Smoothie Challenge

Smoothie Challenge

About the Project

The Smoothie Challenge was developed as a partnership activity between the Natural Fruit and Beverage Company (NFBC), the UKs leading packer of food products into resealable pouches, New Nutrition Business (NNB) who provide insight and research to the world leaders in food product innovation and SFDF as part of the SFDF Schools Programme.

NFBC work with many food and drink companies of all sizes, they also have the expertise to work with their customers to provide technical and new product development guidance. NFBC also have strong ethical credentials and were an ideal partner to work with Milngavie Primary to develop a new smoothie product and explain the intricacies of the world of business.

NNB is a unique organisation that specialises in knowledge and research, working with some of the largest global companies to provide insight and research they were a fantastic resource for the school as they provided a unique perspective to new product development and future trends in the food and drink industry to the pupils.

This IDL project for all P7 pupils aimed to build capacity of learners by encouraging educated food choices and developing an understanding of the real world of work and how business operates. The pupils were challenged to design a new fruit smoothie that could be packaged by NFBC and in the process they would be expected to explore new product development, careers in the industry, existing products, sustainability, costs and marketing and promotion.

The benefit to the children of working in partnership with industry cannot be overstated as the children really respond to the presence of the professionals. They took the enterprise very seriously and were hugely motivated by the 'Dragon's Den' finale. Projects such as this one provide excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary learning.

Teacher, Milngavie Primary

Project Partners, Aims and Objectives

  • Provide active engagement between pupils and industry
  • Encourage educated food choices
  • Support health and wellbeing through research and practical application
  • Help pupils gain practical skills
  • Encourage team working and co-operative learning
  • Help pupils to understand the links between subjects and careers in food and drink.

Outcome

Personalisation and choice: the challenge allowed learners to experience a depth of learning across the wider curriculum. Learners understood how a variety of subjects liked into the project and transferred skills that they had gained into meaningful active learning events.

Understanding business and industry: pupils really benefitted from the input of business partners and the school have established links that will be used in the future.

The process enabled pupils to better understand all the different processes involved in running a business and within food production and aided understanding of the reality of the world of work.

Co-operative learning: by encouraging worked in mixed groups and often with pupils they had never worked with before. By taking on specific job roles they had to work with and support one another.

How we did it

NFBC, NNB and SFDF launched the “Smoothie Challenge” to all the P7 pupils over the course of one morning in the school.

Each of the partners spoke to the pupils:

  • SFDF provided an overview of the food and drink industry and the jobs available and skills required.
  • NFBC explained what they do and the sort of jobs that they provide. They also told the pupils about running and managing a business.
  • NNB spoke to the pupils about the importance of product innovation, branding and marketing.
  • All the speakers told the pupils about their individual job roles, their careers paths and the skills they needed for their jobs.
  • There was a session looking at how products are marketed including an examination of the words and language and the colours and images used on packaging and promotional materials
  • The morning was rounded off by with the pupils taking part in a smoothie sampling session, that included a group discussion of a range of different smoothies and fruit drinks available on the market
  • The morning culminated with the pupils being set their challenge, to develop an alternative fruit drink that would appeal to young people.

Over the course of the following weeks the pupils identified their individual job roles and worked in teams to research different fruits, existing products and research what flavours, tastes and textures appealed to their target market. When the groups had agreed on their product they worked out costings and marketing campaign to use as their pitch to a team of “Dragons”.

The work culminated in a “Dragons Den” event when representatives from the companies and SFDF attended the school and each team made their pitch.

What we learned

Exploring the wider curriculum - staff and pupils enjoyed the opportunity to explore the wider curriculum through using food as the context and were able to deliver subjects in an engaging a real life context which appealed to the pupils.

Raising aspirations – Industry and stakeholder involvement in the activity provided pupils with access to a range of different job roles and skills requirements and also potential job and career pathways, all of which help to inspire and encourage young people. Many pupils commented on the fact that they had not appreciated the complexity of the industry, particularly in technical and business areas.

Collaboration, communication and relationships - The children's skills improved in terms of working together, communicating and sharing their ideas.

Impact on breadth and depth of learning – learners produced more than could have been delivered through normal delivery of the curriculum, exploring real life situations in a real life context. Practitioners gained confidence in the delivery of food education as they saw learners exceeding all expectations.
Healthy Eating – pupils learned about the value of healthy eating and also about the impact that diet has on health and wellbeing, they also learned a lot about different fruits.

What next?

Continue to deliver realistic food industry activities to engage pupils and staff in future years.

Promotion of activity as a CPD opportunity – involvement in this partnership provides an ideal opportunity for school staff to improve their knowledge of the industry engagement with industry.