Taste-testing community groups raise funds

BALLARAT Redan Cricket Club is one of 22 community groups that will attend McCain Foods a few times this year to taste food and raise money for the club at the same time.

Ballarat Redan Cricket Club president David Sproules checks out a meal. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Ballarat Redan Cricket Club president David Sproules checks out a meal. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Club president David Sproules said the tasting night was bigger than any sponsorship the club had. 

“We put the money we earn back into our junior programs to keep membership costs down,” Mr Sproules said. 

McCain Foods runs three taste-testing nights each week of the year, except for school holidays. 

Community groups get paid $10 a person per session for their participation. 

McCain sensory analyst Jenny Micallef said community groups ranged from sporting groups, primary schools, church groups through to Ballarat Roller Derby. 

She said McCain often targeted demographics with the food it trialled.

“Our Healthy Choice range and Ultra Thin Crust pizzas are all targeted at different demographics,”she said 

The Ballarat Redan Cricket Club tasted the McCain Moroccan chicken dish and apricot chicken dish. 

Potato product development manager Luis Mejia said the new products were trialled with participants and McCain would often change products based on feedback in criteria such as appearance, flavour and texture. 

Groups bring up to 60 people in a night and attend four to six times each year, often taking back to their club more than $3000. 

McCain has been operating taste-testing for more than 15 years, but has ramped up community participation in the past five years.

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