Triumph for Bowler at Gold Pack 2015


Gold Pack Trophy winner – The range of tubes produced by Bowler Plastics for Aerosol & Cosmetic Works was adjudged the overall winner at Gold Pack 2015. ACW had long wanted to fully utilise photos for these products and were finally able to launch their ‘Baby Therapy’ range into a number of major retailers using them. High-resolution photo images combined with subtle colours make for a pack that they are confident will prove popular

THE big winner at the Gold Pack Awards 2015 was Bowler Plastics, who walked off with the coveted Gold Pack Trophy for their digital printing on laminate tubes – a technology which slashes speed to market times.

Only the second digital laminate tube printer globally, the technology from Bowler is enabling customers to create cost-effective, stunning and eye-catching tubes. Hi-resolution photo images (with effective 900dpi digital print capability), minimal set-up costs and fast speed create major marketing advantages. Although set-up costs are comparatively low, getting involved in digital print involved a six-year development project with an estimated R25-million budget for the Bowler team led by CEO Friedel Sass.

The new technology allows Bowler to get tubes to market in approximately four weeks from the origination point, which is considerably faster than before.

“Bowler has been making tubes for around 20 years now, but felt that we were missing out on a section of the market which is growing, namely the emerging or entrepreneurial market here in South Africa, as well as larger companies looking at promotional activity or launching products for occasions,” said Bowler market development manager Rob Hunt.

“We sourced a range of machinery to enable us to address these market trends and launched our new tube concept in September 2014. We have picked up a lot of new customers during this time and enjoyed a huge amount of success culminating in us winning both Gold in the Health & Beauty category and overall IPSA Gold Trophy at Gold Pack last week,” added Hunt.

“Put simply, Bowler has ripped up the rule book by removing the previous constraints of having to balance printing something mind blowing with one eye on the budget – in tube printing terms this is a game changer!

Another benefit for established brands and retailers are the low minimum runs, making this technology ideal for promotional or seasonal campaigns involving tubes. With a single low price initial origination cost regardless of colours, together with a fast proofing process and quick changeover between runs means that products can be in the market in a fraction of previous industry standard lead times.

“One thing is certain, having the capability to offer mass customised packaging, with text and images gives brand managers a powerful tool for attracting new customers, added Hunt.


Industry’s performance

The plastics industry again performed well at the bi-annual Gold Pack Awards.  Besides the winning Gold Pack Trophy going to Bowler, companies from the industry won gold in four of the seven categories, including Non-alcohol Beverages (Concept Plastics); Health, Beauty, Medical & Pharmaceutical (Bowler Plastics again); Household (Unilever); and Transit (Isomoulders).

There were three silvers, to the Astrapak companies Plastform in the Food category (which drew the most entrants and hence most competition) and Consupaq (in Health, Beauty, Medical & Pharmaceutical) as well as Classic Closures (in Transit).

And bronze flowed too, with awards going to Nioro Plastics (in the Non-Alcohol); Colpak (a joint bronze in Food); Pouch Dynamics (Household) and Thermopac (Transit).

So, with 11 of the possible 21 medals going to the industry, 2015 represents a good result, although it has to be said that only glass presented a genuine challenge. Options in the other rival materials, including paper & board; metals and wood were hardly present.

And besides Woolworths, which is consistently pushing innovation limits in the packaging area, SA’s other retailers were barely present, which was disappointing.


Astrapak success

With two silvers and a bronze, Astrapak group was the other standout among the plastics entrants. There was silver in the Food category for Plastform for its Danone UHT cup; silver in the Health & Beauty category for Consupaq for its Le Sel-Homme tube and bronze in the Transit category for Thermopac for its deodorant collation tray.

Plastform was awarded a silver medal in the Food category for the Danone Ultramel Snack cup, a clever redesign that created a lightweight cup with an improved vacuum resistance allowing extended ambient shelf life for a product that retails in regions where cold chain control is poor. In addition, the Danone Ultramel Snack cup received the new Judge’s Special Mention award for the ingenious design.

In the Health, Beauty, Medical & Pharmaceutical category, Consupaq claimed a silver medal for the Le Sel Homme range, where cutting-edge technology was used to combine screen printing with flexographic printing directly on to tubes, providing a high definition printed image combined with bold screen printed text. The process was commended for being a first in South Africa.

And in the Transit category (for secondary packaging and electronic products), the Astra company Thermopac took bronze for its Deodorant Collation Tray category. The tray offers a solution to an age-long problem for the secure transportation and display of roll-on deodorants.

Astrapak group new business development manager Robin Olbrich, said: “As a Company, we received the most number of awards in the rigid plastic packaging category, notably many more than any of our competitors. It is once again one of the best set of results Astrapak has achieved at the prestigious Gold Pack Awards.”

Astrapak holds the IPSA Gold Pack Awards in high regard and relishes the opportunity to showcase the group’s innovation-led growth in plastic packaging within the industry, he added.