IFT Student Food Packaging Development Competition

Food Packaging Division Sponsored Competition

IFT's Food Packaging Division Packaging Development Competition challenges students to develop a packaging solution to address a problem or need related to food packaging.

This is an annual international competition that honors advancements in student food packaging development. Impacts of participating in and/or winning this competition include:

  • Participants will solve real-life problems or needs (e.g., food waste reduction).
  • Participants will enhance their knowledge about specific problems that relate to both food and packaging (e.g., development of packaging for a new food product).
  • Students will apply knowledge they have gained within the classroom.
  • Participants will improve their teamwork skills.
  • Participants will improve presentation skills.
  • Participants will gain exposure and prestige.

The Challenge

Develop a packaging solution to address a problem or need related to food packaging from any of the following points of view (not limited to): food science, engineering, chemistry, marketing, design, legal, and education. Examples of possible topics are listed within the downloadable guidelines.

Although it is not required, you or your team are encouraged to ask your professors or industrial professionals for advice on appropriate sources of information (industry practices, publications, and/or videos).

Show us your innovation and creativity based on current or future packaging needs!


Eligibility & Teams

  • All participants must be IFT student members
  • Group or individual submissions are allowed
  • Teams may be undergraduate students, graduate students, or both together
  • Students from different (or the same) universities around the globe can collaborate
Download Guidelines 


Entry Process

Entry forms will be accepted until April 30, 2024, 11:59 p.m. CT. Winners will be notified via e-mail prior to IFT FIRST: Annual Event and Expo.

Entry Form



A general certificate along with monetary prizes of $1,000, $750, $500 will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, respectively. Those on the first-place team will receive a free ticket to the Professional Networking Event at IFT FIRST: Annual Event and Expo. Winners will be recognized at the IFT FIRST Food Packaging, Food Engineering, and Nonthermal Processing Divisions joint social activity as part of the Professional Networking Event. The winners will be invited to give a very brief overview (3 minutes) of their concepts (proposed problems or needs and solutions to these). Students who are not able to join the social activity will be contacted via email to be informed about the alternative way to receive the award and how to present their concept using a 2-3 min prerecorded presentation.

Judges & Judging Criteria

A panel of experts in food packaging including academic and industry experts will judge the entries. Judges should be IFT Food Packaging Division members.

The submission will be evaluated on the following aspects: presentation, ability to address challenge, feasibility, creativity, innovation, implementation, and spelling and grammar.