Former Lincoln High School students have produced a Kiwiana flavour of potato chips that are being sold in supermarkets nationwide.
It has taken two years for Courtney Jones, Hannah Long, Sarah Freeman, Nilani Ekanayake, Owen Hill, JordanSmyth, Tom Essenberg and Annabelle Wilkinson to get their hangi-flavoured chips to the supermarket shelves.
"We wanted to hit that sort of Kiwiana flavour. Something that represented to us what New Zealand is like to us and what summer is like to us," Miss Jones said.
Miss Jones, who is now studying at Canterbury University, said the flavour is nothing like she has ever tried before in a chip.
Heartland general manager Charlotte Bowan said while the new flavour was difficult to define, she described the flavour as having a "smoky, meaty, vegetable taste."
The idea was first formed when the students were in their last year at Lincoln High School in 2016.
They were taking part in the Young Enterprise Scheme – a high school competition aiming to teach young people about the risks and rewards of going into business.
As part of the competition, the students legally registered their company as Parareka Ltd before approaching Heartland about creating their own chip flavour.
"We were sitting eating chips . . . we thought: 'Oh what would happen if we made some chips and try to scenario it,' and it sort of blossomed from there," Miss Jones said.
While the students learnt it would be unrealistic to meet the Young Enterprise Scheme's competition deadlines for creating their product, they were determined to carry through on the project.
Ms Bowan said the students put a comprehensive proposal together before she invited them to Heartland's Timaru factory to see how chips are made.
An even further descriptive proposal was presented to Heartland's flavour house before the students undertook market research within their networks using a sample product to ensure the consumers liked the flavour.
After nearly two years of designing the flavour, the students had their final product.
Miss Jones said Heartland was "amazing" to work with and she cannot give them enough credit.
Ms Bowen said it was cool the students could come up with this unique idea which the company embraced. New Zealanders spent $157 million on potato chips in 2015.