Bowl full of fun

23rd May 2008 at 01:00
Over the past few months we have made healthy eating central to the curriculum and our school ethos
Over the past few months we have made healthy eating central to the curriculum and our school ethos. As such, we created the "Design a breakfast cereal" project, a marketing initiative for Year 10.

The project consists of 10 tasks, to be carried out over a term as homework, although it can also be completed in class, perhaps as part of an enterprise day. Apart from a questionnaire design done in class, the majority of tasks will normally be carried out by pupils individually at home.

We imagine a major food producer has approached us to design and promote a healthy breakfast cereal for children aged two to 12. It must contain less than 4 per cent fat and less than 1 gram of sodium and 10 grams of sugar per portion.

Starting with a general plan - ideas for a name for the cereal, a description of how it will be different from all the other cereals on the market - the task moves on to market research about other brands, what people buy and why. Pupils can try a taste test of existing products to see what people like.

Once the research is complete, the next task includes deciding on the cereal name and content, and its packaging, which pupils have to make.

To make sure it looks authentic, they must remember the bar code, nutritional information and a best-before date. But there's more. Where should this cereal be sold? If pupils want to reach the largest number of customers, for example, should they hand out free samples?

The later tasks are to do with advertising and promotion. Pupils must come up with an advert, which could be on TV, radio or in a newspaper (extra marks if you research and compare different advertising costs). The project as a whole helps pupils develop transferable skills in planning and presentation that hopefully they can take into future careers.

Katherine Hobbs teaches business studies at Miltoncross School in Portsmouth.

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