Student awards stimulating innovation

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Industry

The food industry is encouraging the new generation of food technologists by running competitions for students come up with new product formulations – which also help manufacturers spot the best new talent.

This month the winners of the Belgian Trophélia competition, supported by the CIAA, will be announced at the final TrueFood conference in Brussels. The initiative was started by the Vauclause Chamber of Commerce in France in 2000, with the main objective to encourage students to “create, use and develop new food products”.

Since its inception, more than 150 food products have been created out of the competition, more than 20 of which have been placed on the French market.

“Trophélia has become a national benchmark in the sector of food innovation,”​ says the CIAA.

There have been concerns, particularly in the US and the UK, about young peoples’ interest in working in the food industry. Last year Flora McLean, director of the Scottish Food and Drink Federation, told FoodNavigator.com that one problem is unawareness of the variety of career possibilities. When they think about food and drink, they tend to think about production jobs only.

“This is partly our own fault,”​ she said. The industry has tended to use publicity images of production roles, as items coming off a production line makes for a good picture and it is not so easy to come up with images that show other roles so well.

Competitions like Trophélia, however, gives students the chance to present their ideas to industry professionals directly, and discuss employment possibilities. Food firms, too, present themselves as an attractive place to work for in-demand graduates.

The European-wide Trophélia competition is also underway, with entrants having declared their commitment by 1 April and delivering their full dossiers by June.

More information on Trophélia is available at www.trophelia.fr

Related topics: Market Trends

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