DENHAM SPRINGS — Students at Lewis Vincent Elementary School had a taste of business recently when they helped Smoothie King name two new products that will be rolled out over the summer.
Last month, students at Lewis Vincent and Eastside Elementary schools were tasked with naming two new children’s products for Smoothie King’s Kids Cup line featuring two new ingredients: vegetables and Greek yogurt.
Smoothie King’s goal is to inspire names that reflect the products’ taste instead of their ingredients.
“Instead of a bunch of corporate folks coming up with names and ways to market this product, I thought we should go directly to the source,” said Roger White, Smoothie King’s largest franchisee in the Baton Rouge market. “I have a great relationship with the schools here in Denham Springs, so I immediately thought they’d be a great partner for this project.”
While all of the students at Lewis Vincent had a chance to name the Smoothie fruit drinks, Principal Carol Robertson chose 80 students — all members of the 4-H, Science and Book clubs — for focus groups to taste the new products, which were prepared on-site by the company.
“This is a great experience for you,” Robertson told the students. “You’re getting to do what companies do every day.”
“Some of these students will be doing this for companies one day,” she said.
Once fourth-graders Emily Wroten, Brooke Wilder and Maggie Silverman tasted the new Smoothie fruit drinks, the creative trio took just a few minutes to create a slogan for the new drinks.
“You won’t like it, you’ll love it and you’ll want some more of it,” the girls said in unison.
Brooke said the task of naming the new drink was easy, but she wouldn’t reveal her name for the product.
Robertson said the students were asked to keep that information confidential until the company makes its decision.
“My tastebuds sent a message to my brain in, like, a half a second,” she said.
“All of the flavors kind of came together in my mouth,” said Emily, who added that she had to concentrate and think about the flavors before naming them.
“You have to come up with a name that is indicative of the flavor,” Brooke said.
Students at Eastside Elementary School also were tasked with naming the two new Smoothie fruit drinks, which Smoothie King plans to roll out in midsummer at Smoothie King locations nationwide.
“We were excited to engage the students in helping such a big brand come up with new names for their products, but we didn’t want to stop there,” Eastside Elementary School Principal Kelly LaBauve said. “So, we took the opportunity to expose the students to some of the real-world tactics companies use to develop new products.”
Students learned how focus groups, taste tests and target markets help companies develop products and bring them to market.
The students were asked to name the Smoothie fruitdrinks and draw a picture of what their name looks like to them. The student whose name is chosen will receive a $125 gift card to Smoothie King.