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Turning Theory into Practice: Students Take on the Food Industry in Essay Competition
Published: 26th March 2018, 11:46am
Darren Bevan with LIBS winners Aspiring marketers and business professionals have put their theoretical knowledge to the test, working with a successful UK food manufacturer to explore changing consumer attitudes in the industry.

The second-year undergraduate students from Lincoln International Business School at the University of Lincoln, UK, partnered with JDM Food Group, using the company as a real life case study for an essay competition.  

JDM Food Group is a diverse food manufacturing business that supplies customers throughout Europe and the US in retail, food service and food manufacturing. It operates from its production facility in Bicker, Lincolnshire, supplying core ingredients through to roasted vegetables, sauces, dressings, drizzles and marinades.

Darren Bevan, Commercial Director of the Boston-based business, worked with academic staff from the University to evaluate the essays and determine the three best submissions.

Darren said: “The standard of the work submitted was brilliant and as a result of the process we’ve realised that there’s probably some areas of the business that we could look to improve. Millennials are a key part of our business both today and tomorrow, and it’s great to have the students’ insight and do more to attract them to our business.”

Each of the winning students received prizes from JDM Food Group in recognition of their work. First prize went to Lucy Heywood who received £100 and will soon be undertaking a site visit to the manufacturer to discuss her insights. Runners-up Calista Craig and Glen Hothersall also received £50 each.

Lucy Heywood, from Macclesfield, is studying BA (Hons) Marketing Management. She said: “I’m really proud of myself because I really had to try hard. I wrote about descriptive stimuli, focusing on visual imagery and the decision-making process, but I enjoyed writing about it as JDM is obviously a food manufacturer and I love cooking.”

As well as providing valuable insight to the food manufacturer, the essays produced by the students will also form part of their assessed work, contributing to their final degrees.

Peter Mount, Module Leader in Buyer Behaviour at LIBS, said: "The standard and insight of the students’ work, particularly that of the prize winners, in response to this challenging and very time constrained assessment was outstanding."

Martin Hingley, Professor of Strategic Marketing, added: “Having the opportunity to work with fantastic innovative employers like JDM Food Group is a tremendous bonus for the Lincoln International Business School. It really is an eye opener for students to be able to learn to put business theory into practice and act upon the work we do in class. This takes learning to a new level.”
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