Students on the Masters in Food Design and Innovation took part in a very special frozen food masterclass with food designer Katja Gruiters.
In a recent workshop led by food design expert Katja Gruiters and in collaboration with Alpeker, students on the Food Design and Innovation Masters programme explored the future of food consumption. The workshop focused on frozen food innovation and explored the reasons behind the growing popularity of frozen food. Throughout the seven-day masterclass, participants conducted research, experimented with natural ingredients and packaging, and used freezers to find answers to key questions. Their final concept aimed to address the pros, cons and unseen opportunities associated with frozen food. As part of their assignment, they were asked to bring their favourite ingredient and an ingredient of the future.
Alpeker, an Italian company specialising in frozen food innovation, played a key role in the workshop. With their expertise in the field, they provided practical insights and a unique opportunity for participants to explore the potential of frozen foods. The first challenge was to understand why people should consider using frozen foods and what benefits they offer over fresh alternatives. Under Alpeker’s guidance, participants delved into freezing technologies, preservation processes and future developments in the industry.
The workshop’s main challenge was to uncover the motivations behind the preference for frozen foods. While frozen food may be associated with lower quality and a lack of freshness, it was essential to highlight the benefits this preservation method offers. Through research and practical testing, the participants identified several strengths of frozen foods, including extended shelf life, convenience, and year-round accessibility. Moreover, frozen foods can contribute to reducing food waste by preserving excess ingredients for future use.
A fascinating aspect of the workshop was the experiment proposed to the participants: bring their favourite ingredient and one ingredient they imagine will be part of the future. This exercise stimulated creativity and led to in-depth reflection on emerging food trends. Some participants brought traditional ingredients deeply rooted in Italian culture, while others chose innovative and sustainable ingredients that could play an important role in the future diet. This diversity allowed discussions on the opportunities and challenges of incorporating new elements into frozen food preparation.
Using rapid prototyping techniques, the students translated their ideas and insights from the research phase into a final concept. Drawing on the theoretical knowledge and practical skills acquired during the course, they developed innovative solutions to the initial workshop challenges. The collaboration with Alpeker ensured consideration of sustainable packaging, the use of natural ingredients and food safety.
This workshop proved to be a stimulating experience for the students on the Food Design and Innovation Masters course. It allowed them to explore the world of frozen food and develop new ideas for the future of food. In collaboration with Alpeker and under the guidance of Katja Gruiters, the workshop explored the potential of frozen foods and future ingredients. The result was a collection of innovative concepts that could shape our eating habits in 2030 and beyond. By harnessing the energy and creativity of the participants, the workshop demonstrated how food design and innovation can make a difference in creating a sustainable and appetising future.