By Tunde Osho
The Coca-Cola Company has announced the six winners of the “Sweet Story Challenge” that it launched last year August, which invites people from around the world to “submit written anecdotes and videos about their favourite, tried-and-true-methods of naturally sweetening foods or beverages in their cultures, communities or families.”
According to the company, each winner will get $20,000 grand prize for their submission of personal stories that shaped new sweetener ideas. The winning submissions were selected by a panel of judges based on the novelty of the ideas and the quality of the contestant stories.
The six winning submissions were:
Antonio Sacido of Mexico with “Agave Salmiana, The Ancestral Plant,” a story about increasing the cultivation of agave on a small plantation to create employment opportunities.
Rosse Ancalle of Bolivia with “Sweeten your Meal with Yacon,” an entry that focused on the cultural history of the Yacon plant.
Karen Martin of Australia with “Imagine…A Sprinkling of Custard Dust,” which focused on the use of custard apple dust as an alternative sweetener.
Rania Harastani of England with “Amiable and Sweet,” an entry that provided a scientific and cultural look at the anise plant.
Yanislav Iliev of Bulgaria with “Chasing the Sweetness: The Life Giving Ingredient,” an entry that explores the use of carob as a sweetener in multiple dishes.
Sandra Laksmono of Indonesia with “Coca-Cola, A Healthier Lifestyle,” which examined the importance of coconut as a sweetener used across Indonesia.
“We are always looking for superior new ingredients, and we know that many of those ingredients are already being used in various local contexts all around the world today,” said Robert Long, senior vice president and chief innovation officer, The Coca-Cola Company.
“The Sweet Story Challenge is grounded in our desire to make the beverages our consumers want to drink, and in our willingness to look for external sources of innovation. The six winning submissions are excellent examples of innovation being driven by our consumers’ personal stories and cultural experiences, and we are excited about the future innovation their ideas can inspire.”