Runners on a marathon track in Kenya. To the left of the track, a table has been set up with paper Tetra Pak cartons full of water. Spectators are holding them out for the runners to grab as they pass.

Tetra Pak’s Tetra Prisma Aseptic 500ml water carton – utilising QR technology to provide a ‘connected experience’ for attendees at the Lewa Safari marathon in Kenya – has won the Gold award in the Beverages category at the Packaging Afristar Awards 2022.

Designed with a prismatic shape for easy holding, the cartons are made of paper, and their lids a non-food substance derived from sugarcane; as such, it is said that the entire pack is renewable.

Tetra Pak partnered with the Lewa Safari marathon to provide cartons of water to participating runners. A bespoke connected experience developed by Appetite Creative was accessible via QR codes on the cartons, a development that Stella Ondimu, head of Communication, Tetra Pak East and West Africa, claims to be the first of its kind in the continent.

“The connected experience was used by the runners and attendees of the 2022 Lewa Safari marathon, focusing on unique educational content, games, and videos about Lewas wildlife,” she explained. “It also helped runners and spectators keep track of the race with its integrated map of the race.

“This award is exciting because it is the first for our team in East Africa and shows that connected packaging is becoming a ‘must have’ for brands.”

Jenny Stanley, managing director at Appetite Creative, added: “Over 2,000 runners from Africa and across the world interacted with this popular packaging and connected experience, and the Afristar award recognition is the icing on the cake. We are incredibly proud to have developed a connected packaging experience that is not only valuable and award-winning, but also innovative and sustainable.”

Huhtamaki’s ICON paper packaging technology, primarily designed for ice cream tubs and lids, also features QR codes said to direct North American customers to educational content about the reported sustainability benefits of the packaging.

Johnson & Johnson brand JOHNSON’S Baby also launched paper-based refill cartons for its Baby Shampoo, Bedtime Bath, and Top-to-Toe Wash toiletry products earlier this year. These also feature QR codes that, when scanned, show consumers instructional videos and information about how to recycle the empty carton at end-of-life.

Tetra Pak’s tethered cap solutions, some of which are said to be made of responsibly-sourced sugarcane, were launched on the Irish, Spanish, German, and Baltic markets in April.