As part of an ongoing partnership with Witwood Food Products, second year students on the BSc Food and Consumer Management course were taught coating principles and techniques by Witwood in preparation for a new product development (NPD) brief, in which they created a new coated premium product for retail.
Students spent several months researching the market and existing products before starting to develop their own proposals. Witwood representatives visited the college on several occasions to guide the students in their work, and the finished products were presented to members of the Witwood sales, marketing and NPD teams last week.
Tracey Moulder, Witwood account manager and former Birmingham College student, said: "We were incredibly impressed with the quality and range of the concepts presented. Each one demonstrated a real understanding of the market, and the students' ability to explain, justify and comment on the strengths and potential weaknesses of their ideas was excellent.
"It illustrates the breadth of talent and enthusiasm that's out there, and anything the food industry can do to help nurture this talent and prepare people who have a passion for food for a career in the industry should be encouraged."
Jennie Howe, programmes co-ordinator at the college, said: "This exercise has been excellent. It is very realistic, using a brief set by industry, real products, and with realistic feedback on individual student success and areas for improvement from people working in the industry."
"We greatly appreciate the time that Witwood have devoted to working with us on this project, both in visiting the college on several occasions during the development stages and in to speaking to individual students about the outcome of their project."
"Many of the students on this course hope to work in NPD roles after graduating and this collaboration has helped to prepare them for the sort of situations they will encounter in the industry, both in developing products and convincing manufacturers to take them forward."