IFT Student Food Packaging Development Competition

Food Packaging Division Sponsored Competition

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 food 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 the 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 below:

  • Packaging design of a new or an existing food product
  • Food packaging materials
  • Food packaging testing
  • Food packaging technologies
  • Packaging machinery
  • Packaging and food safety
  • Packaging and the environment
  • Development of a new food product
  • Packaging material or format processing
  • Food development
  • Packaging material or format properties
  • Testing procedures
  • Methodology
  • Package design
  • Machinery
  • Food economics
  • Packaging economics
  • Food safety
  • Package safety
  • Food packaging and the environment
  • Food supply chain
  • Food regulations
  • Consumers
  • Food storage

Alternatively, you could write a short literature review instead of proposing a problem or need and its solution. If that is your choice, split the literature review into two parts: (1) problem or need and (2) proposed solutions by academia and/or industry.

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 innovation and creativity based on current or future packaging needs!



  • Undergraduate students or graduate students enrolled in food or packaging-related programs.
  • Must be an IFT member.


  • Individual.
  • Team made up of undergraduate students, graduate students, or both together.
  • Team is encouraged.
  • Mentor is not required (e.g., professor, industry expert, etc.).
Download Guidelines


Entry Process

Entry forms will be accepted until May 1, 2023. Winners will be notified via email 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. All winners will be invited to pick up their awards at IFT FIRST. Winners will be recognized at the IFT FIRST Food Packaging, Food Engineering, and Nonthermal Processing Divisions joint social activity. 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.



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