Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor

July 24, 2019

4 Min Read
Creative multipack designs earn students cash awards

The Coca-Cola Co. and Mondelēz asked packaging students to reimagine either the Coke Fridge Pack or the ecommerce Variety Pack of Oreos, Ritz and Chips Ahoy. Solutions to these real-world design challenges showcase the creativity, skills and talents of tomorrow’s packaging design professionals.

The 48-Hour RePack Student Awards Competition, organized by the Institute of Packaging Professionals, Southeastern Chapter, celebrated its 10th year in 2019.

Each year for the challenge, students are given just 48 hours to research, design and physically produce a redesigned package of a common household product, which changes each year. They also have to create a video presenting their idea and package.

This year, 25 teams from universities and colleges across the United States with packaging programs participated, with three teams earning awards and getting recognized for their innovations at NextPack 2019, an annual event put on by IoPP’s Southeastern Chapter.

The Coca-Cola Co. and Mondelēz sponsored the 2019 competition. Scott Biondich, president of the IoPP Southeastern Chapter, says, “Every year I am blown away by the creativity and incredible amount of work that these students manage to accomplish in just 48 hours.”

Judges for this year’s competition were:

• Bimal Kumar Lakhotia, director, Plastic R&D COE, Coca-Cola North America.

• Brian A. Rice, senior director, Design & Packaging Innovation, Georgia-Pacific.

• José Reyes, founder and creative director, Metaleap Creative.

Plans for next year’s competition have been set for Jan. 24-26, 2020, with the winners to be recognized at NextPack 2020, scheduled for next April 28.

And now, here are the winners of the 48-Hour RePack Student Awards Competition…


1st Place: Modular multipack helps Coke Fridge Packs fit into small spaces

Clemson University students Ryan Nielson, Tyler Gunter and Theresa Ciccarell won first place for their creative redesign of the Coke Fridge Pack, earning $3,000. Their NEW Break and Take Pack is a modular 8-can multipack that separates into dual 4-packs, thanks to a center perforated strip, so they can fit better into crowded or small refrigerators while still offering all the convenience features of the typical 12-can Fridge Pack.

Since the shape of the package resembles a boom box, the students created related graphics, with an AM/FM tuner, volume and selection dial on the principal display panel. Additionally, a speaker-driver shaped area doubles as placement for the Coke Zero Sugar logo. The video shows the flexibility of the multipack’s multiple orientations, as well as how new handles allow people to carry the pack on their shoulder, like a boom box.

Click here to watch the video.




NEXT: Mondelēz variety pack is efficient, reusable


2nd Place: Mondelēz variety pack is efficient, reusable

Virginia Tech students Emilee Wooten, Katelyn Farkas and Gillian Cubbage placed second, and earned $2,000, for their Mondelēz Intl. variety pack holding currently available family-size packages of Oreo cookies, Chips Ahoy! cookies and Ritz crackers (all Mondelēz brands that are often purchased in one order). The variety pack meets the requirements for Amazon’s SIOC (Ships in Own Container) ecommerce packaging and provides an efficient direct-to-consumer transport. It consists of an outer E-flute case that holds three paperboard trays that slide out like drawers, with handholds making that easy. Each family-size package sits inside the drawer and, except for the Ritz crackers, can be opened and closed while still inside the drawer/tray. Trays can be reused by refilling with family-size packs bought at the store or by holding other products.

Case graphics are simple brand logos on a comforting blue background.

Click here to watch the video.


NEXT: Variety pack ‘unfurls,’ revealing contents and whimsical graphics


3rd Place: Variety pack ‘unfurls,’ revealing contents and whimsical graphics

Earning $1,000 for third place, California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo, students Blaine Boyd, Carson Barnes, Marilyn Nguyen, Von Balanon and Shea Irwin also tackled a redesign of the Mondelēz Variety Pack for ecommerce. Inspiration for their solution comes from the ease and simplicity of mailer boxes used for shipping textbooks.

For the new design, die-cut boxes are shipped flat, with integral pop-up spacers/cushions, for maximum efficiency from the box maker to the seller. SIOC shippers are then formed and packed with products. The rectangular shape of the E-flute corrugated pack also meets Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) guidelines for easy stacking during storage and shipping. And playful graphics using brand colors evoke feelings of nostalgia with hand-drawn images of cookies and crackers.

To open the pack, consumers tear a perforation across the entire top of the box (no scissors needed). This allows all four sides of the box to “unfurl” and reveal the contents, which appear in their correct orientation—the Ritz carton remains upright, while the Chips Ahoy! and Oreo packs lay flat. According to the entry: “Our team intended for the products to be presented in this manner to the consumer because it accentuates the way that the primary packaging of the products are intended to be opened.”

This style of opening also lets consumers enjoy the whimsical interior graphics.

Click here to watch the video.


About the Author(s)

Lisa McTigue Pierce

Executive Editor, Packaging Digest

Lisa McTigue Pierce is Executive Editor of Packaging Digest. She’s been a packaging media journalist since 1982 and tracks emerging trends, new technologies, and best practices across a spectrum of markets for the publication’s global community. Reach her at [email protected] or 630-272-1774.

Sign up for the Packaging Digest News & Insights newsletter.

You May Also Like