Three Staffordshire firms are celebrating success at the UK Packaging Awards.
BoxMart, in Shenstone, near Lichfield, and Lesters and Mercian Labels, both in Burntwood, all picked up accolades at a ceremony representing the pinnacle of excellence in the packaging industry, held in London.
It was a second year of success in a row for BoxMart, winning Cartonboard Pack of the Year this year after taking home Corrugated Pack of the Year in 2022.
The award recognised a project to create a five-sided “blooming pentagon” flat-packed box containing miniature bottles of alcohol for long-standing client The Dram Team.
Managing Director Joanne Offord said: “The UK Packaging Awards celebrate the very best in UK manufactured packaging.
“We pride ourselves on exceptional customer service and innovative constructional design, and to win this award is testament to our team’s creativity, hard work and dedication.”
Lesters, which provides millions of corrugated boxes, large format packaging and heavy-duty cases every year, beat off competition from 11 industry rivals to win the Best Packaging of a New Product.
The company came up with packaging for a customer that had seen a massive increase in demand for its products, yet the packaging hadn’t really kept up with its innovation and growth.
The one-piece design for a Zura intelligent electric vehicle charger was optimised for the courier service, removed all plastic from the equation and upgraded the end-user ‘opening’ experience.
Lesters’ Head of Design Greg Burton said: “This is a massive moment for our business, especially considering the level of competition we faced from some of the biggest names in our sector.
“It also underlined our ongoing commitment to innovate the world of packaging by pushing design that offers both practical solutions and a great-looking, aesthetically pleasing product that consumers want to buy.
“As a company we have invested more than £200,000 into a new design and prototyping centre and it is really paying off.”
Mercian Labels won the Investment Project of the Year category for its Lights Out automation project, which has revolutionised its production capabilities, saving as much as 74 per cent of the time taken to complete complex jobs.
The automation has not only removed the opportunity for human error but also ensures 100 per cent accuracy and fulfilment.
Managing Director Adrian Steele said: “This has been a six-year journey, but the results are outstanding for us as a business, for our customers, for the environment and potentially, in the longer term, for the whole industry.
“The new Connect system has enabled us to double our production speed, creating significantly more production capacity with the same number of staff.”
He added: “With the UK Packaging Awards representing the very pinnacle of excellence in the packaging industry, they provide further validation of how truly revolutionary our new system is.”