ROSEMONT, ILL. – The National Dairy Council announced a team comprised of students from Utah State University emerged as the winner of the NDC’s New Product Competition.

An energy drink called Moba Boba, which is 92% dairy, was developed for gamers, per the guidelines of this year’s contest.

Utah State students Nathan Pougher, Melissa Marsh, Chandler Stafford and Mackenzie Taylor took home a prize of $8,000 and were recognized during the IFT FIRST show in Chicago.

The beverage contains a pineapple flavored energy drink made from acid whey, whey phospholipid protein concentrate and 2% milk, and includes high-protein coconut-flavored boba gummies.

Because the product upcycles acid whey from cottage cheese and yogurt production, the students think that sustainability factor will resonate with their generation.

“(Moba Boba) shines a positive light because the dairy industry gets a lot of media attention on not being sustainable,” said Marsh, the team’s captain. “So being able to say we’re making dairy more sustainable and using this waste is beneficial and something we’re really proud of.”

Dr. Rohit Kapoor, vice president of product research for NDC, who manages the competition, said the experience will help the students achieve professional goals in the future.

“Most of these students will have multiple job options and companies will look at this on their resume as a strong point,” Kapoor said. “It enhances their marketability and helps the US dairy industry tap into these students who went through this competition and displayed a strong research and development skill set with dairy.”

A team from Iowa State finished second with its Combo Puffs, described as mess-free, sweet and savory protein-filled snacks inspired by cream puffs and made with dairy ingredients. Third place went to a team from California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, which came up with PogBites, a frozen and re-heatable snack with a mozzarella and dairy-based filling.

The NDC first introduced its New Product Competition in 2012, giving college students experiences similar to what they will encounter while working for a food company.