Finalists Dream Up Winning Ways to Boost Kids’ Fruit, Veggie Consumption
by Mary Ellen Kuhn
posted on June 8, 2009
Like victorious Super Bowl athletes, top winners in the Disney-IFT Student Association (IFTSA) Product Development Competition will be heading to Disneyland!
A VIP tour of Disneyland is among the perks for grand prize winners of this competition, which challenged student teams to create a nutritious, unique, and innovative new snack product targeted to children under the age of 12. The product, which may be geared to either a retail or a foodservice application, must include a fruit or a vegetable ingredient in the formulation.
Other components of the grand prize include a check for $2,500 and a Disney trophy. Two grand prizes are offered—one for a graduate student team and another for an undergraduate team. The first place prize is $1,250, and second prize is $750.
Finalists from six universities will participate in oral finals from 2:30-5 p.m. Monday, June 8, in the Special Events Pavilion, Booth 99 on the Food Expo floor. The competition also included a private tasting event held on Saturday, June 6.
Winners of the competition, which is sponsored by Disney Consumer Products, will be announced on Monday evening at the IFTSA Welcome Assembly, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Hilton Anaheim Hotel, California CD.
Here’s a peek at the entries submitted by the six finalists.
• Buzz Lightyear’s Star Command Snacks. Developed by the Ohio State University team, each package of these Star Command snacks contains crackers made with beets and sweet potatoes, plus two dips incorporating various fruits and vegetables. The product is low in sodium, a good source of protein and fiber, and an excellent source of vitamins A and C.
• Peelables. This naturally sweetened fruit and vegetable leather fusion was concocted by the Kansas State University team, which describes the product as “an easy way to sneak vegetables into kids’ diets.” Adding to their appeal, Peelables are formed into the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head.
• Winnie the Pooh’s Hunny Clusters. This product from the University of California, Davis, team is a mixture of five whole grains and a full serving of fruit—all contained in a single packet. Each packet includes oats, brown rice, barley, spelt, flax, dried cranberries, dried apricots, and dried plums. The product is high in fiber and a good source of protein. It contains several essential vitamins, including vitamins A and E.
• Mighty Mickeys. Shaped in the form of Mickey Mouse’s head, these new snacks from the University of Minnesota team are a bakeable finger food that is crispy on the outside and moist and mashed on the inside. They’re similar to frozen French fries, but the main ingredients are non-potato vegetable combinations. There are three varieties: orange, which contains carrots and squash; yellow, made with cauliflower and corn; and green, formulated with broccoli and peas.
• Mickioli. Student formulators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison devised the Mickioli. This twist on traditional ravioli is made by filling a waffle cone with creamy, vanilla yogurt and strawberry filling. Shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head, this handheld snack is gluten-free, contains fiber and protein, and is a good source of vitamin C. Quinoa flour is used in the formulation.
• Squeezzies. Created by the North Carolina State University team, Squeezzies are a combination of real fruit and vegetable juice concentrates in an easy-to-eat gel form. The product is packaged in a clear, no-mess pouch, and each colored layer is a different flavor and fruit/vegetable combination.