‘There seem to be no end to the creativity, technological advancement, and ‘on shelf’ ability to capture the attention of consumers that sleeve labeling is bringing to the packaging industry – and the winning entries in this year’s AWA Sleeve Label Awards certainly prove that!’ says Corey M Reardon, President and CEO of AWA Alexander Watson Associates.   He announced the winners during the recent AWA International Sleeve Label Conference and Exhibition 2017 in Miami, Florida.

Judged across four specific categories and with special recognition for ‘best in show’ entries by an independent panel of experts — chairman Yolanda Simonsis, President & Editorial Director, YTC Media Inc., Dr. Séamus Lafferty, President, Accraply, Inc., Tom Hammer, Product Manager North America, Flint Group Narrow Web, and Will Schretzman, Vice President, Packaging, Verst Group Logistics – the competition presented once again a well-deserved opportunity to reward excellence in sleeve labeling and product decoration.


Best sleeve label

After much deliberation, the judges decided to reward two entries with recognition as Best Sleeve Label in this year’s competition – thanks to their very different approaches to attracting the consumer.  The combination of  ‘the tactile, glitter and holographic effects’ integrated into the design, and the excellence of the conversion and sleeve application for Supre Tan Snooki-brand labels earned the judges’ applause for McDowell Label and Screen Printing (US), who were also winners of the ‘Best Label’ award in the 2016 competition.   The award was presented by Corey Reardon to Jay Luft, McDowell Vice President of Technology.

Sharing the Best Sleeve Label title this year were Safety Seal Plastics (US) for their evocative label on Nine Locks Brewing Company’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale, which the judges commended as ‘a piece of beauty’ and ‘a multi-level experience, which combined the textured, tactile sandy quality of the sleeve with its effectiveness on a simple container shape in a high-volume application.   Michael Bedrosian, President and CEO of Safety Seal Plastics, received the award from Corey Reardon.


Category winners

Category awards were also presented for other worthy sleeve labels.   Sleever International were recognized for their heat TD shrink sleeves for Chocomel bottles, which the judges described as looking ‘drinkable from a distance’, and for their Star Wars labels on Volvic bottled water, which took the prize in the environmental category thanks to their clever use of recyclable sleeve materials.

Roll-fed MD shrink sleeves on Nestlé Boost Chocolate Sensation nutritional drink bottles won Inland Packaging (US) an award – sleeves which the judges commended for ‘good quality graphics, good use of shape, a good seam, and proper distortion of final graphics’.   Evan Hoffman, New Business Development Manager, Inland Packaging, was there to collect the award.            

In the new AWA Sleeve Label Awards category for sleeved cans, Hammer Packaging were recognized for Bai Bubbles Indonesia Apple Pear can sleeves which the judges said were ‘simple and classic’ and whose ‘high-definition graphics make the fruit come to life’.   Georg Ockun, Vice President, Sales, for Hammer Packaging received the award.

‘Real proof of quality’

Corey Reardon thanked the judges for their sterling efforts, and added that this year’s award winners are ‘real proof of the quality we are seeing today across the sleeve labeling value chain, at every level.’

Full details of the winners in the AWA Sleeve Label Awards 2017 are available via the AWA website,    The 2018 competition will soon be open for entries, and prizewinners will collect their awards at next year’s AWA Sleeve Label Conference and Exhibition to be held in April 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.