Baxters Soup Challenge 2022
All four school co-ordinators from DYW Moray were involved from the beginning in disseminating the soup challenge brief to each of their schools and in the beginning there were 129 teams involved. The initial brief was to bring groups of individuals together to work on creating not just a vegan soup, but to make a sellable product with consider flavour, profit, and nutritional benefits. Individuals were encouraged to have specific roles within their team and rotate these roles. As the challenge involved lots of aspects this allowed for many school departments to be involved, from maths, business, music, art & design to home economics.
Once each team had completed their soup including all aspects of the brief a semi-final took place at each of the schools where the teams had to present to a panel of judges. Due to the shear number of teams, each school picked at least 4 teams to present at this stage. The standard was excellent, and the judges had a difficult job to chose one team from each school to go through to the final. The four teams that were successful were then invited to take part in a workshop hosted at UHI Moray.
The workshop was a jampacked day where the finalists received guidance from Baxters’ experts, on finance, culinary tips, branding, and presentation. This allowed the pupils to discuss all aspects of the brief and fine-tune their concepts before the final.
Taking place at UHI Moray, the final saw the four teams tasked with presenting their new vegan soup to a specialist panel of judges. Each group was assessed on a range of criteria including product taste, ability to understand the costing process, and overall presentation. A jingle and social media advert were also a requirement. The pupils were given invites for parents/guardians to come along and enjoy the experience and taste the finalist's soup. The buzz was amazing, and the judges were very impressed by the caliber of presentation and soup produced.
Second-year students from Speyside High School were unveiled as the winners for their innovative ‘Coconutty Cauliflower’ vegan soup and robust business plan. As well as being awarded a trophy, the winning group will have a small run of their vegan soup produced at Baxters’ Fochabers factory.
The annual Baxters Soup Challenge is aimed at inspiring and attracting the next generation of talent, whilst giving them a flavour of the breadth of opportunities and job avenues that are available within food manufacturing.
Graeme Morrison, European Supply Chain Director at Baxters, said: “It was really inspiring to see all the hard work the pupils put into this challenge – they should all be very proud of themselves. Choosing just one winner was extremely difficult but Speyside High School’s new ‘Coconutty’ Cauliflower vegan soup campaign was very impressive, with their passion for their product shining through.
“The initiative gives us a unique chance to ignite a spark for entrepreneurship in young people as well as giving them a taste for a career in food production and the wide variety of disciplines involved. We were delighted to work in partnership with DYW Moray once again and provide an opportunity for young people in our community to benefit from such an invaluable experience.”
Amanda Hedley at Developing the Young Workforce Moray said: “It’s been brilliant working in partnership with Baxters on the Soup Challenge again this year. We always strive to ensure that children are aware of the many career paths that are available to them, and to see such passion, ideas, creativity, and confidence at a young age is fantastic and so encouraging. Well done to all schools that took place and congratulations to Speyside High School.
Erin Wood at Speyside High School has said: The students have enjoyed every second of the challenge, from creating their ideas to having the chance to pitch to industry specialists. We can’t thank Baxters and DYW Moray enough for the opportunity to bring the subjects in our curriculum to life in such a practical and worthwhile way.
“We are absolutely delighted to have been named as the winners of Baxters Soup Challenge and we are all looking forward to receiving our batch of the new ‘Coconutty’ Cauliflower Soup!”
Baxters and DYW Moray have worked with Milne’s High School on the Soup Challenge for a number of years, with 2022 being the first year it has been expanded to involve other local high schools. The engagement with Baxters in this challenge has proved straightforward and it is key to DYW Moray’s ethos to ensure these key partnerships continue.