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Competition Adds a Dash of Disney Magic to Product Development

BY: Mary Ellen Kuhn
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Nutrition and fun always intersect in the Disney—IFTSA Product Development Competition: Nutritious Food for Kids, now in its seventh year. Five finalist teams will compete in the last phase of this competition, which will take place on the show floor in the Food Expo Forum, Booth 3887, on Monday, July 13.

The competition challenges student members of IFT to create a delicious, market-relevant snack that meets Disney Nutritional Guidelines and integrates at least a half-serving of one of the following: a fruit, vegetable, low-fat dairy product, and or/whole grains. Children aged 10 and younger are the target audience for the snack products.

What have the finalist teams whipped up this year? Here’s a look at the products that judges will be evaluating.

  • The Virginia Tech team will showcase Nemo Pockets, a snack made from a mix of sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and carrots filled with shredded mozzarella and topped with chia seeds. Its creators claim that it is just as filling as pizza snacks—and more healthful.
  • The team from the University of Massachusetts Amherst will offer Cinderella’s Chicken and Veggie Bites, which are vegetable-fortified chicken nuggets in shapes inspired by Disney’s Cinderella franchise.
  • The University of Georgia team will be showing off its Snow Snacks, which are gummy snack kits made from 100% real fruit and vegetables and filled with nonfat yogurt as well as dried mango strips and raisins.
  • The offering from the Rutgers University team is WhOLaf Grain Treats, which are low-calorie children’s snacks that are free of gluten and the big eight allergens. Each snack kit contains brown rice biscuits, dried fruit adornments, and an edible glue, which will allow kids to construct their own snowmen friends.
  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, student product developers will showcase Build a Snowman Kit. It’s an interactive snack kit that contains a cracker, fruit and vegetable spread, and toppings that feature Olaf from the Disney franchise.

Winners of the competition will be announced during the IFT Student Association Closing Ceremony, which begins at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 13, in the Continental AB Ballroom of the Hilton Chicago. One grand prize, one first prize, and three honorary prizes will be bestowed in the competition, which is sponsored each year by Disney Consumer Products.

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