Angus Soft Fruits: Empowering Young Minds through Berry Innovation.

Angus Soft Fruits: Empowering Young Minds through Berry Innovation.

The Berry Specialists and Arbroath Academy teamed up for a Dragons Den style educational project that brought innovation, inspiration and collaboration to the forefront.

Recently, Angus Soft Fruits embarked on an extraordinary journey of collaboration and inspiration with S1 pupils of Arbroath Academy.

This innovative project aimed to engage the students, providing them with firsthand knowledge of the food-to-fork process and introducing them to the diverse range of careers available within the Food Processing industry.

With a desire to make the project both educational and enjoyable, Angus Soft Fruits decided to adopt the Dragons Den concept as a template for the project. Working closely with teachers from Business Studies, Science and Home Economics, The Berry Specialists crafted a plan that challenged the students to create a new food product using strawberries.

The project guidelines were clear; the product had to be aimed at teenagers, it had to be an original recipe and it had to go through all stages of the food product development process. The students quickly got to work within their classes, learning about how strawberries grow, marketing a product and of course, developing and perfecting their recipes.

During the project S1 students and their teachers were invited to visit Angus Soft Fruits Head Office in Arbroath, allowing them to witness firsthand the strawberry growing process and to gain insight into the entire production journey, from farm to fork. During their visit, the students had the opportunity to interact with key departments, such as Farm Management, Technical, Agronomy, Supply Chain, Marketing, Accounts and IT to learn about the vital roles played by each department. As a delightful conclusion to their visit, the students participated in a benchmarking exercise, savouring and evaluating different varieties of strawberries exploring taste, texture and appearance.

The pinnacle of the project awaited the students as they prepared to pitch their product to the Angus Dragons. Each group meticulously crafted a presentation, showcasing their journey toward perfecting their product. Their pitches included compelling marketing strategies, eye-catching logos, well thought out costings, and most importantly, their product for tasting. The students amazed the Angus Dragons, consisting of Managing Director John Gray, Farm Manager Allen Innes, and Digital Marketing Manager Anneka Morgan, with their creativity and innovation, making it a challenging task to select a winner. In the end, ‘Strawberry Ice Cream’ with its irresistible slogan ‘Life is nice with strawberry ice’ emerged as the overall winner, closely followed by the ‘Berrylicious’ Strawberry and White Chocolate Blondies.

To honour their hard work and dedication, the students were presented with certificates and berries on the day of the announcement, followed by a prize giving evening where they all received medals and trophies for their participation. Furthermore, the winning team and the runner-up were invited to our office to sell their product at the price they had pitched to the Angus Dragons. The berry specialists at Angus Soft Fruits were thrilled with the delicious treats, leading to a rapid sell-out of their creations.

Angus Soft Fruits’ collaboration with Arbroath Academy proved to be a resounding success, inspiring young minds, nurturing their entrepreneurial spirit, and providing a tangible glimpse into the fascinating world of the fruit industry. Angus Soft Fruits are proud to have contributed to the students’ growth and development, empowering them to dream big and pursue rewarding careers.


Arbroath Academy Testimonial

“From the very beginning of the project, Angus Soft Fruits were enthusiastic to work with Arbroath Academy. A project was set, which not only linked the school with a successful business but also created an opportunity for interdisciplinary learning between Science, Business and Home Economics. 

S1 pupils were tasked with investigating the growth process of a strawberry, then researching the best possible recipe to adapt, and create a new product, and finally selling this product through their own marketing campaign, to a panel of “dragons” (John, Alan, and Anneka).

The judges were blown away by their efforts and couldn’t decide on one overall winner, so they gave a highly commended second place as well. The top two teams were invited out to Angus Soft Fruits, to sell their product to the staff, in which they were delighted to make a generous profit! 

Most importantly, a strong partnership has been created between Arbroath Academy and Angus Soft Fruits, and I cannot wait for a bigger and better project next year!”.

Jessica Robertson, Teacher of Home Economics


“Our technical team has between us all, an incredible 145 years of experience in soft fruit, which shows our dedication, depth of knowledge and passion for our crops!” David Cuthbert, Technical and Development Director, ASF