Product Development Finalists Serve Up Creative Concepts
by Mary Ellen Kuhn
posted on June 8, 2009
Just glancing at the enticing names of the products vying for top honors in the IFT Student Association Product Development Competition is enough to get you salivating. Of course, it takes much more than a creative product name to get a team to the finals of this annual student competition, which is sponsored by Mars. Inc.
The six finalist products were chosen based on criteria that include originality, potential profitability, processing feasibility, and, of course, taste appeal. Each of the participating teams conceptualized a new food or beverage idea and carried it through production and marketing—much like a commercial product development team.
Judges reviewed written reports and photographs submitted by student teams and chose the finalists, who traveled to Anaheim and took part in an oral presentation competition on Sunday, June 7. Posters of the product concepts are on display from 8–11 a.m. on Monday, June 8, in Hall A of the Convention Center. The competition also includes a private tasting event for judges.
Here’s a quick look at the taste-tempting concepts put forth by the 2009 competition finalists.
• FruitSoylicious. This fruit-soy beverage from the Iowa State University team is targeted to college students. The entrants claim that FruitSoylicious “redefines the realm of soy beverages by providing a smooth, delicious, and refreshing drink.”
• Inertia. This layered snack from the University of Minnesota team incorporates a layer of creamy dark chocolate, a crispy layer, and a sweet/tart blend of cherry, star fruit, and guarana berry. Billed by the team as “a snack that will change your state of motion,” Inertia delivers energy-boosting benefits courtesy of its guarana and caffeine content and a full serving of fruit.
• Shiverrs. A yogurt-based frozen mix that quickly transforms into an indulgent strawberry-banana smoothie when shaken for 30 seconds with milk, the Shiverrs concept was created by the team from North Carolina State University. In addition to the fact that it is simple to prepare, Shiverrs is low-fat, contains probiotics and added fiber, and delivers a full serving of fruit.
• Petit Cadeau. French for “little gift,” Petit Cadeau from the Pennsylvania State University team is based on the classic pairing of wine and cheese. The product is a refrigerated confection, consisting of a wine-based coating and a sweet Brie filling. The confection is molded into the shape of a gift box tied with a ribbon, supporting the idea that enjoying a Petit Cadeau is like “giving a little gift to yourself,” according to a member of the student team.
• Stack ‘n Snacks. These honey-and-cinnamon-flavored crackers come packaged with a strawberry-flavored dip that combined provide a full serving of vegetables in every portion. Targeted to children ages 3–10, Stack ‘n Snacks are the work of the Purdue University team.
• Erupt-a-Cake. This concept from the Washington State University-University of Idaho team is a cake mix kit designed to “help tweens experience food science and baking” while creating an all-natural chocolate cake with chocolate icing. The kit includes gummy dinosaurs, flowers, and trees; reactive orange-flavored/colored “lava;” and an edible “chocolate volcano.”
The Product Development Competition winners will be announced at the IFTSA Welcome Assembly, which begins at 7 p.m. Monday, June 8, at the Anaheim Hilton, California CD.
The first place team will win $4,000; second place, $2,500; and third place, $1,000—all courtesy of Mars Inc. In addition, Mars provided $1,000 travel grants to each of the six finalist teams.