'Petite Treat' wins best new food product at GMIT student showcase
Gluten-free, frozen, coconut-based desert created by Jarlath McDermott
A selection of unique food products created by third year BA Culinary Arts students in GMIT were showcased in the Galway International Hotel School recently with student Jarlath Mc Dermott, Lady Gregory Hotel, Gort, winning best product for ‘Petite Treat, a healthy, gluten-free, frozen, coconut-based luxury dessert that was judged to have “excellent potential, in both the retail and the wholesale market”.
Assessing the viability of the food products were Nigel Murray, Gran Grans Artisan Foods, Caroline McDonagh Senior Enterprise Development Officer, Galway Local Enterprise Office, Elaine Donohue, Co-Ordinator, Galway & West of Ireland, European Region of Gastronomy, James Gilchrest, Chef lecturer, and Food Product Development lecturer Richard Nielsen.
Summarising the showcase, the assessing Dragons describe the standard as “very impressive and the products following food trends” and showing “excellent creativity”. Judge Caroline McDonagh of LEO noted that “the collaboration between culinary students and business marketing students was a key to success” and “the level of preparation and detail were excellent”. Presenting their products, the students were “very knowledgeable, informed and well prepared for questions and answers.” Although most of the products focused on the health benefits, the Dragons suggested that the products could also be suitable as children’s snacks and could be sold onto a larger food producer for export.
Lecturer Richard Nielsen says “The showcase is the culmination of the students’ Food Product Development module in which they create a new food product based on market trends from concept to launch. They merchandise and displayed their products in a simulated trade show and give a two-minute sales pitch to representatives from the industry in a Dragons Den style format. Engaging with the attendees and pitching their product is as vital as the quality of the product itself. The industry representatives were very keen to support the students with suggestions on how to enhance their products, packaging and shelf life”.
“A new feature this year is the coupling of the culinary students’ product ideas with marketing and event students from the GMIT School of Business, to develop a marketing plan and the launch of the students’ new food products.
The students who took part in this event were Michal Buzynuk, The Huntsman, Galway, Collette Grealish, White Gables, Moycullen, Jarlath Mc Dermott, Lady Gregory Hotel, Gort, Mirjana Murat, Danaghers Hotel, Cong, Patrick Philips, Wa Café, Galway, Ewelina Pajak, Mohill Resource Centre, Leitrim, Dara O’ Neill, The Huntsman, Galway.
“The quality of innovation and the passion the students showed in showcasing their products was overwhelming. Other standout products this year included a ready-to-eat gluten-free vegetarian burger, spicy vegetable dip, egg-free meringue, fermented rice-based beverage, vegan energy snack and coconut-bee pollen crunch” adds Mr Nielsen.
For further information on GMIT’s Hotel School courses, see: https://www.gmit.ie/hotel/galway-international-hotel-school