Young Apprentice – Week Seven Appraisal

Week Seven’s episode was the semi-finals of the 2011’s Young Apprentice, with it being revealed that four out of the remaining six candidates would indeed be fired after the penultimate challenge had finished.

Lord Sugar surprised the youngsters by popping in to the house to reveal the challenge this week, popcorn. Teams were tasked with coming up with new flavours of popcorn, before then designing the packaging and delivering pitches to three retailers, in order to persuade them to take up orders of their products.

The teams were shuffled round and carted up to Leeds for the task, with James, Zara and Haya making up Kinetic and Harry H, Harry M and Lizzie in Atomic.

Team Kinetic

Harry H grasped the prized position as team leader this week, before quickly deciding that American-themed popcorn was the way to go.

Branded as “Empire State Popcorn”, Lizzie was then left to test out flavours and ingredients, whilst both the Harrys completed the market research. This revealed a preference to both a savoury and sweet flavour; Maple Syrup and BBQ Chicken being the desirable tastes.

Three pitches were given to an airline, a cinema chain and a retailer, with Harry H, Harry M and Lizzie taking the lead for one pitch each.

All three were relatively pleased with what was on offer, and, despite a blown attempt by Harry M to get the team to change concept mid-way through the task, Kinetic smelt victory.

Team Atomic

Atomic’s Haya opted to choose James as team leader, as power struggles were immediately obvious in the team.

However, the team were unanimous in choosing a Mediterranean, ‘healthy’ popcorn, something they felt would be unique and lacking in competition in the £42 million popcorn market. Name-wise, Atomic, partly due to a lack of ideas, called their snack ‘La Popcorn’, despite the use of French not exactly reflecting their Mediterranean values.

Zara, in the factory, was pointed towards feta cheese and olives as one flavour, together with chorizo and tomato for another, but the finished product was branded by James as ‘terrible’!

However, Zara delivered a fantastic trio of pitches, but could they get round the problems of the first batch’s not-so-pleasant taste?

Four to be fired

The boardroom, a location for many a surprise result in the past, certainly did not let the viewing public down at this crucial stage of the competition.

Lord Sugar seemed relatively pleased with both products and the unity the teams had shown to delivered polished concepts.

However, it was the order count that would decide who would triumph. At first, Kinetic lead by 5k orders, before Atomic then reeled in 50k orders from the cinema with Kinetic seeing no orders at all.

Howver, the retailer were so impressed by Kinetic’s healthy popcorn that they made a total order of 100k, awarding the team victory by a healthy margin of 25k orders.

But Sugar still had a decision to make, as one of the winning team had to be fired.

All three candidates left made strong cases to be in the final, but he was more enamoured with Zara and James’ previous track record, meaning Haya was the unlucky final candidate to be shown the finger.

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