The Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) has announced the winners in the FPA Student Challenge of the 60th-Annual Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards. This year’s first place winners were a team of students from The University of Wisconsin-Stout. Two teams of students tied for second place, both from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

The FPA’s annual Achievement Awards recognize 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. For 2016, eight entries were submitted from some of the top packaging design programs across the United States.

This year’s entries demonstrated a high level of creativity as well as a strong understanding of the mechanical properties of flexible packaging materials and the manufacturing processes involved. While every winning entry was designed for a different product, they each found an ingenious way to apply flexible packaging to satisfy the growing consumer demand for convenient, easy-to-use packaging.

The judges for this year’s competition included Eric Fish, editor in chief, Flexible Packaging Magazine; Bill Burke, executive vice president, Aperia International; and Dr. Robert Kimmel, Sc. D., Associate Professor, Director, Center for Flexible Packaging (CEFPACK), Clemson University.

1st Place: Easy Snack – Celery and Peanut Butter on the Go (Mallory Geigle, Tabitha Harnack, Hannah Newman, University of Wisconsin – Stout)

This flexible package creates a new snack product. The package makes it easy to apply peanut butter to celery with no utensils. It combines two easy tear containers into one snack pouch.

Co-2nd Place: Chicken Breast Strainer (Chris Childers, Ben Harris, Samantha Kin, Kellie Meyer and Huyen Nguyen, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo)

This vacuum package provides an innovative solution to drain excess chicken juice from the packaging safely, without spreading bacteria. The package combines highly effective barrier polymers with an easy to use straining element. The packaging material allows for either frozen or defrosted chicken to be stored long-term while protecting the quality of the chicken. The straining layer reduces the spread of harmful bacteria. The students also thought through an efficient flexographic printing solution for the outer PET layer of the coextruded film. Since this package utilizes three seals, rather than four, the full label can be printed with one pass through the printer.

Co-2nd Place: Precise Rice (Cole Cressman, Victoria Hanna, Tyler Harwood and Carrie Sauer, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo)

The Precise Rice complete meal system makes it easy for consumers to prepare, store and consume a single serving of rice. The cook-in-bag is translucent, convenient, portable, and resealable. The high heat deflection and barrier properties with low water absorption of co-extruded retortable material have the benefit of hot water processing, extended storage and product shelf life. The sole requirements for consumption are a pot, heat source and water, to enjoy a rice dish in a re-sealable package that doubles as the dish.


Flexible Packaging Association
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