Students get taste of creating new businesses with chocolate competition


A-level students at Hartpury College tickled their tastebuds recently when they took part in a ‘chocolatey’ challenge.

Students worked in teams in an Enterprise Challenge at the college, with the aim of creating new chocolate products. Over the two-day event, students from each team were given a masterclass in chocolate crafting from specialist chocolatier, Yvonne Everest, who demonstrated how to make chocolates with various flavours, fillings, shapes and techniques.

Other members of each team gathered market research in Gloucester, putting the theory they have been learning in business lessons to the test by identifying target markets and developing a campaign to promote their product.

Once their prototype chocolates were ready for tasting and last minute tweaks made to packaging and promotional materials, the teams pitched their ideas to a panel of judges that included Phil Smith, the former Vice-President of food industry giants Kraft, and professional artist Lucy Milne.

All of the groups impressed the judges with their creative and sumptuous chocolate ideas but the team launching “Chocobear” - an innovative chocolate lolly with an exciting marketing strategy - won the day and with it, the overall prize.

Susan Castle, A-level lecturer in Business Studies and Economics at Hartpury, said: “We have run an Enterprise Challenge for all our first year students for several years and each time it has been a huge success. It stretches the students, encouraging them to develop creative and practical skills beyond their usual academic studies.

“I was really impressed with the quality of the students’ presentations to the judges, including their visual aids and online promotional ideas. It provides an opportunity for the students to learn new skills and get a taste of the challenges of starting up a new business.

“And of course, who wouldn’t want to spend two days making and thinking about chocolate? Especially when you can eat the creations afterwards!”

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