Student Food Packaging Development Competition

IFT’s Food Packaging Division invites IFT student members to participate in an annual international competition that honors advancements in student food packaging development. Impacts of participating in and/or winning this competition include:

  • Solve real-life food problems (e.g., food waste reduction).
  • Enhance your knowledge about specific food packaging technologies (e.g., active packaging).
  • Apply practical knowledge you have gained within the classroom.
  • Improve your teamwork skills.
  • Improve your presentation skills.
  • Gain exposure and prestige.

2021 Theme

Pick one of the three challenges listed below. This year’s three challenges are:

  • Development of food packaging against viruses.
  • Development of e-commerce food packaging able to overcome temperature variations within the food cold chain (all packaging levels from primary packaging to distribution packaging to unit load should be considered).
  • Development of food packaging that contributes to the circular economy.

Alternatively, you can suggest your own challenge. You can focus on packaging innovation from a broad point of view (e.g., circular economy) or you can be rather specific and apply innovation based on current industry needs (e.g., viruses). You can even study the progress we have made on a specific packaging technology based on trends or needs.

Regardless of your selection, you need to study the system and its entirety in terms of functionality of packaging. Consider the whole food packaging supply chain from raw material to consumers including but not limited to packaging producers (e.g., machinery), food packers (e.g., barrier needs), storage and transportation.

You can ask industry and academia, including the members of the food packaging division, for advice on appropriate sources of information (books or videos).

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

Application and Judgement

A panel of experts in food packaging including academic and industry experts will judge the entries. Awards will be announced by June 1st. Winners will be notified via email.

Winners will receive a general certificate for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place and will be invited to pick up their awards at an IFT21 Food Packaging Division social event.

Application Guidelines

For complete rules and application, please see the IFT Student Food Packaging Development Competition Guidelines.

Download Guidelines



The competition is open to individuals and teams of undergraduate students or graduate students or both together. All participants must be enrolled in food and packaging programs. For complete details, consult the Guidelines document for this competition.


Application Deadline

Entry forms will be accepted until May 1, 2021 via the following entry form.


Entry Form

Enter the Contest