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Packaging design specialist, Pillbox Design, crowned King of the Jungle after winning the Lions’ Lair

Packaging design specialist, Pillbox Design, was crowned King of the Jungle after winning the Lions’ Lair, a Dragons’ Den inspired contest at this year’s PACKAGING INNOVATIONS London show.

The panel of expert judges (lions) included Ian Morris, Training Manager at The Packaging Society, Alison Vincent, Packaging Development Consultant at AVA Packaging and Packaging News Feature Editor, Philip Chadwick.

Pillbox was the last of the four competitors to enter the Lair. The company pitched an innovative concept called Stepbox – which consists of shelf ready trays that lift product up, displaying it on gradually increasing steps. The step mechanism is activated before placing the tray on the shelf to achieve shelf standout.

On winning the accolade, Duncan Robinson, Managing Director of Pillbox Design, commented: "It’s great to win Lions’ Lair with another innovative product this year. Stepbox is simple, effective and a great way to give products added shelf impact."

The three other companies who took part in the competition included Esko, Tinware Direct and Bio Resin. Esko took on the Lions with its WebCenter 3D Viewer. WebCenter is a unique and powerful web-based platform that manages pre-production approval and project life cycle. The high-resolution 3D Viewer allows to view, markup and approve CAD files, PDF files and image files in a browser.

"Congratulations to Pillbox, one of our valued customers," comments Paul Bates, Esko UK and Eire Business Manager. "We are very pleased to see that our software helps them produce amazing and innovative packaging designs!"

Tinware Direct pitched PRESSITIN, a manual sealing tin can, which allows you to seal a can with a simple, but ingenious push-on closure.

Bio Resin presented a new sustainable material for injection molding and sheet/thermoforming applications, combing polypropylene with fibers from chicken feathers. Bio Resin also pitched thermoformed trays made from a PHA-based resin. These are totally renewable, biodegradable and home-compostable making them perfect for bakery, confectionery, green produce and meat trays.

The Lions’ Lair contestants battled it out in front of a prestigious and packed audience, while the lions fiercely questioned them before everyone decided on a winner. Philip Chadwick judging the contest, said: "Congratulations to Pillbox Design for winning this year’s Lions’ Lair with their Stepbox concept, it was a worthy winner. I have to admit my vote actually went to Tinware Direct for its manually sealing tin can – PRESSITIN. Guy Grumbridge was passionate about his development, which was pitched at small users of tins and could work well to package products ranging from toys to pasta. I also have a soft spot for the humble tin can and it struck me that the product had life beyond its original purpose – it fits in with the ‘reuse’ mantra."

PACKAGING INNOVATIONS London 2012 reported a record attendance over the two days, with packaging buyers from major names such as, Estée Lauder, Manchester United, Sainsbury’s, Stella McCartney, Waitrose, Lush, Bacardi and Tesco attending.

The 2013 show will take place on 1 & 2 October and is expected to be bigger than ever with a new area added to the floor plan.

The next easyFairs event will be PACKAGING INNOVATIONS taking place in Birmingham’s NEC on Wednesday 27 & Thursday 28 February 2013.

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