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Sainsbury's turns school foodservice recipe into product

LONDON -- Sainsbury's is giving new meaning to the term "kid's meal," with a unique partnership that turned student recipes into store-branded products.

The program, called The Hertfordshire Food Chain Challenge, is run by the supermarket with Hertfordshire Schools to support the development of both teachers and students of food technology and catering, particularly the "industrial practices" area of the food technology curriculum.

As lead business partner, Sainsbury's commits time for professional development of teachers as well as providing practical feedback to students on the products they have designed. The brief provided to students is demanding and includes some industry specific criteria relating to such things as fat, calorie and salt content, requiring students to carry out research and gain knowledge and understanding about nutritional values of foods to develop their products.

Fifteen-year-old Gordon Ramsay Marlborough student Ruaridh Macphee, 15, produced the first product from this program to go on general distribution. Sainsbury's Be Good to Yourself Chicken and Lemon Meatballs with Rice is a single-serve healthy prepared food entree available at £2.29 (US$4.34) for a 400g dish.

"As part of the program, we had to develop a recipe that would meet Sainsbury's Be Good to Yourself product criteria," said Macphee. "The dish had to be healthy and low in fat, calories and salt. I chose chicken as this is the leanest of meats and used Tunisian cuisine as an influence as it uses herbs, citrus fruit and spices -- rather than salt -- to enhance the meal's flavor. I can't wait to see the product on shelf as it will be cool to see my recipe in Sainsbury's!"

Rory's success also benefits the school; his dish has secured a £1,000 ($1,895) donation from Sainsbury's in recognition for Marlborough School's commitment to food education.
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