If you're an undergraduate or graduate student dreaming of a career in packaging, we invite you to showcase your innovative package designs for our expert judging panel.

                                                                                                                                                                                 

Competition details

December 1, 2023
Competition opens

March 31, 2024
Competition closes

April 2024
Judging begins

August 2024
Shortlist announced

Student entries are free!


Categories

  • Beverages, alcoholic: Packaging used for spirits, pre-mixed alcoholic beverages.

  • Beverages, non-alcoholic: Packaging used for dry, powdered or liquid beverages not containing alcohol including mixers.

  • Cosmetics: Packaging used for cosmetic products.

  • Design excellence: Any package demonstrating innovation; the design structure is integrated to coordinate the product's value; reflects important new marketing strategies.

  • Drug and pharmaceutical: Packages used for prescriptions, over the counter, medicines, nutraceuticals or botanical supplements.

  • Electronics: Packaging for computers, telecommunications equipment, stereos, TV, radio, phone, mobile electronics, tablets, photographic and scientific instruments.

  • Food, frozen: Any food package available in a frozen format regardless of sales channel.

  • Food, refrigerated: Any food package available in a refrigerated format regardless of sales channel.

  • Food, Shelf-stable: Any food package available in a shelf stable format regardless of sales channel.

  • Health and beauty: Packaging used for toiletries, fragrances, soaps, hair and skin care, dental care, shaving, etc.

  • Household products: Packaging used for products used in the home such as detergents, hardware, paint, solvents, lubricants, insecticides, gardening supplies (plants, decorations and furniture) and pet care products (food and grooming) and automotive products.

  • Industrial/commercial: Packaging not intended for retail distribution including inter/intra plant and regulated packaging.

  • Medical device: Packages used for medical devices, including surgical supplies, diagnostic products and equipment.

  • Other: Packaging not covered in a category above.

  • Promotional/display: Any package intended for promotion of products (sample packs, seasonal packaging, point of purchase display).

Judging Criteria

Submissions for these categories must meet the following criteria:

Economics
  • The package addresses a specific economic concern.
  • Its design results in cost savings. Cost savings may be demonstrated by any or all of the following:
    - Distribution improvements
    - Damage reduction
    - Packing/processing efficiencies
    - Machinability
    - Material standardization
    - Labor costs
    - Warehousing/storage costs
    - Material costs
  • This design addresses the package life cycle, as demonstrated by any/all of the following:
    - Reusability
    - Recyclability
    - Material reduction
    - Improved material strength
    - Density improvements
Environmental impact
  • The package successfully addresses current and appropriate environmental concerns.
  • The package design has eliminated, avoided or reduced unnecessary materials.
  • Design consideration includes reusable and/or recyclable materials/systems where available.
  • The package uses recycled materials where possible.
  • The design has considered end-of-life scenarios for the package.
  • The design minimizes the potential negative effects the package and its components will have on the environment.
  • The design has undergone a life cycle review.
Innovation
  • The package demonstrates an application of a new idea.
  • The design successfully transfers packaging principles from other industries.
  • It demonstrates a creative use of existing ideas.
  • It makes use of new design, material or technique.
  • It reflects important new marketing strategies.
  • It reflects new manufacturing advances.
Marketing
  • The package design contributes to product image or shelf impact.
  • It improves or contributes to acceptance of the product.
  • The package marketing appeal is significantly improved by the redesign.
Package performance
  • The package is easily filled, opened, dispensed, reclosed, stored.
  • It can be run on existing packaging machinery.
  • It is easily integrated into the existing distribution system.
  • It offers significantly new benefits in handling, storage and warehousing.
Product protection
  • The package successfully protects the biological, chemical and/or physical integrity of the product.
  • The original product protection requirements, as specified, are sufficiently addressed by this package design.
  • The testing specified sufficiently addresses the need for protection for this application.
  • The package successfully meets the test requirements expressed (must show evidence).
Design excellence category submissions must meet the following criteria:

Innovation
  • The package demonstrates an application of a new idea.
  • The design successfully transfers packaging principles from other industries.
  • It demonstrates a creative use of existing ideas.
  • It makes use of new design, material or technique.
  • It reflects important new marketing strategies.
  • It reflects new manufacturing advances.
Product protection
  • The package successfully protects the biological, chemical and/or physical integrity of the product.
  • The original product protection requirements, as specified, are sufficiently addressed by this package design.
  • The testing specified sufficiently addresses the need for protection for this application.
  • The package successfully meets the test requirements expressed (must show evidence).
Package design
  • The package structure and design are integrated to coordinate product value.
  • It improves the functionality of the product.
  • It persuades consumers to think about the product/category in a new way.
  • It showcases the product's design benefit.
  • It improves the findability of the product on shelf (is this enhanced merchandising?).
  • It motivates consumers to purchase.
  • It improves user experience (for either the supply chain or consumers).
  • It effectively uses materials to support the circular economy.


FAQs

Why should I enter the Student AmeriStar Award Competition?
Joining the Student AmeriStar Award competition is your chance to connect with potential colleagues or mentors and gain visibility among major players in the packaging industry!
What kind of projects can I enter?
You're welcome to submit any package design project you've developed that solves a consumer problem or fulfills a need.
Is there an entry fee?
No, there is no cost! Entry to the Student AmeriStar Awards is completely free for both undergraduate and graduate students. Plus, you don't need to be an IoPP member to submit your project.
Can my package earn any other recognition?
Student submissions in the Food category can win our Design Excellence in Food Packaging award. All student submissions are eligible for our Best in Show award.
What do I need to submit with my entry?

Product description: A video (preferred) or a PowerPoint presentation in PDF format, showcasing and explaining your design's adherence to the judging criteria.

Visuals: Up to four high-resolution photos of your package, in JPEG, PNG, or AI format.
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