attract more attention at the point-of-sale. Up to 90 per cent lighter than glass, PermaSafe packaging is microwaveable and resealable. Other consumer benefits include easier opening of the package.
These positive factors convinced Weidenhammer customer Appel. The gourmet food manufacturer started selling its new Snacks & Salads and herring fillet products in WPG PermaSafe plastic trays in July 2011. Appel and Weidenhammer worked in close cooperation on the development of the dvi award-winning packaging. The exquisitely-labelled PermaSafe tray is manufactured using an injection-moulding process. The packaging features an easy-to-open peel-off foil and a resealable lid – two major improvements over conventional tinplate packaging.
Functionality and design benefits
Commenting on their decision, the dvi judges emphasised the outstanding packaging functionality and design. For the first time, it is possible "to pack products such as canned fish in an injection moulded dish." The new development enables "the production of appealingly labelled plastic dishes with high-quality oxygen barrier."
The fresh design and added convenience of the WPG solution is appreciated by consumers. In early 2012, Appel plans to start packaging another product range in PermaSafe. Rothschink sees this as a positive sign: "Our new packaging design has been widely accepted by retailers as well as by consumers. High quality labelling and practical packaging solutions are in vogue. Consumer trends clearly indicate a preference for smaller portions and convenience products. This is where we see great potential for PermaSafe."