Matthew Lilley came up with an idea for a beef and tomato wedge Home Bake ready meal with a Bolognese sauce on the first day of his two-week placement at Tesco’s Cheshunt head office in March.
He worked with the product development team to develop his idea and sample the product, which will appear on Tesco shelves this month (October).
A spokeswoman from Tesco told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “Matthew brought lots of energy and ideas with him, and it was great that we could turn those ideas into a finished product.”
New career in food
The placement consisted of food tastings in restaurants and visits to Tesco warehouses to see how items are progressed from the idea stage, through product development and eventually arriving on supermarket shelves as a finished product.
The success of Matthew’s idea and the encouragement that he received from the team at Tesco have now inspired him to pursue a career in food product development.
To help him realise this goal, Tesco has been in communication with Matthew’s school – Cromwell Community College in Cambridgeshire.
The supermarket’s employees have given Matthew and his teachers guidance on the qualifications necessary to purse a future career in the food industry.
For example, he is now considering a business studies course, which he will need to work in product development.
Work experience placements
A spokeswoman from Tesco told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “We’re really pleased to be able to offer work experience placements, and we get lots of positive feedback from young people on the time they spend with us.
A crate of Matthew’s beef and tomato home bakes was delivered to his home in Floods Ferry, nearMarch in Cambridgeshire shortly after the product was launched.
Jed Roberts, principal of Matthew’s school, Cromwell Community College, told FoodManufacture.co.uk: "The vast majority of our pupils enjoy very successful work experience year-on-year. However, we have not had a pupil impress a multi-national company in this way before.
"Clearly, this is an absolutely fantastic achievement for Matthew and one he should be immensely proud of, as we all are."