CSU, Chico

Food Marketing Team Competes in Puerto Rico

Food Marketing Team Competes in Puerto Rico

On Oct. 13, four Chico State agricultural business students left for San Juan, Puerto Rico, to compete at the Food Distribution Research Society’s National Student Food Marketing Challenge. Jessica Neugebauer, Christie Hobby, Derek Eid and James Bennett were challenged to apply their knowledge of food distribution, economics, management, marketing and merchandising in a real-world situation.

The contest was held at the Food Distribution Research Society’s 13th annual meeting. This is the first time Chico State has participated in the competition, in which a mystery business presents a live case study and asks the competitors to help them solve a problem. This year’s mystery company was a local Puerto Rican business, Matrix Farms, that grows, processes, packs and ships tropical fruits and plants. Matrix Farms challenged teams to provide them with a marketing strategy for their cooked green bananas in the U.S. market. The teams had nine hours to prepare a strategy and present it to the company that evening.

“Given the strong competition, our students did a great job and impressed the judges and others in the audience,” Dr. Baohui Song said. “I think our students represented our college well during this competition. There are actually many people there who have never heard of Chico State.”

Seven teams competed in the Food Distribution Research Society Student Food Marketing Challenge including Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, University of Idaho, University of Kentucky, Utah State University, University of Minnesota and Texas A&M.