‘Gemstone Caviar’ Glass Container Takes Top Prize in Student Design Competition

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‘Gemstone Caviar’ Glass Container Takes Top Prize in Student Design Competition

Arlington, VA (December 3, 2020) – The first-place winner of the 2020 Glass Packaging Design Competition at Michigan State University’s (MSU) School of Packaging is the student team of Aric Phinney, Grace Ellis, Kollin Caldwell, Joseph Lietaert and Ryan De La Mater. The winners beat out nine student teams with their emerald green glass container design titled Gemstone Caviar.

“This annual competition continues to be an excellent way to introduce the next generation of packaging professionals to the world of glass containers and design,” said Scott DeFife, President of the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI). “It is an honor for GPI to sponsor this competition in partnership with the MSU School of Packaging and celebrate the creativity and innovation of these students.”

The winning design features emerald green glass, embossing and a unique shape - a combination sure to catch the buyer’s eye. Gemstone Caviar’s glass design allows it to standout from traditional can packaging for caviar, creating a high-end experience for the consumer.

“This win means a lot to our team because we put a lot of hard work into the design thinking process to brainstorm unique ideas that would set us apart from other glass designs,” said MSU student Grace Ellis. “It was very rewarding to have the opportunity to apply our knowledge from class to create a unique design and ultimately have our idea come to life.”

“Each semester it gives me great joy to see what 85 to 120 students, working in small teams, can conceptualize, create, and communicate while learning the fundamentals of glass packaging” said Paul D. Koning, Instructor at the MSU School of Packaging. “Mr. Michael Kubicki, GC1 Consulting, LLC., is a tremendous help each semester determining the Top 5 designs. The partnership with glass industry professionals is critical for this packaging design competition to be successful.”

Ardagh Group, Glass – North America was set to host the winning team at their headquarters in Indiana, however due to COVID-19 these plans are on hold. The winning model was created by Ardagh and is now on display in the Atrium of the School of Packaging at MSU.

“It was evident through the quality of entries that this year's competition had an impressive group of students with a solid foundation about the knowledge of glass packaging,” said John T Shaddox, Chief Commercial Officer for Ardagh’s North American Glass business unit. “Ardagh is pleased to be part of GPI’s Academic program that emphasizes excellence in glass design and helping to bring those innovative designs to life through realistic models.”

Five-member student teams, all randomly assigned, from the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 Packaging with Glass and Metal class participated in the competition, working on the project throughout the semester as they learned about design and manufacture of glass bottles and jars.

The top 10 submissions (5 from each semester) were judged by an industry panel including Jonathan Crowe – Ardagh Group, Glass – North America, Raul Paredes – Owens Illinois, Dave Wengerhoff – Food Partners Consulting, Bill Eaton – Pepsico, and Rich Crawford.

In the photo from LEFT to RIGHT (Aric Phinney, Grace Ellis, Joseph Lietaert, Kollin Caldwell. *not pictured: Ryan De La Mater)