Metsä Board, a leading paperboard producer, has teamed up with Adara Pakkaus, a packaging manufacturer, and Marvaco, a flexographic printing plates supplier, to win a 2024 Excellence in Flexography Award in the Self Promotion Category.

Their collaboration resulted in a redesigned ice-cream cone packaging solution that impressed the awards’ judges with its functionality, resource efficiency, and high-quality printing.

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The Excellence in Flexography Awards are a recognition programme within the US flexographic printing industry.

Metsä Board, along with its partners, aimed to showcase the potential of this printing technique by revamping a familiar product – ice-cream cone packaging.

The project team, which also included packaging designers, ink suppliers, and a printing specialist, focused on every stage of the packaging value chain, from material selection to printing and logistics.

Its goal was to create a sustainable and efficient design that delivered excellent performance.

Metsä Board’s lightweight, double-coated white-top kraftliner (MetsäBoard Prime WKL) was chosen for the packaging’s outer layer due to its smooth surface, ideal for high-quality visuals.

Meanwhile, the solution’s inner liner and fluting used uncoated kraftliner (MetsäBoard Natural WKL Bright), perfect for small, lightweight packaging requiring strength.

Both materials are made from traceable fresh wood fibres, ensuring recyclability, compostability, and food safety.

Notably, the company said, using the same material for both layers simplified production without sacrificing quality.

The team prioritised minimising ink usage while maintaining clear product differentiation.

It opted for process printing, eliminating the need for spot colours, and boosting efficiency and flexibility.

The packaging also features an easy-to-open design, removing the need for plastic components or specialised opening tools.

“This project exemplifies the power of effective teamwork in achieving top-notch functionality and resource efficiency,” said Ilkka Harju, Packaging Services director at Metsä Board.

“By combining our expertise in materials and design with a strong network of partners, we were able to develop an innovative solution that delivers superior quality in corrugated post-printing.”

The judges were particularly impressed by the complexity of the design, achieved with only four-colour process printing.