FPA’s annual Achievement Awards competition recognizes innovative flexible packaging from across its membership. The industry also believes it is important to encourage and recognize students who are working to become the next generation of packaging designers. The FPA’s Emerging Leadership Council (ELC) oversees the Student Flexible Packaging Design Challenge and judged this year’s competition.
The first-place winning team was comprised of Ben Boie, Aria Elfering, Payton Klaslo, Aaron Kurschner, and Connor Walechka from the University of Wisconsin – Stout for their “Pistachio Pal” package. Their pistachio packaging solves the societal issue of having nowhere to conveniently dispose of old pistachio shells. It features a thin barrier dividing the pouch creating a convenient space to dispose of the unwanted shells. The improved pouch could also be used for products beyond pistachios including other shelled nuts and individually wrapped candy. The pouch features a transparent eco-friendly material allowing consumers to easily see the product and the improved design.
The judges felt that the entry showed how to improve on a current package in the market while keeping the consumer in mind. The package also looks to keep waste contained and provide a great consumer experience. The pistachio package allowed for the shells to be placed in a small package within the pouch. The student designers also spoke about other products that could be improved with a package within a package, especially moving to all mono-packaged goods.
A packaging concept for microwaveable ramen was the second-place winner, also a team of students from the University of Wisconsin – Stout. Ethan Myers, Riley Runnels, Hayden Zachgo, and Hannah Zastrow, also under the direction of Gary Borges. With a new flexible doyen pouch designed to be microwavable and act as a bowl, students have the convenience of no dishes, along with the added benefit of reducing their waste and avoiding the adverse health effects of heated styrofoam.
The competition judges noted that the concept improved the consumer experience and showed how the package can become useful and engage with the consumer using the product.
This team also won an honorable mention for another competition entry they submitted, the “Vetchables” Flexible Veggie Tray, which provides a flexible option that expands the use of flexible packaging, improving the consumer experience. Not only will this package allow for better printing options, but the collapsible feature makes shipping and storing the product cheaper, and more environmentally friendly.
For more information on the Student Flexible Packaging Design Challenge or the Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards Competition, please visit www.ﬂexpack.org, or contact FPA at 410-694-0800.