RFG Announces New Food Innovation Sponsorship

Australia’s largest multi-food franchise operator Retail Food Group (RFG) today announced the lucky recipients of its exciting new food innovation sponsorship program, which is dedicated to supporting and encouraging talented individuals in the Australian food and beverage sector.

Charlize & Naomi AIFST Student Product Development Competition WinnersAs part of RFG’s support of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology’s (AIFST) 2016 Annual Student Product Development Competition, RFG today presented the winners, Charlize Snyman and Naomi Cutler, undergraduate students from RMIT University, a $10,000 cash prize.

RFG’s Head of Product Innovation Scott Anderson said RFG was proud to partner with the AIFST to foster and recognise the talent of Australian students and provide a Launchpad for new careers and opportunities within the food industry.

“There are a lot of synergies between RFG and the AIFST when it comes to striving for excellence within the hospitality industry, including encouraging young people to think innovatively and pursue their passion,” he said.

RFG CEO Gary Alford said the sponsorship was in alignment with the Group’s dedication to supporting emerging talent.

“As a global leader in retail food, coffee and franchising, RFG is continually looking to strengthen our human resources complement and under our corporate social responsibility charter, we recently launched our Rising Star sponsorship program, which allows us to assist young up-and-coming individuals reach their full potential and further their careers in their respective fields,” said Gary.

In addition to a $10,000 cash award to go towards Charlize and Naomi’s tuition, RFG’s sponsorship package includes a work placement in RFG’s world-class product development team on the Gold Coast and the potential of permanent employment within the Group.

This year’s AIFST Student Product Development Competition gave teams of undergraduate and postgraduate students the opportunity to develop a new or significantly renovated product for a predetermined market.

In line with the United Nations’ declared International Year of Pulses for 2016, the theme was pulse-based products. In an effort to provide students with a ‘real world’ situation representative of genuine product development processes and procedures, each entry was required to feature pulse products, also known as grain legumes.

Charlize and Naomi’s Eat Me cookies, which feature chickpeas and coconut, are a healthier alternative to cookies currently available in the marketplace.

The cookies provide consumers with the iconic flavours of an ANZAC cookie, however are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Eat Me cookies do not contain any dairy, eggs, nuts, soy or wheat so they are also friendly for people with intolerances or allergies to these products.

“We see our Eat Me cookies as the new, healthy ANZAC biscuits and best of all they contain dietary fibre for a snack-on-the-go,” Charlize and Naomi said.

The talented students said future developments to their Eat Me cookies include finding an alternative for oats and therefore adding a gluten-free status to the product, as well as increasing dietary fibre from the current 2.8 grams to 4 grams.

“Charlize and Naomi certainly have their fingers on the pulse when it comes to food innovation and we are excited to see what original and exciting ideas they bring to the table during their work placement at RFG,” Scott said.

AIFST Student Product Development Competition winners Charlize and Naomi will showcase their products at the Global Love Pulses Showcase held at the IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo in Chicago from July 16 - 18 2016.