Pupils from Speyside High School have been announced as the winners of Baxters Soup Challenge 2022.

In partnership with Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Moray, leading soup producer, Baxters, set secondary pupils from Milne’s High School, Buckie High School, Elgin Academy and Speyside High School an eight-stage challenge which consisted of creating and producing a new vegan soup.

As well as developing the recipes, pupils were tasked with creating a business and marketing plan for the product, including producing an advertising jingle and determining the cost of production.

Taking place at UHI Moray, the final saw the four teams tasked with presenting their new vegan soup to a specialist panel of judges. Each group was assessed on a range of criteria including product taste, ability to understand the costing process and overall presentation.

Second year students Ryan Mackie, Kirsty MacLeod and Kaysie Pyper from Speyside High School were unveiled as the winners for their innovative Coconutty Cauliflower vegan soup and robust business plan. As well as being awarded a trophy, the winning group will have a small run of their vegan soup produced at Baxters’ Fochabers factory.

The annual Baxters Soup Challenge is aimed at inspiring and attracting the next generation of talent, whilst giving them a flavour for the breadth of opportunities and job avenues that are available within food manufacturing.

Graeme Morrison, European Supply Chain Director at Baxters, said: “It was really inspiring to see all the hard work the pupils put into this challenge – they should all be very proud of themselves. Choosing just one winner was extremely difficult but Speyside High School’s new Coconutty Cauliflower vegan soup campaign was very impressive, with their passion for their product shining through.

“The initiative gives us a unique chance to ignite a spark for entrepreneurship in young people as well as giving them a taste for a career in food production and the wide variety of disciplines involved. We were delighted to work in partnership with DYW Moray once again and provide an opportunity for young people in our community to benefit from such an invaluable experience.”

Amanda Hedley at Developing the Young Workforce Moray said:It’s been brilliant working in partnership with Baxters on the Soup Challenge again this year. We always strive to ensure that children are aware of the many career paths that are available to them, and to see such passion, ideas, creativity and confidence at a young age is fantastic and so encouraging. Well done to all schools that took part and congratulations to Speyside High School.”

Erin Wood, teacher from Speyside High School, said: “The students have enjoyed every second of the challenge, from creating their ideas to having the chance to pitch to industry specialists. We can’t thank Baxters and DYW Moray enough for the opportunity to bring the subjects in our curriculum to life in such a practical and worthwhile way.

“We are absolutely delighted to have been named as the winners of Baxters Soup Challenge and we are all looking forward to receiving our batch of the new Coconutty Cauliflower soup!”

Baxters and DYW Moray have worked with Milne’s High School on the Soup Challenge for a number of years, with 2022 being the first year it has been expanded to involve other local high schools.