BoozyBalls Announced as Ecotrophelia UK Winner 2024

Posted: 10 June 2024 | | No comments yet

A team of students from the University of Surrey, with their product BoozyBalls has won the grand prize at Ecotrophelia UK. Their winning product, Boozyballs impressed the judges with its unique and innovative approach to making alcoholic boba.


A team of students from the University of Surrey, with their product BoozyBalls has won the grand prize at Ecotrophelia UK. Their winning product, Boozyballs impressed the judges with its unique and innovative approach to making alcoholic boba.

2024 is the 12th year of Ecotrophelia UK, the British heat of a Europe-wide Dragons Den style competition. The Ecotrophelia Competition challenges students around Europe to develop a sustainable and innovative food product from concept to market. It promotes environmentally and socially sustainable design, with the aim of inspiring future generations of entrepreneurs to create innovative products. From idea generation through to the final packaged product, the teams get a hands-on experience of what it takes to bring an eco-friendly food or drink product to market.

The Ecotrophelia final takes place during National Food Science and Technology Week, an annual initiative organised by IFST to champion the food sector.

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Each year, the winning team receives a cash prize of £2,000, a year’s free IFST membership, and expert mentorship from the “dragons” who judge the competition, to aid in their preparations for the European final. The “dragons” are senior food experts from across the industry, from companies including Sainsbury’s, Nestlé, Coca Cola, Unilever, Mondelez, Warburtons, Ella’s Kitchen, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Food Manufacture, IFST and Campden BRI. The silver and bronze-award teams take home £1,000 and £500 respectively, with both teams also receiving a year’s free IFST membership.

BoozyBalls will represent the UK in the European final, taking place in Paris in October 2024. They will compete against 20 other national champions for the grand prize of €4,000. They will document their journey to the final with the assistance and support of IFST and Food Manufacture, creating a “Road to Europe” piece to inspire future generations of Ecotrophelia entrants.

Dr Veronica Giacintucci, Teaching Fellow in Food Science at the University of Surrey said “’The competition featured high-standard products with great market potential, all with a keen eye on sustainability, ranging from milk alternatives to baked goods. A great day of networking at the Nestlé York Food Product Development facility. We are beyond proud of the BoozyBalls team, and we look forward to SIAL Paris in October.”

The NoDoh team, from Queens University Belfast have won the silver prize, while Marble team, from Nottingham Trent University have taken home the bronze. Debuting this year was the food safety award, sponsored by Unilever. This award was won by Fidelites from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Alison Calvert from second-placed Team NoDoh, said “Ecotrophelia UK 2024 has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Taking our concept of utilising Brewer’s Spent Grain in a ready to eat and bake cookie dough from an initial idea, through the entire product development process to pitching it in front of a panel of industry professionals has been an amazing opportunity.  As we are currently placement students, we believe that this competition has allowed us to develop additional skills which will be beneficial for our final year of undergraduate study at Queen’s University Belfast.  Being placed second has made us excited to explore further opportunities for the development of our product.”

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Bertrand Emond, Membership Ambassador, Professional Development and Culture Excellence Lead at Campden BRI said “The food industry faces fundamental challenges including reducing our environmenta impact, meeting growing global demand for food, producing more from less as pressure increases on resources, and reformulating and creating new products to meet diet and health requirements.

Using science and innovation effectively will be critical to survival and competitive advantage. We must support efforts to unlock, nurture and drive innovation in the industry that helps us to meet these challenges. Ecotrophelia is a fantastic platform and source of innovation and inspiration for the industry capitalising on the creativity and energy of our brightest and most enterprising food students supported by the best academic institutions.”

Chris Gilbert-Wood, acting Chief Executive of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST), expressed his enthusiasm about the UK final of the Ecotrophelia competition 2024, stating: “The Ecotrophelia competition is always one of the highlights of the IFST year, and we are thrilled with the range of entries from across the UK. Food and drink businesses are one of the most consistent innovators in the UK economy; this competition helps to encourage new generations of entrepreneurs into rewarding careers in the food system.

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Notes to Editors:

The UK heat of Ecotrophelia was organised by the UK food and drink research organisation, Campden BRI, in collaboration with the Institute of Food Science and Technology, the UK’s leading professional body for those involved in all aspects of food science and technology.

Find out more about Ecotrophelia here:

IFST contact: Robert Edge-Partington, [email protected]

Campden BRI contact: Bertrand Emond, [email protected]