The sweet promise of free food saw academics and students alike descend on the Harper Adams Food Academy to attend the 2022 Product Development Exhibition.
As part of an assessment brief for Starbucks, fourth-year students across a range of Food and Agri-Business courses showcased their experimental treats in exchange for consumer feedback – with many even offering out easy-to-follow recipes as an incentive.
The session is hosted annually with the target market changing each year in order to encourage creativity and entrepreneurial thinking. Food, Land and Agribusiness Senior Lecturer, Rachel Hilton, explained at the event how she is often surprised at the ingenuity on display.
She said: “This module really gives our students the scope to think outside the box. They have to behave both like a consumer and a client – in this case, Starbucks – which is crucial when working in the industry post-graduation.
“At Harper, we’re so proud to offer those real-world, transferrable skills – via our placements and exhibitions like this. In fact, this is often a favourite module for students, as it gives them a project they can really sink their teeth into – literally!”
Two such students were Ella Pitman and Annabel Twinberrow, whose butternut squash and goats cheese rolls proved a hit with a range of tasters. “We developed our product over three kitchen sessions with additional time in our sensory labs to test for things like texture and feel,” said Annabel.
“The recipe was under constant revision – I think our friends and family might never want to eat a butternut squash and goats cheese roll again!
“Having said that the module was fantastic fun, and you feel like you’re working on something which could very well be your future career. It’s always great doing something practical, especially when you know how invaluable it’s going to be later down the line.”
Other tasty treats on display included tofu brownies, strawberry and Earl Grey scones, low sugar apple biscuits and matcha and cranberry-filled loaf – all devoured well before the event ended at 1 pm.
If you would like to sample the delights of our Food and Product Development courses, activities such as texture analysis and other interactive kitchen sessions are available on our next Open Day. Find out more or book on to one of our events here.