CAFRE’s food students create and innovate

Date published: 27 June 2019

National Diploma food students at CAFRE have had their creativity, entrepreneurial skills and practical know-how, tested in a recent competition to design a new food product.

‘The Salad Co’ members Emma Wylie, Cathy Parke, Cathy Reid and Zara Troughton are pictured with Peter Simpson (CAFRE) and Diane Christie (Avondale Foods).

In our annual Product Development challenge at Loughry campus, five student teams researched and designed a new vegetable-based food product to meet a development brief provided by competition sponsor Avondale Foods. Head of Product Development for Avondale Foods, Diane Christie and Peter Simpson, Head of Food Technology at CAFRE judged the student’s products using criteria such as individual product taste, appearance, packaging design and commercial viability.

Each of the groups presented a unique take on their brief, however on the day the successful team was judged to be ‘The Salad Co’, with their Cypriot Grain Salad. The judges were impressed that the students had developed a salad incorporating on-trend ingredients such as quinoa and pomegranate while still delivering on flavour.

The winning team were delighted with the outcome. Team member Cathy Parke said: “We got inspiration for our product from experiences travelling and finding flavours that we loved. Putting this together with our market research helped us to develop a salad that met our design brief.”

With excellent food industry links and state-of-the-art facilities, Loughry campus develops highly employable students through programmes ranging from BTEC National Diploma to Honours degrees in Food Technology, Food Business Management and Food Innovation & Design. For more information, visit CAFRE’s website at

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