Marketers from General Mills, Mondelēz, Nestle, Sodexo Will Mentor Student Contestants in GfK’s NextGen Competition

Annual event gives undergraduates firsthand experience with marketing, market research, Big Data

NEW YORK--()--Marketers and market researchers from four major brands — General Mills, Mondelēz International, Nestle S.A., and Sodexo — will provide expert guidance to students taking part in this year’s GfK Next Generation (“NextGen”) Competition. Now in its 6th year, the contest provides undergraduates with a chance to design, execute, and interpret a market research project, focusing on key issues facing marketers today.

Click here to learn more about the 2016-17 competition and access the entry form.

NextGen Mentors will provide a variety of help to the students, from evaluating initial entries to selecting the winner and then critiquing a presentation by the winning team when it visits New York City next year. Mentors who have signed on are:

  • Julie Rose
    Global Consumer Insights Director
    General Mills
  • Barry Calpino
    Vice President, Innovation Hothouse
    Mondelēz International
  • Mary Colleen Hershey
    Vice President, Consumer & Marketplace Insights
    Nestle S.A.
  • Rick Ortman
    Vice President, Global Category Development & Shopper Insights

Possible topics and methods for contestants to study include the mobile consumer, “omnishopping,” user experiences, innovation, and Generation Z. The winning team will receive a $1,000 cash prize, as well as a visit to GfK’s New York City headquarters (for two team members plus a faculty advisor), where they will receive feedback on their work and learn about market research as a career.

Initial entries, in which students submit proposals for their research projects, are due October 21st, 2016. GfK will select several finalist teams – to be notified on November 25 – who will complete their proposed studies and submit reports for consideration. GfK will announce the competition’s winning team on March 17, 2017.

Past winners of the NextGen Competition – from Aurora University, Chatham University, and Purdue University (Calumet) – focused on topics such as mobile apps, social media, Hispanic consumers, and crowdsourcing.

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

For more information, please visit or follow GfK on Twitter:


David Stanton, 908-875-9844
VP, MarComms

Release Summary

Marketers and market researchers from four major brands — General Mills, Mondelēz International, Nestle S.A., and Sodexo — will take part in this year’s GfK NextGen Competition for undergraduates.


David Stanton, 908-875-9844
VP, MarComms