Strategic advice for the food and beverage industry

Talented young innovators

Joana Pic

Every year I have the pleasure and privilege of running a short course on health innovation and the key trends for the impressively dynamic, intelligent and likeable students who are studying for their Master’s in Health Food Innovation Management at the University of Maastricht, in the Netherlands.

Ten teams of students have a week to design a robust product concept – including everything from ingredients, nutrition profile, packaging, pricing, target consumer to marketing communications. They even have to do some consumer research.

At the end of the week (in which they have to go to class as well as work on the competition) they present to their classmates and faculty – selling the idea, just as you would sell it to a supermarket chain. The class and faculty then get to vote for the concepts “most likely to succeed” in real life.

This year, as always, there was some outstanding work. The team who came second even went as far as to make their product for everyone in the room to taste (it was excellent – ready to commercialise immediately) and made a video advert for it of professional standard.

The battle for first position was very, very close. And here are the winners and the packaging mock-up they made. You can see how much they are enjoying their prize – chocolate-coated orange pieces from Gorel, one of the best artisan chocolate houses in Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France.

From what I’ve seen of the graduates, they already have skills far above those of many people in industry, in large part thanks to the relentless “real-world” focus of course-leader Professor Fred Brouns, an alumnus of Cargill. You should think about hiring one of these dynamic, enthusiastic young people. Follow this link: Health Food Innovation Management

Posted in Editorial, Mainsite

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