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Cal Poly Students Win Top Honors at Phoenix Challenge Packaging Competition

Press release from the issuing company

SAN LUIS OBISPO - Cal Poly graphic communication students won the overall award for their point of purchase (POP) display, wedge-shaped beverage container, and shrink sleeve at the Phoenix Challenge Flexo Packaging Competition in March.   

The Phoenix Challenge is a yearlong project in which students help a local company rebrand and market its business with materials using the flexographic print process — a technique that uses a flexible plate to print on a variety of materials. The Cal Poly team competed with nine other schools in Fort Worth, Texas.  

This year, Cal Poly’s team chose to work with a local family startup called B.R.A.T., which makes medicinal beverages based on the pediatrician-recommended diet for an upset stomach, which consists of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. Working with owners Greg and Ilsa Toepfer, students helped the company re-brand the packaging of the product to include an attractive POP display, a convenient child-sized wedge drink container, and an adult-sized 16-ounce bottle with a shrink sleeve.

The shrink sleeve includes a QR code that links consumers to a blog and a redesigned, student-coded website. Since B.R.A.T. is also a beverage recommended for adults who, for example, are going through chemotherapy, the blog offers a sense of community for consumers.

A game for children is printed on the wedge container in photo luminescent ink, which glows in the dark. The game allows children to engage with the brand while drinking the product. 

The POP includes a small wireless sensor that uses blue-tooth low-energy (BLE) to transmit digital coupons and information about the company to consumers’ smartphones.  BLE is a “one to many” technology that allows customers to opt-in to receive discounts or to engage in different company offers.

“We were honored when Cal Poly chose our company for the Phoenix Challenge competition,” said Ilsa Toepfer. “It has been amazing to watch the young, talented and creative minds give our B.R.A.T. drinks a fresh new look. As we move forward in launching the drinks using this new packaging, we are excited to see our brand reach new heights. A great big thank you and congratulations to the Cal Poly graphic communication team!”

Students Nicholas Azevedo (Santa Clara, Calif.), Isabella Baldwin (Gilroy, Calif.), Aislinn Bryan (Carlsbad, Calif.), team captain Hannah Giorgi (Goleta, Calif.), Natalie Jones (Long Beach, Calif.), Lindsay Mitchell (Temecula, Calif.), Leeanne Morris (Elk Grove, Calif.) and Reina Stephenson (Martinez, Calif.)  spent the last academic year brainstorming, researching, printing and preparing for this competition. 


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