Winning Designs from FPA’s Student Flexible Packaging Design Challenge

The Flexible Packaging Association recently announced the winners of this year’s Student Flexible Packaging Design Challenge! The challenge is part of FPA’s annual Achievement Awards Competition and is fueled by the packaging industry’s effort to encourage and recognize students who are working to become the next generation of packaging designers. 

FPA’s Emerging Leadership Council (ELC) now oversees the student design challenge and judged this year’s competition. In total, 31 concept outlines were submitted from some of the top packaging design programs across the United States. 13 of the concept outlines submitted were selected to move on to the development phase. 

This year’s first and second place winners were student teams from the University of Wisconsin – Stout under the direction of their professor, Gary Borges. Additionally, three honorable mentions were awarded as well. Check out the key features and benefits of each packaging design concept listed below! 


First Place Honors, Baby Shampoo and a Cup

By Caylee Boone, Abbey Dahlseng, Liam Gallagher, and Anna Kent of the University of Wisconsin – Stout

This innovative concept, given the form and function of the design, would reduce the overall footprint of the shampoo package. Additionally, it would be easy to pack and the cup functionality provides a unique feature that solves a need for the consumer. Judges also felt the concept would be operationally feasible.

Key Benefits: 

  • The flexible material is more sustainable than current shampoo bottles as it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions during production and transportation.
  • In-store recyclable.
  • Increases consumer convenience and would reduce clutter in the bathtub area of homes.  
Baby Shampoo

Second Place Honors, Band-Assist Bandages

By Connor Erwin, Corey Klatt, and Ben Lindgren of the University of Wisconsin – Stout

This flexible packaging design improves the current paperboard packaging for bandages. The pouch application was seen by the judges as being highly functional and solving the need for a better travel package for bandages. 

Key benefits: 
  • Provides easy use and easy traveling.
  • It can be stored in any small space, including your pocket, keeping everything contained.

Honorable Mentions 

Flexible Travel Shampoo & Conditioner 

By Connor Erwin, Corey Klatt, and Ben Lindgren of the University of Wisconsin – Stout

Ever been on a trip but forgot either your shampoo or conditioner bottle at home? Well, now you don’t have to worry about leaving one of the bottles behind – you can get them both in a flexible, easy-to-use package. This package is great for on-the-go by having both shampoo and conditioner packaged together!

Key benefits:
  • Can be easily separated if needed.
  • The package stands up for easy product pouring

Peelable and Resealable Popcorn Gusseted Pouch

By Caylee Boone, Abbey Dahlseng, Liam Gallagher, and Anna Kent of the University of Wisconsin – Stout 

The judges felt this pouch would provide an improved consumer experience for popcorn vs. the bags used today. The Peelable and Resealable Popcorn Gusseted Pouch drastically improves existing premade popcorn pouches, and the flexible package is both innovative and enhanced!

Key benefits: 
  • The peelable resealable tab allows for easy access and efficient closing.
  • The technical achievement of the stand-up rectangular structure allows the package to be shipped more efficiently and accessed easier from a consumer’s perspective.

Running Water — The Water for Runners

By Jai Araujo of San José State University with direction from Professor Xiaojing (Kate) Liu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Running Water is a new way to stay hydrated when you go for a run or hike. This innovative pouch has a sports spout on one end and a hole on the other end that can be attached creating a loop that can be grabbed and easily carried. It received an honorable mention due to its innovative “interlocking” mechanism and judges saw other applications for it at festivals or hiking. 

Key benefits:
  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Multi-use: It can be used across the torso or around the waist by attaching the spout of one pouch to another pouch’s hole, forming a long ring.

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