Following stiff competition from her fellow classmates, a pupil from a local primary school has won the opportunity to have her chocolate concept made a reality and placed on the shelves of five East of England Co-op food stores.

Just last week, Olivia Cresswell, 11, from Shotley Primary School, was pitching her chocolate creation, Nutty Stars, to a panel of experts including representatives from the East of England Co-op and family-run chocolatier, Hadleigh Maid.

Today her sweet inspiration has moved on to the next stage - the production line. Alongside her teacher and creator of the chocolate-based school project, Mrs Anna Sterling, Olivia has visited the local chocolate factory, Hadleigh Maid, where her creation will be made.

She also met with the design team from the East of England Co-op to create the packaging for her invention. 

Oli Watts, Head of Communications and Community at the East of England Co-op said: “We are thrilled to support such an inventive project. Teaming up with one of our Sourced Locally producers has allowed us to not only provide feedback to the pupils on their products, but also give our winner an extra special prize. 

“Olivia will be able to experience the exciting moment of visiting a local East of England Co-op store and seeing her product on the shelves. We would like to offer a big congratulations to Olivia and we look forward to stocking Nutty Stars soon.” 

Nutty Stars, which is made with hazelnut, white and dark chocolate and marshmallows, is set to grace the shelves of five East of England Co-op in Suffolk.

Commenting on her experience, Olivia said: “It was really exciting to see Nutty Stars being made. I really like the look of the packaging, it’s exactly what I had in mind. I can’t wait to see the finished product.”

The competition formed part of the wider curriculum about food production.

Gavin Bowie, Sales and Marketing Director from Hadleigh Maid, one of the East of England Co-op’s sourced locally producers, said: “We were delighted to open our doors to Olivia and Mrs Sterling today and commence the production of Nutty Stars.

“It was a great opportunity to be part of the judging panel and offer our services to help Olivia take her product to the next step.”

The five East of England Co-op stores which will stock Nutty Stars are Holbrook, Hadleigh, Rushmere, Felixstowe and Manningtree.


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