Drink in this news: The 2018 student design for the Flexible Packaging Association's 2018 challenge came from two Iowa State University students who came up with a better way to package gelatin shots.
Emily Hurban and Autumn Rudlong, who both specialize in food packaging studies, created the Wine-O concept of an easily transportable flexible squeeze pouch for gelatin shots.
They envisioned a laminated structure of PET, foil and polyethylene.
Determining the final size and shape of the product required them to demonstrate some ingenuity.
"We knew the product would gel to the shape of the flexible package," the students said in a statement. "If the package was too large, the consumer would need to use a utensil to get the product out of the package. With a small tube, the consumer would be able to squeeze the product out of the package and consume at their desired pace."
Hurban and Rudlong believe the product can be transferred to existing flexible package machinery for fast fill and mass production as a replacement for rigid polystyrene cups and polymer lids.
Hurban of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is a master of science student, and Rudlong of Ham Lake, Minn., is a senior, both in the food science and human nutrition department at the university in Ames, Iowa.
The Polymer and Food Protection Consortium at ISU funded the research.
Two students at the University of Wisconsin-Stout campus tied for second in the FPA design competition.
Ryan Knudson created a standup plastics cereal box using less material and less weight than traditional cereal packaging.
Benjamin Huber designed the thin Tree Hut Coffee pouch for storing, measuring and dispensing ground coffee.
For the 2018 competition, FPA received 28 concept outlines from U.S. packaging design programs. Eleven were selected to continue to the development phase.
The judges included Lisa McTigue Pierce, executive editor of UBM plc's Packaging Digest magazine; Joongmin Shin, associate professor of industrial technology and packaging at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif.; and Brian Wagner, co-founder and principal of PTIS LLC of Shelbyville, Mich.
Annapolis, Md.-based FPA represents U.S. manufacturers of flexible packaging and their suppliers of paper, plastic, film, aluminum foil and their combinations.