Econauts takes home gold prize at Ecotrophelia 2021

Willgoss and her team took home first prize with their non-alcoholic Arabica coffee liqueur packaged in a reusable glass bottle with a cork lid and paper labelling. Each member of the gold-winning team took home a share of £2,000 and a one-year IFST membership.

Commenting on Econnauts’ win, Willgoss said: “With the added pressures of Covid-19 and working remotely this year, we are so pleased to have been able to share our product with the judges and still be able to convey its delicious flavour and mouthfeel through Zoom.

“We are really looking forward to the challenge of the European final and can’t wait to see what amazing products the other teams have been developing.”

Entering the competition

In this exclusive interview, Jemima Willgoss from the Econauts team spoke to Food Manufacture ​about her team’s award winning product and what drove them to enter this year’s competition.

“We’re ​[the Econauts team] all very passionate about quality food and the constant development of food and we thought it was a really exciting opportunity for us,”​ Willgoss explained.

“We do a similar module as part of our university degree, but we thought this was a way to take it further, get industry knowledge and really develop.”

Now in its ninth year, the ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition challenges teams of UK students to develop innovative, eco-friendly food and drink products.

Grilled by the ‘dragons’

This year’s virtual event saw the finalists pitch their products to the judges, or ‘dragons’ for their chance at a place in the European final and a slice of the £3,500 prize fund.