Product Wars


Product Wars

Pupils are asked to create a new range of smoothie drinks. They use proportional reasoning to analyse nutritional value and geometry to design their packaging.


Updated July 2021 – no longer needs Flash player & should be usable on tablets & phones.

Pupils assume the role of apprentices in a soft drinks company and are invited to create the ultimate range of Smoothie drinks. The class is provided with their objectives as well as resources and support by Brad King, the Managing Director, who models his management style on the likes of Alan Sugar. Pupils work with other employees to carry out market research, develop various mixes for 'smoothies', evaluate them and then design and create the packaging. Video excerpts are used at key points in the lessons to provide support and guidance. Pupils receive feedback via texts from members of the product team and video messages from Brad King himself.

Activities include: using enquiry-based learning to collect and analyse information from peers to develop the product; using ratio and proportion, percentages and a spreadsheet to mix the ingredients in different quantities to obtain the right nutritional value and taste for the target sector; using geometry to identify suitable packaging designs.


The Assesment Guide for Product Wars is comprehensive guide to help teachers to assess pupils' achievement and progression as they work on the activities. It includes sample work and progression charts.

Assessment Guide (PDF) Editable version (DOCX)

Mathematical content

Design a questionnaire and conduct market research. Mix ingredients to obtain nutritional value and taste; design packaging.

Specific Key Stage 3 National Curriculum areas covered include:

  • Key processes - represent and analyse survey data, interpret and evaluate information; communicate task outcomes and reflect on progress.
  • Number and algebra - use rules of arithmetic applied to calculations and manipulations with rational numbers; use and apply decimals, fractions and percentages; ratio and proportion; rounding and accuracy.
  • Geometry and measures - scale; units, compound measures and conversions; calculating volumes of 3D shapes.
  • Statistics - apply the handling data cycle.
  • Curriculum opportunities - thinking, reasoning and problem solving; working collaboratively; group discussion and communicating mathematical reasoning.

Organisation and pedagogy

The Case Study contains differentiated materials for three lessons and is designed for use with average and higher attaining learners in Years 7, 8 and 9; it includes suggested follow-up homework activities. The materials can also be adapted for use in other circumstances, e.g. with lower ability learners if required. It has been primarily designed for use in an ICT suite in which learners should be arranged in small groups around the computers to maximise the opportunities for collaboration and discussion.

The teacher is encouraged to adopt a facilitator role, introducing the chosen activity at the start of each lesson, offering appropriate levels of support to students during group work and drawing the learning together at the end of the lesson.

Resources provided

This Case Study is in the form of a self-contained application for use by pupils and teachers. The "Teacher notes" area of the software contains:

  • Teacher notes.
  • Supporting worksheet to print out.
  • Detailed lesson plans for each of the three activities.

The pupils' area of the software gives access to:

  • Videos of "Brad King" introducing each activity.
  • Spreadsheet templates for the market research and smoothie making activities.
  • "Nets" quiz for the packaging design activity.
  • A Feedback Tool.

The software can also be run in "teacher mode" to present the videos on a data projector.

Resource requirements

(including hardware & software)

  • All lessons require a computer and data projector (or interactive whiteboard) to present the videos.
  • The software should run in any recent web browser with Adobe Flash Player installed. The recommended way to run it is direct from this website, but the complete package can be downloaded as a .zip file for offline use.
  • One lesson requires a computer for each pair or small group of students. This is desirable, but less critical for other lessons.
  • Microsoft Excel or an alternative (such as OpenOffice) is required by some activities. OpenOffice is available from
  • Card, scissors and glue sticks are required for the packaging design activity.