Over the last 5 years, the BA Final Year/MA Culinary Arts Management students at UCB have challenged to create a new range of innovative food products for the vending industry, from initial market research, over practical development stages to a stimulated product launch in an exhibition format. The aim was to develop a delicious new range of vending products that would not only meet consumer demands for a healthy, balanced lifestyle, but that also look and taste great.
Set criteria for the challenge included:
- A maximum calorie count of 250kcals
- Visually appealing
- Great taste
- Packaging which meets current waste requirements
- If possible, the product should be ambient, but chilled is an option
- Viability at current price points so that it does not price itself out of the market
- An engaging brand name and product marketing plan
- Suitable for those with allergens or preferring a healthier diet
The products are then be judged by a panel of experts, with the best team awarded the University Food Development prize.
Eat The Season Brownie Box
Team H, comprised of Peter Price, Hannah Avery, Ayeshia Lewis, Tom Price, Andy Wong, Jayden Lin and Sarah Hickenbottom, were crowned the winners in 2017. Each of the seven students created their own flavour around a core flavour of Beetroot and Chia.
The seasonal variations were as follows:
- Spring: Apricot and Sunflower seeds
- Summer: Coconut and Raspberry
- Winter: Apple and Cinnamon
- Autumn: Cherry and Almond
- Easter: Double Chocolate Mixed Berry and Poppy Seed
- Christmas: Orange, Ginger, Cranberry and Walnut
All the products in the competition were Gluten Free, Dairy Free and less than 250 calories.
The Innovation Award, given by Mike Saltmarsh, was awarded to Dough and Dip which was a gluten-free doughnut with two dips. This included a ginger doughnut with a honey and blueberry dip and a cinnamon doughnut with maple and bacon dip.
As part of their commitment to healthier vending, the AVA are excited to continue their collaboration with the UCB. The team at the AVA remain inspired by the consistently innovative and healthy ideas which the younger generation have produced over the past 5 years. We look forward to seeing what they come up with next!