Week ten (ten!) saw the candidates tasked with creating a healthy new baby food, with branded packaging and a unique recipe, to pitch to two major retailers. The teams were mixed up, with Aaron heading up team Diverse and Harpreet leading Infinity.
Harpreet reprieved her Gordon Ramsay role by knocking up a tasty salmon and spinach curry. Aaron, who landed the role of PM because he has children (aged 11 and 15) created a Moroccan Medley. Poor Aaron, he might have mushed up a sweet potato or two back in 2011 but he was in no way equipped to create a new dish. On the positive side, at least we now know what beige tastes like – it takes like rice, couscous, lentils, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. We saw plenty of Aaron’s worried face, the toughest client yet (Ocado took no prisoners!) and the shock result of no winner. Neither team secured an order for their baby food.
Let’s look at what we learned.
- Manage your time
Kathryn and Brittany spent so long creating a frying pan that was also a magnifying glass with a globe in it for their Little Taste Explorers brand that they only had 5 minutes left to design the packaging. “Brittany kept going over the font and I was trying to say let’s move on, but she wanted to get it perfect”, said Kathryn. The font in question? 90s favourite, Comic Sans. Packaging is a huge factor that motivates consumers’ buying choices and creativity can’t be rushed. Kathryn as sub team leader took responsibility for this, as well she should – timing is an essential element of project management.
- Own your mistakes
Described as “the elephant in the room”, the First Time Foodies logo developed by Team Infinity was their undoing. “Your logo reads FIRST TIME DIES”, said the lady from Ocado, “I think you should try to explain to us how you didn’t pick that up”. Burn! “It’s fun and endearing”, said Akeem. “It looks like we want to kill children”, said Harpreet. Having been stung, the team debated whether to raise their error at the next pitch. They decided not to, and in fact Stephanie doubled down in the pitch to Iceland stating how passionate the team were about the brand name and how it “encapsulates the vision that we are trying to create.” Admitting your mistakes shows that you’re aware of them. Ignoring them, when they’re as blatant as this, reduces confidence. There was no coming back from this one for Harpreet and team.
- Know who you’re pitching to
“Michael, Richard, Sanj, good evening”, said Brittany, confidently opening her team’s pitch to the Iceland team. Using the clients’ names – nice touch! “Who’s Michael?” asked Michael, who’s name, as it turned out, is not in fact Michael. “Oh Michael, apologies”, said Brittany. From this bad start, things only got worse when the man who is not Michael had to taste the Moroccan Medley. Both blunders left a bad taste in his mouth. And as dejected team Diverse exited the pitch they accidentally knocked over the easel displaying the poster for their brand. No one picked it up.
Management Speak of the Week
“There are going to be four people in what used to be the Famous Final Five…that’s what you’ve done to me” – Lord Sugar, to the candidates who this week performed so badly, they broke the format of the show.
Ones to Watch?
More a case of who messed up least. Harpreet’s curry was the biggest success this week, but does this make her good business partner for Lord Sugar? Personally I think I’d only be able to work with her in small doses.
It will be an all-female final and we are getting closer to finding our queen. Next week is the big one – Interview week! Can’t wait to find out who will perform under pressure, and see another one bite the dust.
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