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Innovation Challenge:

Design a Healthier Snack Food

This Challenge is


Design a Healthier Snack Food

The Challenge

The PepsiCo Healthier Snack Challenge is an international competition that encourages youth ages 13-25 to design a commercial food product that would be a healthier snack for kids. In phase one of this two-part challenge, participants will have an opportunity to form international teams and work virtually to design a nutritious snack. In phase two, five finalist teams will be matched with PepsiCo mentors as they further refine their ideas and resubmit their solutions for a chance to win the grand prize.

How It Works

After signing up to participate, students self-selected into teams and worked together on Launchpad, a virtual interactive platform which safely facilitates global collaboration and problem solving. Using Launchpad, students from around the world participated, in teams or individually, to design a malnutrition solution by answering the question proposed.

Important Dates

Phase I began: April 10, 2017

Registration deadline: April 17, 2017

Deadline to sign up for
Launchpad: April 20, 2017

Final Phase I ideas submitted: May 24, 2017

Phase II began: Mid-June

Grand Prize winner selected: Mid-September 2017


To participate in the challenge, students were required to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • All individuals must be between the ages of 13-25 as of the date of registration in order to participate.
  • All participants must sign up on Launchpad and agree to the Terms of Service. Participants under the age of majority must submit a parent/guardian consent form before the challenge begins.
  • Challenge materials and solutions must be submitted in English in order to be considered. Participants can work in teams or individually. Teams can be as large as 6.


Prizes were awarded to teams that have been chosen as finalists at the end of Phase I, and additionally to the final winner chosen at the end of Phase II. In addition to cash prizes, Finalists under 18 years old will be admitted into The Junior Academy of the New York Academy of Sciences in the 2017-2018 year, and finalists over 18 years old will receive a year of free Membership to the New York Academy of Sciences.

*This challenge is international; therefore participants from all countries and with any background are eligible to participate in the Challenge, except where prohibited by applicable laws. Prizes, were awarded in accordance with U.S. law which may restrict or prohibit awards to teams within countries subject to U.S. sanctions.

Phase I: $2500 Cash Prize

Given to each of the 5 finalists selected.

Phase II: $7500 Grand Prize

Given to the final winner selected.

The Judges

Our judges are experienced nutrition experts and product developers that will review projects based on effectiveness and commercial viability. Additional judges will be added as they are confirmed.


Chenelle Bonavito Martinez, MS

Vice President, Policy & Innovation

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Judging Panel

Iris Huang
Iris Huang

Director, PepsiCo Research & Development

Enrique Michel
Enrique Michel

Sr. Manager, Strategy & R&D Portfolio Management

Richard Black
Richard Black, PhD

Principal, Quadrant D Consulting

Janice Rueda
Janice M.W. Rueda, Ph.D.

Director, Research and Business Development, Archer Daniels Midland Company

Joanne Slavin
Joanne L. Slavin, PhD, RD

Professor, University of Minnesota

Design a Healthier Snack Food

Healthy Snack Challenge Winners

Winning Team:

PepsiCo Healthy Snack

The team created a quinoa and oat based fruit and nut roll focused on the Mexican market. The product was designed to promote the roll’s taste, as their market research found that children preferred a tastier snack over a healthier one. Their snack isn’t a substitute of breakfast, but designed to improve the nutritional deficiency present in breakfast skippers by including an option that contributes with enough fiber, with Omega 3, and mainly with Vitamins A, C and E.

Team Members: Bianka Martínez and Rubi Lopez


Delicious and Nutritious

Created a 100% natural jelly bar that contains peppermint, chia, honey, with no artificial preservatives or food colorings. The snack is full of Vitamin C, antioxidants, and helps with the digestive process.

Team Members: Priscila Petrocchi, Stephanie Salem, Stephanie Grasso, Mallika Pajjuri

Fiber Crisps: Legume-Based Snack Rich in Dietary Fiber

Designed a healthy and tasty alternative to the calorie-dense and sodium-packed chips that are widely available. The snack is made of chickpeas, brown rice flour, and fresh vegetables as its base fortifies the chip with dietary fiber, protein, and various minerals, like calcium, iron, magnesium, fiber,folate, vitamin K, A, and B.

Team Members: Sandeep Rao, Jenna Manzo, Bhavika Garg, Aziza Kurbonova

Heal Thy Self - Team ViNi

Nutri Sticks are a unique product that primarily addresses the issues of protein energy malnutrition (PEM) and iron deficiency anaemia. Made of whole flours of sorghum, wheat, amaranth grains, jaggery and ghee, apart from being rich in quality macronutrients (energy and protein), it also has sufficient vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, Vitamin A and B-complex vitamins.

Team Members: Vishaka Shivaram and Nimrah Butler

Super Crackers

Super Crackers incorporate the jicama root as a key ingredient in the crackers. What results is a fibrous crackers ranging from 4x-10x more fibrous than competitors, with Vitamin C, B6, and healthy minerals.

Team Member: Sabiha Haque


Chenelle Bonavito Martinez, MS

Vice President, Policy & Innovation

Want to be notified when our next challenge is announced?

Subscribe >