Twenty-year hot sauce veteran, David Ashley of Ashley Food Company, challenged Massachusetts College of Arts and Design students to create a cool label for his newest creation, Boomslang. He sent the design students a case of Liquid Fire to sample and inspire their illustrations. The winner, Indigo Moorhead, earned $250 for his first commercial work of art. The class learned how to apply their skills to the ‘real world’ new product development. They also got a few lessons in entrepreneurship free of charge.
Sudbury, MA (PRWeb), February 15, 2011 — African Peri Peri peppers, ghost peppers, boomslangs, and liquid fire were all foreign to the fourteen brave contestants from MassArt who accepted the challenge of illustrating the ferocious taste of a brand new hot sauce. The illustrators quickly learned that boomslangs are highly poisonous snakes from Africa with needle-sharp fangs large enough to inspire awe in some and fear in others.
Africa is a hotbed of extremely deadly snakes. The name, Boomslang, inspired Ashley because one small bite by a boomslang can be lethal. Ashley Food Company, Inc. is famous for its highly combustible hot sauces. The combination of Ghost Peppers, Peri Peri, Jalapeno and Chile Extract gives Boomslang the effect of a snake bite. Those who have tasted it describe the sensation as liquid fire. You can come to your own conclusions about this bad boy.
First to Market Advantage
Ashley Food Company, Inc. got into the spicy foods business twenty years ago by being the first to introduce the African Peri-Peri Pepper to the hot sauce industry. Being first to market is a definite advantage Ashley taught these illustrators.
With 26 other sauces on the market, this Chief Marketing Officer and alchemist put the students to the test. He gave them 30 days to come up with a design that would knock his socks off. “The art of creating a hot sauce is more than great taste,” Ashley said. “A sense of humor, catchy names and labels that jump off the shelves are other key ingredients.”
Willing to Experiment
The serial hot sauce entrepreneur warned the students, “If you can’t sell your ideas, the term ‘starving artist’ can apply to you.” Selling sauces that light your mouth on fire took practice Ashley admits. “You’ve got to be willing to experiment.” Ashley created Ashley Food Wholesale Store to reach additional audiences and multiply sales.
The Value of Feedback
As part of the competition, Ashley gave students feedback on their original designs. Those who listened to his feedback had a better chance of creating a compelling image that captured the essence of this multidimensional hot sauce. Likewise, listening to customer feedback gives you a better chance of making the sale. The winner did just that and came out on top.
Ashley shares some final advice, “The business world is just as cut-throat as boomslangs. You need to thicken your skin and be prepared to outsell your competitors so you don’t get eaten alive.”
Dose of Reality
Professor Bob Maloney of The Massachusetts College of Art and Design] thanked Ashley for giving his students a dose of reality. “This real-life assignment took things up a notch for the class. The students perked right up as soon as I handed out the assignment and delivered dynamite pieces across the board. David’s feedback during critiques was invaluable for the students to hear. So was his story of being a successful entrepreneur who has been able to follow his dreams doing what he loves. I hope that we will have the opportunity to work together in the future.”
To order Boomslang, visit Ashley Food Company, Inc. or call 1-800-61-SAUCE.
Ashley Food Company