Institute of Food Technologists Student Association and MARS Invite Student Finalists to IFT17 for the 27th Annual Product Development Competition

June 2, 2017

CHICAGO – The Institute of Food Technologists Student Association (IFTSA) and MARS are pleased to announce the finalists of the 27th Annual Product Development Competition. The competition challenges students from around the country to take what they have learned in school and apply it to a real-world situation by developing a new food idea and carrying it through to marketing and production. Mirroring the responsibilities of a professional commercial product development team, the competition challenges students on organizational, teamwork, creative and scientific skills and spotlights the next generation of product development talent.   

2017 finalists include: 

  • Cornell University with Jack'd Jerky – a plant-powered, vegan jerky that serves as a better-for-you and on-the-go snack packed with the fresh flavor of a summer garden.
  • Michigan State University with Bazza Bar – a filled, soft-baked savory bar, delivering great taste and nutrition to consumers in a unique, convenient form.
  • Pennsylvania State University with Cado Cakes – a plant based snack or dessert inspired by the traditional Chinese mooncake dessert which utilizes avocado pits to enhance the product’s creaminess while adding beneficial vitamins and minerals and contributing to sustainability of the avocado industry.
  • Rutgers University with Q-Wrap – a dripless BBQ-sauce film for active Millennials, offering a convenient, low calorie way of marinating and flavoring entrées. Infused curcumin in the film provides preventative health benefits.
  • Virginia Tech with ViaLift – a caffeinated fruit leather that can be used to boost energy for a workout. The combination of CocoaVia®, matcha green tea powder, and strawberries make it a healthful, invigorating and delicious snack for active consumers.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison with RiseUp – a new, convenient breakfast alternative that provides a high source of protein and caffeine. It is a blueberry lemon breakfast dry muffin mix that contains caffeine infused from Earl Grey Tea and high protein from lentil protein.

All finalist teams will receive a $1,000 travel grant to attend IFT17 for oral presentations to be held on Monday, June 26 from 10:30am to 1:30pm. The first-place team will receive $4,000 and the second and third place teams will receive $2,500 and $1,000, respectively to further their education.


Founded in 1939, the Institute of Food Technologists is committed to advancing the science of food. Our non-profit scientific society—more than 17,000 members from more than 95 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related professionals from academia, government and industry. For more information, please visit

Mars, Incorporated is a private, family-owned company founded By Frank Mars in 1911; today it employs more than 75,000 associates worldwide. With a focus on associates, sustainability, and Growth We are Proud of Mars has made the Forbes “100 Best Companies to Work for” annually since 2013, in 2017 ranking 50 and being the only food manufacturing company to make the list. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, U.S.A., Mars, Incorporated is one of the world’s largest food companies, generating global revenues of more than $33 billion annually. In its 106 year history Mars has grown to operate six business segments: Chocolate, Wrigley Gum and Confections, Petcare, Food, Drinks, and Symbioscience. These segments produce some of the world’s leading brands: Chocolate – M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, and MILKY WAY®; Wrigley – ORBIT®, EXTRA®, STARBURST®, DOUBLEMINT® and SKITTLES®; Petcare – PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, SHEBA®, CESAR® and ROYAL CANIN®;  Food – UNCLE BEN’S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS® and SEEDS OF CHANGE®; Drinks – KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience – WISDOM PANELTM MX, SERAMIS®, and COCOAPROTM.

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