Competition attracted 201 entries from 40 countries
Innovation in the global packaged water industry was celebrated recently in the spa town of Wiesbaden near Frankfurt in Germany, with the presentation of the 2008 water innovation awards, organized by Zenith International Publishing.
Following five successful years as the bottledwaterworld awards, the new-look water innovation awards recognizes excellence and creativity on a unique global platform for the packaged water industry. From relatively modest beginnings, this year’s competition attracted a record 201 entries from 40 countries.
Among the product categories were best new bottle in PET, glass, label and packaging innovation. There were also categories for flavoured and enhanced water, children’s water concept and marketing campaigns, along with best newcomer. This year saw the introduction of two new categories that looked at sustainability in two distinct dimensions: best ethical initiative and best environmental initiative.
Group Editorial Director Bill Bruce commented: “Entries in each category were outstanding this year. Congratulations to all involved for making the awards a tremendous success, in particular to all those who entered—plus our kind sponsors.”
The overall awards were sponsored by Norwegian closure specialist SmartSeal while category sponsors included flexible packaging firm IPN, quality assurance management firm SGS Institut Fresenius and labelling experts StoraEnso.
The Best Overall Concept was Isklar from Norway with packaging and brand development support from UK-based Blue Marlin Brand Design.
The Gold winner of the Best Bottle in PET was Panama Blue from Panama Springs, which used an elegantly shaped 1-litre format that takes visual cues from contemporary wine bottles. Other finalists were Chic from Sociedade de Agua de Monchique from Portugal (Silver) and Sourcy from Netherlands-based Vrumona (Bronze). Highly commended in this category was Upland Natural Waters from Nigeria.
Striking Gold in the Best Bottle in Glass was the Christian Lacroix-designed Evian bottle from Danone released in a 75cl prêt-a-porter version for sale in premium restaurants and upmarket retail outlets. Other finalists were Mist from U.S.-based Lucid Enterprises (Silver) and Valverde from Spumador (Bronze). Highly commended in this category was Solé Arte from Fonte Sole.
The Gold winner Best Label category, sponsored by Stora Enso, was awarded to ganicwater from Germany’s Ganic Consumer Products, with impressive high-quality imagery and typography design. Other finalists were Acqua Filette from Fonte Italia (Silver), Beauty from UK-based Works with Water (Bronze), Chic from Sociedade da Agua de Monchique (Bronze) and Jupik Aqua from Hoop Polska (Bronze). Highly commended in this category were Denmark’s Iskilde and U.S.-based Walnut Grove Spring Water.
The low-calorie range of infused owater from U.S.-based owater won the Gold in the Best Enhanced Water Category. Close behind was Avra Herbal from Coca-Cola Hellenic in Greece (Silver) and Nestlé Fitness from Nestlé Waters (Bronze) as well as Vitalis Smart from Portugal’s Unicer Águas (Bronze).
Incorporating a blind tasting in this year’s judging assessment, the Best flavored water concept, was won by Ritmo Luso from Portugal’s Sociedade Central De Cervejas e Bebidas (Gold). The company also scooped a Silver in this category with Formas Luso while Bronze was awarded to ganicwater from Ganic Consumer Products.
Jupik Aqua from Hoop Polska won Gold in the Best children's concept category by a clear margin. Runners-up were Iceni Waters (Silver) with its Shaun the Sheep packaging tie-in and
Y Water (Bronze) for its Lego-like connecting bottles. Highly commended was the innovative bot from bot beverages.
The Gold winner of the Packaging Innovation category was won by Krones of Germany for its NitroPouch concept. Other finalists were FLEX closure from SmartSeal (Silver) and Clean Valve for pouches from IPN, which SmartSeal also assisted on.
Y Water struck Gold in the Best new brand or business, sponsored by IPN. Silver was awarded to Isklar. There were two Bronze winners: Balance Water Co. and Iceni Waters.
The Gold winner in the Best ethical or humanitarian initiative, sponsored by SGS, was won by Eden Springs Israel for their preschool water drinking program. Silver was awarded to Thirst Aid from Calypso while Tumai Water from Spero Group picked up a Bronze prize. Highly Commended were PurBlue Beverages, PhilanthroH20 and Eden Springs Israel for its donations to the charity Variety Foundation.
Gerolsteiner’s ‘real-time’ link to its cycling team in the Tour de France was voted Gold award winner of the Best marketing campaign ahead of Highland Spring (Silver) for its Protected Land campaign and Coca-Cola Beverages Austria for Römerquelle’s ‘Summer’ TV spots (Bronze).
Highly Commended in this category were Coca-Cola Germany for its integrated ViO campaign, PepsiCo North America for its Sobe Life Water Superbowl ad, and Eden Springs Israel’s campaign cleverly reminding consumers that 70% of your body is made of water.
The Gold winner of the Best environmental or sustainability initiative was Highland Spring for piloting the Carbon Action Plan. Isklar took Silver while IPN achieved Bronze for its Clean Valve for Pouches and pouch technology.