Kirkintilloch High School triumphs again in the Better Burger Challenge 2024

03 July 2024

The Better Burger Challenge, a contest designed to inspire students to reformulate classic burgers into healthier and innovative versions, has announced its winner for 2024. Kirkintilloch High School has emerged victorious once again with their extraordinary creation, the ‘Sandman Burger’.


Burgers are hugely popular in Scotland, with this year’s shop sales showing an 8 per cent increase to £23.6 million. The challenge, developed in partnership with Food and Drink Federation Scotland (FDF Scotland) and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), continues to inspire young minds to innovate and think critically about food production, nutrition, and healthy eating.

The competition aimed at pupils aged 11 to 15, received numerous entries from across Scotland, and found its standout winner in the ‘Sandman Burger’. Developed by pupils Adam Solyman and Elisha Hossell from Kirkintilloch High School, the burger captivated the judges with its exotic Moroccan-inspired flavours and commitment to health-conscious ingredients.

The ‘Sandman Burger’ features Scotch Beef infused with aromatic spices such as cumin and coriander, transporting diners to the vibrant streets of Morocco with every bite. The pupils opted for Scotch Beef mince, sealing the burger in a frying pan before grilling it to meet the dietary goal of reducing total fat intake.

Gordon Findlater and Alison Bankier, QMS Cookery Demonstrators led the judging panel alongside Tracy Martin of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Moira Stalker of FDF Scotland. The judges praised the ‘Sandman Burger’ for its bold creativity, unique flavour profile, and adherence to the Scottish Dietary Goals.

Tracy Martin, Health and Education Cordinator at Quality Meat Scotland said: “QMS was delighted to work with FDF Scotland on the Better Burger Challenge for 2024, and it was a struggle to choose just one very worthy winner. The winning creation – ‘The Sandman’ – was chosen for its exotic flavours, but also because the pupils, Adam and Elisha, worked hard to reformulate their ingredients to ensure that the burger was using healthy ingredients alongside our Scotch Beef. It’s great to highlight to pupils how red meat can be consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet.”

Moira Stalker, Skills Manager at Food and Drink Federation Scotland, added:

“The Better Burger Challenge is a fantastic initiative. This challenge helps young people learn about the processes and people involved in making food and the many careers available - while helping to develop the workforce of the future for the vital food and drink sector.”

Miss Susan Miller, their teacher, shared her pride in the students’ achievement: “Adam and Elisha’s dedication and creativity were exceptional. The ‘Make it With Meat’ resources provided an excellent framework for teaching and the competition itself was a fantastic opportunity for the pupils to explore food reformulation and product development.”

As a reward for their innovation and hard work, the students were honoured with a class trip to the Royal Highland Show, where they received their certificates and prizes in front of their classmates.

Elisha Hossell and Adam Solyman from Kirkintilloch High School said: “We're delighted to win the QMS Better Burger Competition. The Sandman, a Moroccan-inspired burger, embodies a fusion of flavours that tantalize the taste buds and elevate the burger experience to new heights. Its succulent grilled beef, infused with aromatic spices like cumin and coriander, transports diners to the vibrant streets of Morocco with every bite. We really enjoyed the creative process and the opportunity to develop our own product.”

For more information on the Better Burger Challenge, visit

Notes for editors:

  1. Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Scotland is a division of the FDF - the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector. For more information about FDF Scotland and the industry we represent visit our website.
  2. 2. FDF Scotland’s careers, skills and workforce development resources can help you explore your own opportunities in food and drink, whether you’re looking for a career, for tools to develop your people or for curriculum support.