At a recent unit meeting, we tapped into our Guides’ creativity by having them design and market their own potato chip flavours. I made a trip to the store to buy all the spices and flavourings and went a little crazy. Savoury and sweet spices, spice mixes like tandoori and teriyaki, soup and gravy mixes, even cocoa, sugars and chai tea. It took 15 minutes at the check-out, but the cashier was a former girl member, and as we spoke about the sorts of things we’d been doing with the girls, she requested information on how she could get involved as an adult. Yay! (Bonus: the bill was only $9!)
The girls were given sandwich-size zip-top bags half-filled with lightly salted potato chips. In patrols, they were called into the kitchen and given the opportunity to place small amounts of spices into their bags. They were given only two rules – they could not design a chip flavour that already existed, and they would be expected to sample their flavour! If the girls were unsure what a spice was, we encouraged them to smell it, and then smell the spices they were thinking of mixing it with, to determine whether it would work for their product.
After each girl had their first go at the spices and sampled their flavour, they had the chance to re-engineer their product. I’d made up my own seasonal flavour, ‘Turkey Dinner,’ and went around offering girls a sample and asking to try theirs. Their flavours and product names were even better than I could’ve imagined. One girl had even created another seasonal flavour, ‘Sweet Pumpkin Pie Latte.’ (In GGC we know the marketing value of seasonal products!) They shared samples in patrols and really built each other up.
After they had tweaked their flavours, we set them to work designing a marketing scheme for their product. Some girls designed packaging, others jingles or TV advertisements. We finished the meeting with a sharing circle, where each of them marketed their chips to the other girls. Their ads were hilariously awesome. Even the shyest girls were eager to participate! It was by far our best meeting yet.
The icing on the cake was when my husband went shopping the following weekend and came home with a bag of ‘Turkey Stuffing’ chips – virtually identical to my ‘Turkey Dinner’ flavour! Our ‘fun’ meeting was developing a relevant skill! 😉
Guest post by Cathy Hirose. Cathy loved so much what Guiding did for her own daughters, she just had to join GGC! She is a Sparks and Guide Guider in Winnipeg. She has a degree in biochemistry, but her love is mentoring youth.