A challenge that invites students to make fruit and vegetables more popular among young people opened today. Initiated by Medical Delta Living Lab VIT for Life, HortiHeroes and Foodvalley NL, and with The Hague University of Applied Sciences as research partner, the Food Boost Challenge is all about the search for groundbreaking ideas. A prize of € 5,000 is available for the idea that tackles the problem that young people structurally eat too little fruit and vegetables. Participants can submit plans until 19 February.
The Food Boost Challenge is looking for an innovative idea that will turn the market on its head. The challenge is divided into four phases: From research to ideation and from concept development to prototype. In this way, students can actually influence the eating pattern of themselves and future generations. The ideas can range from an entirely new product that makes the consumption of fruit and vegetables (products) more fun, to an ingenious concept for a game or event about fruit and vegetables. But also a technology that stimulates healthy eating, or a fresh concept that attracts young people like a magnet to fruit and vegetables in school canteens or supermarkets, are some of the possibilities.
The challenge was prompted by the growing percentage of people who are overweight. Eating enough fruit and vegetables is important for a healthy diet. In addition, eating enough fruit and vegetables reduces the risk of being overweight or obese. According to the CBS, in 2020 17% of young people (12-20 years) and even 50% of adults were struggling with weight problems. However, young people between 12 and 20 years eat a lot less fruit and vegetables than the daily recommended amount. This is especially the case for children of parents from low and middle socio-economic position (SEP).
Recently, more than 200 students conducted research into what tempts young people to eat more fruit and vegetables. The results of the research can be followed through the Food Boost Challenge channels and website. These results are a source of inspiration for the participants. The Food Boost Challenge wants to use the creativity of young people on this issue.
Students can participate in teams and win a nice prize. In addition to an instructive course of study with intensive supervision, the winning idea will receive €5,000, ample media attention, a national stage during the finals and at the Floriade Expo 2022 and the chance to validate the idea in the US via the company AppHarvest. There is also a public prize which will be rewarded to the most attractive idea or concept with €500 by the students themselves.
Organising parties Medical Delta Living Lab VIT for Life, HortiHeroes and Foodvalley NL are supported by De Haagse Hogeschool as an important knowledge and research partner. Meanwhile, 30 leading companies, startups and educational institutions have joined this initiative to guide students and bring the idea further together during the challenge. From these parties, a professional jury will be formed to evaluate the submitted ideas.
The Food Boost Challenge is organized for students studying at a Dutch educational institute (mbo, hogeschool or university) or who graduated not longer than two years ago. Ideas can be submitted between 10 January and 19 February via the organisation's website. Then, from 18 March onwards, the co-creation and prototyping phase will start in which the finalists will actively collaborate with the partner companies. The final is on 24 May and will be open to the public.