Neenah: Elevate Your Brand


Our commitment to showcasing the power of premium packaging continues in 2021, as Neenah proudly sponsors the GDUSA Package Design Awards. In this, our fourteenth year as lead sponsor, we celebrate the transformation of the moment, embrace sustainable packaging, and the movement towards the maximum appeal of minimalism.


In a time of change, packaging has consistently proven the clear winner in brand representation and reputation. If you consider packaging pre-pandemic, it was more widely used at brick and mortar locations. The pandemic deterred some traditional packaging uses but created a whole new level of focus for many brands who adapted to the moment and embraced the pur-suit of e-commerce more aggressively.

We saw a trend back to acknowledging the power of the unboxing moment. As a high-end brand, you cannot create the same gold standard service experience in the retail store, yet you still want to provide it to your customers at home. E-commerce was gradually building anyway, but the pandemic forced brands to pivot and make advancements much faster.


Consumers are becoming more educated about sustainability and demanding more from brands. According to research from the Paper and Packaging Board, “Two-thirds of people say sustainable packaging plays a major role when buying a product.” Brands are reacting by in-vesting in natural-looking, responsibly sourced, or FSC-certified packaging containing post-consumer content.

There is also a growing interest in cutting out single-use plastic from the packaging equation, forcing brands to search for paper alternatives. Many companies are very interested in promoting a circular economy, an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. Because paper can actually be recycled up to 7 times, it is an integral part of a closed loop/circular economy.

Another way of supporting the circular economy is by industrial composting or breaking down products through composting to benefit the environment and avoid landfills. Neenah offers many folding board products that can be industrially composted as another way to further our commitment to providing the most sustainable products available.


For premium brands, sustainability efforts must still incorporate a luxurious experience that only paper can deliver. To stand out from the competition, brands must seek cutting-edge substrates that aren’t merely eye-catching but also earth-conscious and renewable.

Paper sets the tone for today’s packaging. In emerging markets such as CBD, Craft Beverage, and Beauty, brands are showcasing paper texture instead of embellishments. Shoppers will see more clean lines and minimal ink, bold colors like black and charcoal, all to appeal to consumers’ senses and entice touch.

For a natural look and feel that complements their cannabis branding and values, Bloom Farms chose NEENAH® Folding Board Grocer Kraft Raw Cover.

For maximum impact, Bloom Farms offers alternative packaging beautifully decorated with foil stamping on NEENAH® Folding Board Bright White Vellum.

For Kulia, Designsake used Intricate blind emboss details to cover the Neenah® Folding Board in PC White Eggshell exterior packaging. To add to the unboxing, the interior features cutom floral illustrations that paint the Hawaiian Islands.

Humble Flower used 4-color litho, blind debossing, and foil stamped veining to create a marble texture on Neenah® Folding Board Bright White Eggshell and Estate® Label No. 8 Bright White Vellum to boost the products’ minimalistic approach.

For a tea box that invites engagement and teases the sense, Rishi Tea chose NEENAH® Folding Board, Bright White in an Eggshell finish. Beautifully informative product information and messaging paired with charming illustrations and details shine using specialty techniques like embossing and foil.

Neenah showcases the head-turning power of the new Neenah® Folding Board in Desert Storm Hemp, PC White Hemp, and Deep Black Hemp.

Here, Neenah® Folding Board Desert Storm Hemp uses paper as a backdrop that allows messaging to stand out. The simple, subtle design keeps all eyes on the packaging.

Product packaging is a direct extension of a brand. We encourage you to design with tenets that align with brand values, sustainability programs, and consumer experience. Experiment with uncoated packaging as a backdrop to stunning print techniques that engage the senses and intrigue consumers.


If you’re searching for packaging solutions to get your brand noticed, Neenah’s unique and creative products will elevate your brand. As your partner in the creative process, we can help bring your packaging vision to life. Thank you for your continued participation in this prestigious contest, and congratulations to this year’s GDUSA package award winners.