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New Product Success for Loughry Students

May 21, 2018

National Diploma food students at CAFRE’s Loughry Campus have had their creativity, entrepreneurial skills and practical know-how, tested in a recent competition to design a new food product.

In our annual Product Development challenge set over 14 weeks, six student teams researched, developed and designed a new vegetable-based food product to meet a development brief provided by competition sponsor Avondale Foods. Head of Product Development for Avondale foods, Diane Christie and Senior Product Developer Renata Lima judged the products developed by the students on criteria such as individual product taste and appearance, packaging design and commercial viability of the products.

Each of the groups presented a unique take on their brief, however on the day the successful team was judged to be “The Amigos”, who had developed a Mexican Style Vegan Chilli. The judges were impressed the students were able to identify key trends in the market and develop a product that was plant-based, allergen free and also packaged in eco-friendly materials.

The team were delighted with the results. Team member Jack Graham said “We very quickly settled on a Mexican theme for our product as the flavours and colours were so vibrant, it then became obvious that we could have a product with the unique selling points of being vegan and allergen free, as well as low in fat and salt, our product just ticks all the boxes!”

With excellent food industry links and state of the art facilities Loughry campus develops highly employable students through programmes ranging from BTEC National Diploma to honours degrees.

Team Amigos members William Ferry, Emma McCombe and Jack Graham are pictured with the judging panel comprising Derek McDowell (CAFRE) and Renata Lima and Diane Christie (Avondale Foods)