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Speyside High School create winning vegan soup in Baxters Soup Challenge

From left to right: Graeme Morrison, Rachel Gothard, Sandy Young, Kirsty Chalmers and Darren Sivewright with Ryan Mackie, Kirsty MacLeod and Amanda Hedley.
From left to right: Graeme Morrison, Rachel Gothard, Sandy Young, Kirsty Chalmers and Darren Sivewright with Ryan Mackie, Kirsty MacLeod and Amanda Hedley.

A group of Moray pupils have claimed first place in Baxters Soup Challenge 2022 for their unique vegan recipe.

Pupils from several schools were tasked by soup giant Baxters to create a new vegan soup as part of the company’s annual soup competition.

The youngsters were challenged to put their home economics, business and music skills to create a vegan soup that could be added to the company’s existing product line.

Speyside pupils Ryan Mackie, Kirsty MacLeod were delighted to accept the coveted award after coming first place in Baxters Soup Challenge 2022.

Speyside High’s second year pupils Ryan Mackie, Kirsty MacLeod and Kaysie Pyper have been crowned winners with their Coconutty Cauliflower vegan soup.

They also impressed judges a robust business plan.

The group beat off stiff competition from pupils at Milne’s High School in Fochaers, Buckie High School and Elgin Academy to claim first place.

‘They enjoyed every second’

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 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.”

Second year Speyside High students Ryan Mackie, Kirsty MacLeod and Kaysie Pyper produced a Coconutty Cauliflower vegan soup as part of Baxters Soup Challenge 2022.

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.

During the final at UHI Moray, the four teams presented their soup to a panel of specialist judges.

Each group was assessed on a range of criteria including product taste, ability to understand the costing process and overall presentation.

The winning team will have a small run of their vegan soup produced at the Fochabers factory.

‘Inspiring effort’

Their efforts formed part of an eight-stage challenge, hosted in partnership with by Baxters and Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Moray.

The Baxters Soup Challenge is aimed at inspiring and attracting the next generation of talent, while giving them a flavour for the breadth of opportunities 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.”

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