‘Tear & Share’ sausage scoops the Enterprise Award!

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Our partnership with Linton Village College, as part of our commitment to Business in the Community continues to prove successful – with enthusiasm aplenty in the bid to find the ultimate ‘Sausage of the Month’ and award, for the second year running the ‘Dalehead Foods Enterprise Award’ to a team of Year 9 students.

Our journey to discovering the ultimate sausage started in October. Working as part of the food technology curriculum, five Dalehead employees from the HR, Marketing and NPD departments gave 160 14 year olds an introduction to the Dalehead business, its operations and long standing relationship with Waitrose. This also included an interactive session to help the students understand the process of taking a product idea from concept to launch and also allowed time for students to understand the numerous career paths you can follow, within the food industry. Following this a project brief was set which asked the students to come up with a ‘Sausage of the Month’, months were picked at random with the final product idea reflecting the seasonal flavours and/or events of the month.

Returning a few weeks later to the College, it was final judging time! The finalists were down to eight teams and the hard work, enthusiasm and enjoyment was evident from every team member involved.

Joining the Dalehead judges and to add some pressure to the students (!) we were fortunate to have two Waitrose representatives also on the judging panel. Quentin Clark, Head of Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing chatted to students and also filmed the event (see link below). Quentin is involved with Business in the Community as Waitrose is also an active member, this was a great event which demonstrated how a local business and school were engaging with each other and finding rewards for LVC students and Dalehead employees alike. Service Meat Counter Buyer Andy Boulton was also present and had a keen eye on any potential sausage recipes which might prove successful enough to make it onto the Waitrose Meat Counters – what an achievement if this could turn into reality! Watch this space!

All the judges were impressed with the high level of detail and hard work which each team presented, along with the actual sausage idea. Teams had carried out market research, designed packaging, costed the product and one had been so inventive that a website had been created to buy the sausages online! All of this work took careful consideration and this was before any tasting took place!

There were three teams which were awarded Highly Commended status, these were

  • The Golfers for their Hole in One Sausage
  • Sausage Surprises for their Christmas Banger
  • Summer Berries for their Summertime Sausages

However, the overall winning team, with their ‘tribute tear and share’ sausage was the Seasonal Sensations (pictured). They demonstrated a clear target market with thorough research into the history of Waitrose and range offering. Packaging design was well thought out, capturing the mood of the season. With January their selected month the Seasonal Sensations recipe included root vegetables within the sausagemeat mix – and a secret ingredient which was later discovered as water chestnuts!

Following the success of this, the Tear and Share, along with the three Highly Commended sausages will be created at the Linton site in early February, with a site tour for all those pupils who took part.

Congratulations to all those involved, a huge thank you to Quentin and Andy for being part of the judging panel. We look forward to welcoming LVC students to Linton next year.

Watch the video made on the day by Quentin Clark, Head of Sustainability & Ethical Sourcing at Waitrose

Linton Village College & Dalehead Foods video

Read the online article by Food Manufacture magazine

Students design seasonal sausage for Waitrose

Read the Cambridge Evening News coverage of the day

Competition is a real sizzler!