Ulster University Business School students studying the BSc Hons Consumer Studies* (recently renamed BSc Hons Consumer Management and Food Innovation degree) had the opportunity to assist local award-winning ice-cream producer Morelli in choosing the six new flavours to be launched onto the market in 2015.
Students spent the morning working with Mr Arnaldo Morelli, learning about product innovation, retailing and the challenges involved in growing a family business. The students conducted sensory taste testing on fourteen products at the new Food and Consumer Testing Suite (FACTS) on the Coleraine Campus.
After several commercial considerations were taken into account and benefiting from the students’ feedback, the six new flavours were selected. Those chosen to form part of ‘Morelli’s 2015 Scoop’ range were – Lemon Curd, Coffee, Toffee & Chocolate Crisp, Vanilla with Salted Caramel Ripple, White Chocolate & Raspberry Supreme and a Luxury Caramelised Hazelnut.
Dr Lynsey Hollywood, said “This was a great opportunity for our students to collaborate with a local company and learn more about retailing, sensory testing and the challenges which impact when launching a new product onto the market”.
Arnaldo Morelli stated, “It was fantastic to receive the assistance of Dr Hollywood and her students in helping to choose our new flavours for 2015. This is something that is usually done in-house but the results and feedback have certainly got us thinking and we’ll hopefully be using sensory analysis to test even more new flavours in 2016”.
The Morelli family own ice cream parlours and have been trading on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast since 1911. Their award winning ice cream is available via franchised stores and retail scoop concessions right across Ireland. This year, 2015, is set to be a record year for the company with their annual output expected to top 500,000 litres of finished ice cream for the first time.
Mr Arnaldo Morelli with Dr Lynsey Hollywood and students from the BSc Hons Consumer Studies degree.
Mr Arnaldo Morelli with students (left to right) Bethany Cummins, former pupil of Newtownabbey Independent Christian School; Laura Markwell, former pupil of Hunterhouse College; Amy Thompson, former pupil of Ballymena Academy and Hannah McGookin, former pupil of Ballyclare Secondary School.
Arnaldo Morelli with Hannah Kane, former pupil of Coleraine High School and Rachel McKeown former pupil of Dunclug College.
* The BSc Hons Consumer Studies degree has been renamed as BSc Hons Consumer Management and Food Innovation to better convey the content of this degree. Understanding the role of the consumer from a business perspective and the importance of meeting consumer demands within today’s marketplace is the central focus within this exciting and challenging programme of study. The content is designed to develop students’ knowledge on the pivotal role the consumer plays in the design, development, management, marketing and retailing of products and services. Further detail can be found at: http://www.ulster.ac.uk/courses/course-finder/201516/Consumer-Management-and-Food-Innovation-4031