Clemson University Product Development team wins competition
The Clemson University Food and Nutrition Product Development course team can add another success to its long list of accomplishments.
Team members competed in the 2015 Danisco Knowledge Award Program, sponsored by DuPont. Under the direction of Marge Condrasky of the Clemson Department of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences (FNPS), the team garnered second, as well as third place Product Development awards. The team also placed within the Top 7 of the 24 teams from across the nation competing in the event. Sensory science support was provided by Dr. Aubrey Coffee from FNPS. Sensory science involves teams who conduct sensory focus groups to gauge the acceptability of products. The teams take this information to refine food and beverage products for the marketplace. Packaging expertise was provided by Dr. Andrew Hurley, also from FNPS department.
Winning second place for Product Development with “Betterave Waffles” were: Courtney Lee, Grace King, Arliss Nicholson and Maelin Neipp (a packaging sciences student). Another Clemson team winning third place for Product Development with “Liatiko Home-style Grape Salsa were: Hayley Bell, Logan Pierce, Peter Marvin and Robert Kendall (a packaging sciences student).
“Betterave Waffles” are vegetable-packed frozen waffles. The target market for these waffles is consumers between the ages of 18 and 45, with a large focus on families with children between the ages of 5 and 18.
“Liatiko Home-style Grape Salsa” is geared toward the millennial generation who are 20 to 40 years old. The demographic was chosen because its likelihood to purchase chips and dip, along with other snacks.
In addition to these top awards, Clemson placed fourth with YoGo Bananas and in the top twelve with Supernova Scones. The scone product is a healthy blueberry mint product for children. YoGo Bananas is a gluten-free snack bite, also for children.
“Our students benefitted from the competition in several ways,” Condrasky said. “Teamwork is one way they benefitted. The teams consisted of students from different majors within the department – food technology and packaging sciences – who were able to learn from each other as they worked together to develop products. The students also learned about real world scenarios in that they were required to write a comprehensive technical report that included the need for such a product, including the market environment, as well as a description of the product, patentability and regulatory hurdles. They also addressed topics related to sensory, shelf life and microbiological testing. Teams likewise developed a pricing strategy.”
The awards included all-expenses paid trip to the New Products Conference in Palm Beach, Fla., for the team leaders and Condrasky. Teams winning second place also received $5,000 and the third place team $2,000 from Dupont. The money was divided among the students on each team.
The 2015 success was just one in a string of successes by members of the Clemson teams. In 2014, team members won second place in Product Development with “Stone Stove’s Tex-Mex Pizza.” A Clemson 2013 team won third place in Product Development with “Bistro Garden’s Savory Yogurt.” In 2012, Clemson brought home first and third place wins in Product Development with “Harvest: Blue Run,” and “Sorbet Blast,” respectively. The 2012 team won first in product development for “Farmer Chad’s Veggie Dip and Gluten Free Chips.”
“Our students have worked very hard,” Condrasky said. “We are very proud of them and the positive impact they have made and are making on our programs.”