AmeriStar Announces 2018 Package Awards Competition


The Institute of Packaging has just announced it will be accepting entries for the 2018 AmeriStar Awards! The AmeriStar Award is an honor bestowed upon the top packages of the year in many categories.  Enter and you could win recognition for changing the face of packaging! LIVE judging will occur at the end of April 2018, ensuring your packages are evaluated and analyzed objectively.  Winning packages will be on display at PACK EXPO, winner trophies will be given to show at your company, and your package will receive trade press recognition in both print and online, as well as on social media.

ENTRY DEADLINE: March 9, 2018
See website for Entry Fees and Rules 

The AmeriStar Package Awards Competition includes:

Best of Show Award
The Best of Show Award honors the package that surpasses all judging criteria and is unanimously selected by the judges to be outstanding in every category.

Sustainable Packaging Award
This award recognizes the package that judges score the highest when considering how packaging can be developed to reduce the impact on the environment. This includes efficient energy usage, recycling efforts, effective use of packaging materials, recover or eco-friendly raw materials.

Design Excellence Award
This award honors the package that exhibits a shining example in which structure and graphic design integrate to create a compelling package. Judges consider factors such as design benefits that could include enhanced product findability on the shelf, improved package functionality that entices consumers to think about a product or product category in a new way, improved product presentation in-store and others.

Packaging That Saves Food: Agriculture
Packaging systems/format used to contain and distribute fresh produce from farm to wholesale market and/or retail outlet. Entries must demonstrate how their packaging protects the fresh produce and reduces/prevents damage during transit and/or display while also extending shelf life and minimizing food waste. This may be achieved by reducing crushing, enhanced cushioning, enhanced ventilation and avoiding double handling.

Packaging That Saves Food: Food Service
Packaging systems/format used to contain and distribute food into foodservice establishments. Entries must demonstrate how their packaging contains, protects and distributes their food product from manufacturing location through to the foodservice establishment, while also extending shelf life and minimizing food waste. This may be achieved through bulk sizing, individual servings, opening and or dispensing features, re-sealable/re-closeable features and improved communication on-pack.

See more AmeriStar categories on their website 


What is Fair Trade?


In your time spent as a consumer, you’ve probably seen items labeled ‘fair trade,’ or ‘fair trade certified.’ You likely have a general idea of what this means; that one thing is being traded for another, and the terms of doing so are fair for everyone involved. What is it specifically, though, that makes something fair trade?

At its core, fair trade is an idea. It allows producers in developing countries to sell their products at a fair price, helps to keep their products sustainable, and makes sure their workers are being treated fairly. It’s a sort of partnership which aims to make sure that no one is being taken advantage of.

One of the main groups supporting this idea is the World Fair Trade Organization. Here are their 10 Principles of Fair Trade:

  • Create opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers, which helps to increase quality of life and reduce poverty in their region
  • Transparency and accountability with management, commercial dealings, employees, and producers.
  • Fair trading practices, always keeping in mind the well-being of the producers (socially, economically, and environmentally).
  • Payment of a fair price, which has been agreed upon mutually.
  • Ensuring no child and/or forced labor.
  • Non discrimination in regards to things such as race, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
  • Good working conditions; the producer must maintain a healthy and safe environment for its workers.
  • Providing capacity building (helping employees, management, etc. to develop their skills).
  • Promoting fair trade.
  • Respect for the environment, maximizing the use of sustainable materials, buying locally, reducing energy consumption, and more.

In addition to fair trade being an idea, products can also be fair trade certified by groups such as Fairtrade International (a non-profit organization). There are different sorts of standards which vary depending upon your role in the process (if you are a producer, you are subject to different standards than the buyer).

In order to obtain certification, there is a list of mandatory criteria that needs to be met and upheld, such as purchasing at a minimum price and keeping their dealings transparent. If the company meets all of the necessary standards, they may apply for a license. This allows them to put the fairtrade certification mark on their product. Companies using this mark will be audited annually, making sure they are still in compliance with all fair trade standards.

Products that can be fair trade certified include: bananas, cocoa, coffee, cotton, flowers, fresh fruit, honey, gold, juices, rice, spices and herbs, sports balls, sugar, tea, wine, and certain composite products (products that contain more than one ingredient).

*Some people take issue with fairtrade in practice; this topic will be covered at a later date.

8 Awesome Package Designs

1. Hangerpak

Hangerpak 1Hangerpak 2

This new way of sending clothing by mail is environmentally friendly and innovative! After opening, the package can be transformed into a clothes hanger for your newly purchased shirt. It’s also made from 80% recycled material, and the only part of the box that isn’t used for the hanger is the tear-away tab.

2. Altaz CF6 Stylus

Altaz CF6 Stylus

This package can be transformed into a handy holder for your new stylus!

3. Jooze


A creative look with a simple message; the design of each of these juice boxes is inspired by its contents. Aesthetically pleasing for adults, and easy to understand for toddlers.

4. Togo Burger

togo burger

Togo Burger reinvents the carryout experience. This compact design makes it easier to transport food on the go.

5. Panasonic Earbuds


A simple spin on traditional packaging; a simple repositioning of the earbuds makes this presentation really stand out.

6. Cosmonaut Wide-Grip Stylus for Touchscreens


Visually appealing inside and out. Cosmonaut is designed to feel like a dry erase marker.

7. Butter! Better!

butter better

“Butter Better is an innovative take on portable butter. Each container has a built-in knife that eliminates the hassle of bringing your own cutlery.”

8. Teapee


Beautiful packaging for pyramid bag teas. The design around the base is a pull tab which opens up the box.

What is Co-Packing?

So you’re interested in learning more about the packaging industry, but you’re not sure where to begin your search. For entrepreneurs and companies who do not have the machinery or staff to manufacture their own products, there is the option of co-packing. A co-packer, in summary, is a company that can process and package a product specific to each individual client’s needs. This product is packaged as if the client manufactured it directly.

In order to start your product line, you need to have a product (for instance, a new blend of tea). You may produce this blend on your own, or maybe you already have a supplier. You may not even have a product at all, but you’re researching your options to see which route you should take. At any of these stages, you may approach a co-packer. At Global Tea Solutions, in addition to standard co-packing, we can supply our clients with various blends of tea. A specialized co-packer like Global Tea Solutions offers a unique experience: a one stop shop to both produce the product and package it.

Now that you’ve got your product, you need the packaging to put it in. Someone looking to start their own line would approach a co-packer if they either don’t have the means to obtain their own packaging, or don’t have the machinery to get the product into it. Depending on the size of your line, it’s probably cheaper for you to go through a co-packer, rather than invest in your own machinery (and the space to house said machinery).

If you already have your product and are just looking for packaging, a co-packer like GTS Packaging Solutions is right for you. We can handle virtually all tea, coffee, and herbs, and have also worked with dry food packing, cosmetics, healthcare products, and more. We can design, develop, and manufacture your line, which helps to avoid a lot of complicated steps on the client’s end.

Co-packing opens up opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses who would otherwise not have the means to get their product on shelf, and helps larger companies to save money when outsourcing certain materials is cheaper for them. This service enables you, the client, to create your own product line without investing in costly machinery, more housing space, and additional staff.


Hello! Welcome to the GTSP blog.

This blog is affiliated with GTS Packaging Solutions, and its partner company, Global Tea Solutions. We’re industry professionals; at GTS Packaging Solutions, we have over 20 years of combined experience in the design and manufacturing of all types of packaging. Our team at Global Tea Solutions has over 45 years of combined experience; if you are looking to start you own private label tea line, GTS is the perfect fit for you.

Over the years, we’ve accumulated a lot of knowledge about the in’s and out’s of our industries, and now, we want to pass that information along to all of you. Follow us to learn about co-packing, starting your own tea line, sustainable packaging, what’s new in the industry, and so much more.

Thank you for taking the time to check out our blog. We hope you enjoy it! New posts coming every Tuesday afternoon.

Have any questions? Don’t see a topic you’d like us to cover? Let us know!