Chinese food science students were invited to the 2012 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo by the Almond Board of California to demonstrate their creativity and innovative spirit by showcasing the two new almond products they developed, how these products fit the needs of today’s contemporary Chinese consumers, and examples of marketing communication to promote the product to the Chinese population. These teams competed with hundreds of other students to develop a new healthy snack product for Chinese consumers using California Almonds.
The Almond Snack Product Contest is an annual competition organized by the Almond Board of California. The Board aims to develop key relationships with food science universities and food manufacturers to build long-lasting awareness and preference for using California Almonds in new snack products in China. It’s the innovation of the Chinese students of food technology that demonstrates the versatility of almonds as well as how almonds’ health benefits can make a positive difference in a product that makes this goal possible.
This year, two grand-prize winning teams were selected for the prize categories of Product Innovation and Product Communication. The Product Innovation prize-winning team came from East China University of Science and Technology, and won with their product Malt Cracker with Almond and Brown Sugar. Composed of graham cracker, melted brown sugar, and ground almonds, this team’s product was designed as a convenient and nutritious almond snack that is relatively simple to produce. The Product Communication prize-winning team came from China Agricultural University, and won with their TV advertisement for a product they developed called Almond Lover. A soft almond cake covered by chewy sticky rice mochi, this team’s product acts as a symbol of enduring love and is marketed towards couples in the student-made commercial.
Attending the IFT Annual Meeting offered the students a chance to interact with their peers in the IFT Student Association, learning all that this professional student organization can offer and how to build bridges across the United States and food science academic programs in China. IFT Student Association leaders and members from the academic community participated in a “Lunch and Learn” sponsored by the Almond Board of California where they learned more about the students’ products and also discussed potential ways to collaborate together in the future. This activity, in addition to a networking reception on Monday evening, gave everyone a chance to network and discuss issues impacting the academic community and the global food industry. Events such as the IFT Annual Meeting provide the best platform for academia, professional organizations, and food manufacturers to exchange and grow the opportunities to continuously improve and contribute to a better food supply for the world.