Can-Do Cartons

Bourbon Street still rocks at night. Walking to dinner at Antoine's, attendees at the 2008 Spring Meeting of the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) were treated to the music of a marching band, jazz style. But what about the paperboard industry itself? Upbeat or downbeat? On the first morning of the meeting, held April 2-4 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, several experts offered their opinions.

Incoming PPC chairman Tony Petrelli welcomed participants by cautioning the industry must continue to update itself in the way it does business and citing the challenges of globalization, consolidation, and the environment. On this last topic, PPC is initiating a sustainability awareness campaign to stress the recyclability of paperboard and correct what it says is misinformation about the industry and its positive effect on forestry.

RISI economist Ken Waghorne predicted the current downturn will last into 2009 “but no more than six quarters.” He said carton tonnage saw no growth in 2007, and RISI expects a 1.2% decline in 2008.

Representing the Inst. for Trend Research, Alan Beaulieu said the economy is not contracting, it is growing — although slowly. This is not a recession, he said, but one is coming; 2009 will be bad, and 2010 will be worse. He advises firms to keep cash on hand, avoid expansion, and find a way to do business in largely unaffected areas, including healthcare practices and leisure.

Deutsche Bank's Mark Wilde agrees we're not yet in a recession but said the current economic problems affect this industry, e.g., ripples from housing declines impact the use of corrugated.

Other sessions covered Value Creation; Consumers' Views on Green Packaging; Technology Trends; Strategy and Critical Thinking; and Sales/Marketing Tools.

Prize Packages

An awards banquet included the presentation of the winners in the National Paperboard Packaging Competition. Winners are selected for excellence in each of three main stages of the value chain: in the package production process by converters; in the filling, storage, and distribution process by goods producers; and in the end-use environments of retailers and consumers.

The entry with the highest number of total points earns the President's Award, which this year went to All Packaging Co., Aurora, CO, for the Brain Toniq 4 pack, in the Beverages category. The carton uses a single-row design that encapsulates two inner cans around the curve of two outer cans, increasing shelf appeal. The large “IQ” die-cut provides immediate clarity of the package and the product while adding visual interest. The closure tabs are bent at 90-deg angles and lock securely behind the two outer cans, offering a simple but secure assembly.

An entry perforation at the top allows consumers to remove one can at a time without destroying the package. The four-pack fits into groupings of six in standard 24-pack beverage trays.

Innovation and Luxury

The Innovation Award recognizes outstanding design based upon structural integrity and the application of materials, coatings, laminates, and other processes that aid the superior function of the product. This year's winner, the Lexus USB Mailer, came from the Materials/Process Application category.

Great Western Industries, Dallas, TX, created this paperboard “wallet” for Rapp Collins Worldwide, which wanted to send a premium promotional mailing with the look and feel of suede to a select group of Lexus owners. The mailer's structural design needed to accommodate a USB drive that would arrive undamaged after mailing. Using 12-pt board and VelveKote (soft-touch coating), the converter applies a “double bump” of a soft-coat ink to give the suede-like feel. Hot stamping complements the mailer's luxury look.

For more information and a complete list of the 2008 awards, visit www.ppcnet.org.


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