A group of Packaging Systems & Design students have been recognized by the Paperboard Packaging Alliance for their entry into the 2016 Student Design Challenge.  The student entry placed in the top three among 72 entries from packaging and design programs across North America.

Vina Le (team leader), Loc Pham, Anthony Tran, and Miguel Comparativo designed the packaging system as a capstone project in Packaging Systems & Design Senior Practicum, a course led by Dr. Bush.  It was designed to respond to a challenge by the Paperboard Packaging Alliance for “ . . . an unconventional, innovative premium package for dry goods food packaging.  The package should contain a structural component that enhances its function and stands out on grocery store shelves.”

The team tackled the challenge with an inventive approach to packaging sushi rice for retail sale.  The system, called Pararice, included a paperboard structure that stands on the store shelf like a rectangular box but is made with attractive sweeps and curves.  A polymer window allows consumers to view the product prior to purchase.  The graphics are striking and position the product as high quality and upscale.  In addition to the structural and graphics designs, the student entry included marketing and distribution packaging plans.

The students have been invited to present their design at an awards luncheon held by the Paperboard Packaging Alliance at the PackExpo trade show in Chicago.  At the luncheon they will learn where they placed within the top three designs.

Vina Le graduated from the Packaging Systems & Design program in spring of 2016 and is employed with PCA in Atlanta, Georgia.  The other students on the team will be continuing their studies at Virginia Tech during the 2016-17 school year.