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The PIDA 2021 Beverage Packaging Design of the Year recognised innovative packaging design and materials for liquid or dry beverage products.

MC for the event, publisher of exclusive media partners Food & Drink Business and PKN Packaging News, Lindy Hughson, said: "Of all the FMCG sectors, the beverage category has to be one of the most dynamic and creative when it comes to new product development, with the rate of product proliferation showing that the sky really is the limit in terms of what we Aussies and Kiwis will imbibe in liquid form," she said, noting that product innovation is matched by a high degree of packaging innovation, particularly in the area of sustainable packaging design.

A High Commendation was awarded to Schulz Organic Dairy (Schulz Organic Dairy and Rhima Australia).

The Bronze award went to PodPress Capsule System (REFLO), and the Silver award to Flexi-Hex Sleeve & Pinch Mailer System (MaCher Australia & Flexi-Hex).

The Beverage Packaging Design of the Year Gold award winner for 2021 was presented to SIPP Instant.

According to the citation at the awards ceremony, as a premium instant coffee company, SIPP Instant wants to be accountable for the future of our planet, along with producing the best functional beverages on the market.

It has created a different product to the traditional instant category, which is totally organic and Fairtrade. The products contain heat resistant probiotics, complex healthy carbohydrates for slow energy release and premium freeze-dried Columbian coffee.

The new SIPP Instant packaging was designed to elevate the functionality of the brand and features an ABA certified home compostable internal film.

The principal raw material for its cellulose is a renewable raw material from eucalyptus trees in South America. The cardboard exterior packaging is made of 100 per cent recycled cardboard and non-toxic inks. The cardboard box features a window to show the product and the compostable film inside, to appeal to the customer's curiosity. Each panel of the box has a communications purpose: instructions/process of making the product; health benefits and ingredients; and the brand's sustainable effort.

The new design has enhanced functionality and has added value to the brand, as it remains aligned with the brands ethos and environmental values, and as this packaging is sturdier and more suitable for retail shelves - it enables SIPP Instant more opportunity to expand in the wholesale and distribution sectors.

Receiving the award, chief executive officer of SIPP Instant, Dylan Garft, said: "For us, sustainability is at the forefront of what we do and something we think about on a daily basis, so to win an award that highlights the innovation in sustainability and shows that the consumer is starting to shop with their mind is fantastic to see. We are really proud to win this award and appreciate the acknowledgement for it."

Coordinated by the Australian Institute of Packaging, the annual PIDA Awards program recognises companies and individuals who are making a significant difference in their field across Australia and New Zealand. Winners in the company awards announced today are automatically eligible for entry into the 2022 WorldStar Packaging Awards competition.

Five other categories were announced on Day One:

Food Packaging Design of the Year

Domestic & Household Packaging Design of the Year

Health, Beauty & Wellness Packaging Design of the Year

Labelling & Decoration Packaging Design of the Year

Outside of the Box Design of the Year

Food & Drink Business

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Plant-based ingredients system start-up Harvest B is one of six manufacturers to receive funding in the first round of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre Commercialisation Fund.

Campos Coffee has been acquired by Dutch-based coffee and tea company JDE Peet's. It will join L’OR, Moccona and Piazza Doro in its Australian brand portfolio.