A group of students from Otumoetai College have been commended for their sales and marketing skills at the Young Enterprise Scheme National Awards.
The group of five won a National Excellence Award for their work branding and selling their tomato and aioli sauce.
Bottled and branded with the name Holy Tomoli, the students were able to sell 1100 bottles of the tasty concoction in the first two months of production.
Tomoli Enterprises, the business set up to market the sauce, was runner-up in the Bay of Plenty Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) awards held in October and has now been recognised with an award for excellence in sales and marketing at the national awards.
While most YES companies did market research on their product, Tomoli Enterprises did extensive market research and validation on their brand as well, the judges said.
"And what fantastic branding it was, with key messages and themes incorporated into their design.
"They then applied this branding to more than just their product," the judges remarked.
"They had a wide range of promotional activities and multiple sales channels. They sold 1100 units in their first two months of sales."
Holy Tomoli was bottled by The Indigo Food Company in Mount Maunganui and the students were applying to Foodstuffs for permission to sell the product in local New World supermarkets.
The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme is a one year programme that gives secondary students the chance to set up and run a small business.
The programme is run throughout New Zealand by the Young Enterprise Trust, with just over 3000 students taking part this year.
The students had to form a company, research and write a business plan and bring their product or service to market.
Each team was asked to submit an annual report in October. Each YES company could also nominate themselves for one of 14 National Excellence Awards. A regional champion was selected in each area of the country and those teams contested the national title in Wellington yesterday.