University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings


How do you design a successful food product that can be sold in shops and supermarkets around the world? In our New Product Development module (NPD), you'll put into practice everything you've learnt during your course, and get a chance to enter an international industry competition, Ecotrophelia. This Dragons' Den-style event showcases students' eco-innovative food products.

In 2017, the winning team of our own NPD showcase went on to achieve international success. The team had created Yasai Caulirice Sushi, a vegan sushi made with cauliflower rice instead of sushi rice.

Watch our video to find out more

Conception to competition

Following a brief set by the Department, the Yasai Caulirice Sushi team created their new food product from start to finish: they carried out market research, designed and refined their product, and created a marketing plan for the finished food.

"We looked into the growing trends of veganism, and replacing carbohydrates with vegetables to create a lower calorie lunch."

Pavandeep Matharu, BSc Nutrition with Food Consumer Sciences graduate

Along with their peers, they showcased their product to industry professionals, who crowned Yasai Caulirice Sushi as the winner.

Industry professionals as mentors

The team entered Ecotrophelia – competing against Food and Nutritional Sciences students across the UK – and were awarded first place. To improve the product ahead of the European final, they worked with mentors from the Institute of Food Science & Technology, Marks and Spencer, Coca-Cola, Sainsbury's, Mondelez International and Campden Bri.

"Our team worked with mentors from the food industry to make Yasai Caulirice as strong as it could be. We're grateful for their amazing advice."

Natasha Patel, BSc Food Science with Industrial Training graduate

A silver medal for sushi success

The team did a great job in developing such an innovative product, and achieved a Silver medal in the final, beating 14 other teams from across Europe. The final was hosted at the UK's only cross-sector event for the food and drink industry, Food Matters Live.

"Working on the project at Reading has given me the confidence to know that I can develop a successful product, which can make it in the real world."

Pavandeep Matharu

"The experience of going to the Ecotrophelia competition in the UK, and then going on to the European final, was so amazing. It was great seeing our little idea grow into something which would fit on the supermarket shelf. I feel so proud of the whole project."

Natasha Patel

Athena SWAN Silver Award