KANSAS CITY – Following a fun, challenging and ultimately satisfying first year, Food Business News is developing Food Entrepreneurs with more content and more ways to connect with a highly engaged audience by 2021.
Food Entrepreneurs launched a year ago to share stories about startups and trends driving change in the industry. The early concept featured a print supplement published six times per year, an email newsletter sent six times per year, and digital tasting events.
The launch was a huge success. Notably, more than 7,000 industry professionals subscribe to email newsletters throughout the year. The content resonates with stakeholders across the supply chain, who are eager to learn about the next big thing in food.
Starting this month, Food Entrepreneurs email newsletters arrive in your inbox every two weeks, full of insights, innovations, and news. Customers will receive the latest updates on upcoming trends, events and developments surrounding the business.
Two digital events, to take place in April and October, will include product sampling opportunities and presentations that bring to life trends and products developed by emerging businesses. Participants will interact with entrepreneurs and thought leaders who drive disruption across industries.
In addition to the six printed editions this year, each edition Food Business News will display over and over Food Entrepreneurs section to provide more information and inspiration. The content will cover a multitude of activities and topics relevant to startups, plus profiles of the passionate personalities behind rising brands.
The center of success Food Business News Over the last 15 years there has been an unmatched scope of trends and innovations that are creating major changes in the market. Food Entrepreneurs represents the distillation of work that gets to the core of what all industry stakeholders want to know – what’s next?
What’s the next RXBAR or Beyond Meat?
Despite the global pandemic, food entrepreneurship remains dynamic and resilient. In a year that was painstakingly described as “uncertain” and “unprecedented,” the industry overcame many hurdles, finding creative ways to develop new products and solve problems caused by COVID-19. Many have turned to direct-to-consumer operations and other distribution channels. Some clever brainstorming approaches to building brand awareness if there are no in-store demos and trade shows. Some raise money through crowdfunding equity or participate in the various virtual pitch competitions that pop up throughout the year.
The already collaborative community of food entrepreneurs multiplies, helping each other to support one another when hope fades.
Amid the initial shock wave of the pandemic, the future Food Entrepreneurs questionable. Will entrepreneurs continue to innovate? How do startups raise capital or go to market?
What stories are left to tell?
Looking back on 2020, it’s clear that there are more stories to share than ever before.
Visit FoodBusinessNews.net to learn more, and subscribe to the latest offers from Food Entrepreneurs. Connect with Food Entrepreneurs in LinkedIn to engage with this dynamic community and stay abreast of developments.
CHICAGO – So much has changed in one year. And that’s still changing. As the world develops, the food supply chain looks at the COVID-19 retail landscape to prepare for the future.
“The pace and extent of change is amazing and really emphasizes your ability as a retailer to be agile and to adopt and be willing to make change quickly,” said Walter Robb, former co-chief executive officer long ago. from Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas, and executive-in-residence S2G Ventures, Chicago, during a December 1 webinar hosted by Spark Change and presented by Naturally Chicago and the New Hope Network. “Why is retail important? Because retail stores reflect, reflect and capture the rhythm of our lives. Everything that happens in retail touches everything throughout the food supply chain. “
S2G Ventures’ recent report, “The Future of Food: Through Retail Lenses,” became the catalyst for webinars. Mr. Robb and S2G vice president Audre Kapacinskas wrote, “The pandemic has illuminated our food system, and retailers are sitting right in the middle. Every new day brings new innovations and evolutions in customer choice and system changes. “
S2G Ventures’ mission is “to support the best entrepreneurs who improve the health and sustainability of the whole food system.” COVID-19 helps them identify opportunities for more improvement. Mr Robb explained that the changes that the natural products industry has seen this year are not revolutionary, but rather an acceleration of the ongoing evolutionary trend.
“Future retail will be dimensional,” he said. “It’s not just about products and values. It is also the community in which it belongs and also the way trade is conducted. “
According to the report, in the next food evolution, many things that were once aspirational will be considered at stake.
“There’s a lot more context going on,” said Mr. Robb. “Roadside delivery and pickup is an absolute bet on the future. It is very important to provide that service to customers if you want to play in this new world order. “
Every retailer needs to experiment with new formats, from design to location to size. Retailers need to prepare for a restaurant return. In order to remain competitive, retail foodservice needs to change.
“The store perimeter is an area that matters in every way, including profitability,” said Brandon Barnholt, CEO of KeHE Distributors, Naperville, Illinois. “The perimeter is changing before our eyes.
“Bulk food – putting things in bags – closes immediately (at the start of the pandemic). Retailers are responding in bulk without contact “.
Fresh Thyme, Downers Grove, Ill., For example, builds a business around bulk ingredients and snacks, as well as take-out bakery items, antipasto buffets, and soup / salad bars. The shop even has a mill-your-own grain machine; pour your own honey, vinegar and olive oil; and your own peanut butter cream. Now Fresh Thyme offers buyers contactless wholesale of dry goods, as well as pre-packaged bulk in a variety of sizes. Bulk fluids have been pre-divided in containers as needed. The shops recently opened self-service soup stalls, with enhanced plastic covers and instructions for using a napkin when touching the spoon. Hand sanitizer station nearby.
“It’s all about quick laps,” said Mr. Barnholt. “Doing all they can to serve customers.”
Mr Robb predicts that the future growth of food retailers will be driven by community interaction / customer engagement (digital engagement, frictionless store experiences and transparency); trade / sales channels (omnichannel capabilities, smart fulfillment and tough fresh food); and the content / products sold (product curation, “agriculture” focus, value-focused marketing, and sustainability as brand affinity).
There is a need for innovation to address these opportunities in commerce, community and content to drive the growth of food retailers in the future, said Robb.
Anu Goel, president of client growth solutions, SPINS, Chicago, said, “We’ve been four to five years advancing technologically. There is an extension of who is shopping online and what is shopping. Everyone’s doing it now, and in all categories. “
While pre-pandemic online shoppers tended to be younger, currently four different generations are actively involved. Eating at home is one of the effects of COVID-19 that is likely to persist with increased grocery collection and delivery, as well as the growth of ghost kitchens and food delivery options. Retailers need to spin to stay relevant.
CINCINNATI – At the top of this year’s buyer’s list are diet soft drinks, shredded cheese and flavored potato chips, according to The Kroger Co. Consumers also pack their carts with white wine, heavy whipped cream, fresh burger buns, artisan buns, single buns – serving coffee beans, party size packs of assorted chocolates and Black Forest ham.
“The most popular food and drink in 2020 underlines how our customers not only adapt to the challenges of this unique year, but also adopt cooking and eating at home as part of their new routine,” said Stuart Aitken, chief trader at Kroger. “As many of our customers shifted to work from home and virtual schoolrooms this year, coffee, fresh deli meats, and handmade bread emerged as staples for better breakfast and lunch routines, while non-calorie soft drinks, flavored potato chips. unique, wine and chocolate stand out as a favorite comfort food. Fresh ground beef, premium buns and grated cheese are also gaining in popularity as our customers recreate their favorite restaurant-style burgers at home. “
With these insights in mind, Kroger’s team of product developers, chefs, and innovators developed a list of trend predictions for the next year, including samples of products retailers sell under the private label Simple Truth and Private Selection brands.
“Many of our customers are rediscovering their passion for home cooking and baking in 2020 and aspire to eat more healthy foods and explore more unique flavors and flavors in the coming year,” said Aitken. “We are excited about what Our Brands will offer customers in the new year through innovation and by delivering the fresh, flavorful and trendy food they expect from Kroger’s portfolio of leading brands in the industry.”
Expect accelerated food and beverage products featuring functional benefits to support immune health, digestion, cognitive health, energy levels, and stress management. Products offered at Kroger’s store include superfood almond butter, elderberry gum, organic sparkling kefir water, and caffeinated water.
Consumers will also continue to look for foods that are delicious and easy to prepare, such as quick-cook risotto, chocolate slice pastries, macaroni and dark white cheddar cheese, and chocolate butter bourbon truffle ice cream. Over 60% of Kroger shoppers spend more time cooking at home and experimenting with global flavors and recipes while dining and restaurant trips remain limited. The vendor offers ancho chilli with rojo mole mince, Thai stir fry equipment, and Indian-inspired coconut curry sauce.
Special diets remain popular with health-conscious consumers, but a personalized eating approach can mix trends. Kroger predicted an increase in the “ketotarian,” meatless cycle of a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic lifestyle. Its products include keto cheddar cheese chips, chocolate chip keto ice cream, pop protein chips, and plant-based bread and grinds.
Mushrooms may be the breakthrough stars of 2021, adding antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, plus savory flavors, to a wide variety of applications, including blends of plant protein, seasonings, spices, seasonings and more. Kroger offers quick-to-cook mushroom risotto, an organic mushroom umami rub, beef and mushroom bread, and pizza with a thin layer of mushroom oil and truffle oil.
Sustainability also influences purchasing decisions. Products that reduce carbon footprints, reduce food waste, or feature plastic packaging will gain even more traction in the new year, according to Kroger. Innovative solutions are popping up in the product aisle, from juiceless onions to plant-based coatings that extend product shelf life.
NEW YORK – In Harlem, a husband and wife team has perfected a plant-based cheese for New York-style pizza. In San Jose, a father who cares about handling plastic waste, one by one. A pair of sisters in Minneapolis and Brooklyn, NY, created shelf-stable oat milk that uses whole grain organic, resulting in more nutrients and less waste.
These entrepreneurs were among dozens selected to participate in Rabobank’s FoodBytes! virtual field competition, which starts in October. This program offers opportunities for new brands around the world to network with investors and industry professionals representing some of the largest food and agricultural companies in the world. Hundreds of startups in the fields of food technology, agricultural technology, and consumer packaged goods are implementing the program. This year, an expanded selection of 45 startups accepting one-on-one connections with investors and company members and will permanently join FoodBytes! alumni network. In early December, 15 finalists will be invited to pitch to a panel of judges for cash prizes.
“We are redesigning FoodBytes Rabobank! a food and agriculture innovation platform for one reason: to build a powerful engine for collaboration and sustainable innovation between food and agribusiness actors who want to sustainably feed the world, ”said Anne Greven, head of food innovation and agribusiness at Rabobank. “We know we cannot achieve this goal alone, which is why we have brought together corporate members and investors who share the same vision.”
The 2020 cohort is the most diverse in the program’s five-year history. Fifty-one percent of startups are led or led by people of color, and 44% are led or led by women. The 45 startups came from 15 countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, India, Israel, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Singapore, South Korea, and Switzerland.
“In the past we went from city to city trying to find the best and the brightest startups solving the food challenges around North America and Europe,” said Greven. “Our goal this year is to be more global because food is a global system and we are a global institution, and we see the challenges of a global food system.”
Innovating for good
The founders selected for this program develop sustainable solutions to address key challenges in the food system such as food waste, nutrition and food safety. Its concepts include recycled food and drinks, plastic reduction, cell-based meat production, natural coatings that extend product shelf life, and technologies that improve soil health, reduce water use, and combat labor shortages and worker safety issues.
“If we are truly going to solve the global food challenge, we have to work together, and we have to work together quickly, and that cannot happen if we all stay in silos, competing for market share,” Ms Greven said. “We must come together to adopt what we believe to be changes that can have a profound impact on all of us in the food system and make a difference for the future.
“I have a high-level mission that we want to be a beacon of food and ag innovation for all members, and that’s why building membership, broadening the startup base, building programs that foster connections and community is the way we believe we will. have the greatest impact quickly and for the future. “
An environmentally conscious entrepreneur hopes to eliminate the need for single-use plastic servicing equipment. Dinesh Tadepalli, one of the founders of Planeteer, developed a machine for producing edible cutlery made of wheat, oats, green beans, brown rice and corn. The first offering is a protein-rich vegan scoop that stays firm in hot and cold foods. Flavors include chocolate, vanilla, black pepper, oregano chili and Indian masala.
“My whole entrepreneurial idea emerged after my children were born, especially after my daughter was born, where I planned their financial future, and that’s when I realized what good it would be for me to save for them if they couldn’t enjoy and be safe on this planet. ? “Said Mr Tadepalli.
Planeteer plans to supply scoops to ice cream and frozen yogurt shops, restaurants and concert venues. Meanwhile, the company sells products online while developing additional forms.
“The spoon is only the beginning,” said Mr. Tadepalli. “We are working on edible straws and edible sporks … and edible chopsticks will be available soon.”
Several startups in the group focus on developing vegetable products. Kartik Dixit, co-founder and chief executive of Mumbai-based Evo Foods, is bringing animal-free alternatives to Indian consumers, starting with a nutritious liquid egg substitute formulated with chickpeas, green beans, and peas.
“In essence we want to be Food Impossible from India,” said Mr. Dixit. “We started with eggs because we saw eggs as the ideal gateway product for the Indian market … Eggs have no religious boundaries, and the market is large.”
The pandemic has postponed companies’ plans to partner with restaurants to build brand awareness before entering the retail market, Dixit said.
“Restaurant in bad condition in India; lots of things trying to open up, “he said. “But at the same time, the cloud kitchen is growing rapidly, so we see it as an opportunity.”
Another plant-based solution comes from Willa’s, a company co-founded by Christina Dorr Drake and her sister, Elena Dorr Zienda, based on grandma’s recipe for oat milk. Both have previous experience in the food industry; Ms. Drake specializes in marketing, and Ms. Zienda has a background in chemical engineering.
Many other oat milks on the market contain additives such as chewing gum or sugar, but Willa’s original unsweetened oat milk includes only filtered water, organic whole wheat, organic real vanilla extract, and salt. The company’s unique milling approach uses whole grains. As a result, these products contain more fiber and protein and less sugar per serving than other varieties.
“We chose to name the company after our grandmother because she was real, honest and uncompromising,” Drake said.
The brand was set to launch in coffee shops and co-working spaces last March, but when the pandemic scrambled early market plans, the founders quickly shifted to marketing and selling products online.
Like Evo Foods and Willa, many of the startups selected for this program have demonstrated resilience in adapting to the unexpected challenges of the COVID-19 market, said Greven.
“I am always amazed by the people who have taken this massive effort, for example if they are going to break into the restaurant channel and have to go straight to the consumer,” he said. “The amount of energy and passion they have and belief in what they are doing helps propel their ability to become resilient enough and make that change.”
At the end of October, FoodBytes! provides participating startups with various sessions and mentorship opportunities, addressing a wide range of issues from fundraising to marketing to scaling. Companies involved in the program include PepsiCo, Inc., Archer Daniels Midland., Barilla and Dole Food Co.
“I’ve been involved in many different incubators and accelerators over the years, and Foodbytes for this week! it surprised me, ”said Kobi Regev, founder of New York-based Pleese Foods. “I was amazed by the type of person who was present and who was able to speak on the panel and having the opportunity to meet some of them is just a compliment to be a part of this.
Mr Regev and his wife, Abev, launched a business to fill a void in the plant-based cheese market for allergen-free options. Many of the non-dairy cheese products available are formulated with soy, whole grains, wheat or nuts. The first product from Pleese is pizza-style cheese made with protein from faba beans, potatoes, and coconut oil. The company initially sold to restaurants and plans to launch retail products next year.
“COVID has slowed things down for us, but not stopped us,” said Regev. “What we are realizing is the benefit of going down to the food service line, especially with pizza, is that pizza restaurants are open during the entire pandemic. I think we are very lucky in that. We want to make sure we develop slowly and steadily and smartly. There is a desire to have our products all over the country, but we need to ensure that we create a very strong infrastructure and we get our word out efficiently and that we can put together an amazing team to really grow this company. “
Another important area of innovation, especially during a tumultuous year, is health and wellness. Moment, a plant-based drink brand, is inspired by meditation practice and designed to relieve stress with minimal calories and no sugar or artificial ingredients. Aisha Chottani founded this business with her husband, Faheem Kajee.
“Most people find meditation quite scary; “It looks tough and takes more discipline to do it when you are really busy and stressed, when you need it the most,” said Chottani. “We created an exclusive blend of botanicals and adaptogens, scientifically shown to stimulate the same brain waves as meditation, helping you reduce stress, improve focus and increase creativity.”
The company was launched earlier this year as a direct-to-consumer business and sells beverages at several specialty stores in New York. A portion of the proceeds from sales support the provision of awareness programs for schools across the country.
“For us, it’s more than just a drink,” said Ms. Chottani. “We started with drinks because it was an easy way to access our customers and provide immediate value… We’ll be experimenting with other types of products and experiences going forward. Seven in 10 workers have identified COVID as the most stressful period of their lives, and even as the world is conquering how this pandemic will unfold, there will be other changes in the next few years in how we work, how we operate and how we live as a society. , and people will need support. “
LONDON – Jennifer Moss has been appointed as head of global research and development at pladis, a biscuit, chocolate and confectionery company owned by Yildiz Holding.
In her new role, Ms Moss will focus on cutting-edge approaches to innovation to build new and exciting product lines to meet consumer needs.
Ms. Moss has worked at Campbell Soup Co. for the last 10 years, most recently as vice president of R&D for the company’s food and beverage business. He has also held R&D positions in Arnott’s corporate business in Australia and helped rejuvenate brands such as Shapes, Via-Weat and Tim Tams.
Prior to Campbell Soup Co., Ms. Moss is director of the regional design center and technical management at Unilever PLC.
He received a bachelor’s degree in industrial chemistry and a doctorate in chemical engineering at the University of New South Wales.
“We are very pleased to welcome Jennifer to lead our R&D team,” said Salman Amin, CEO of Pladis. “Innovation is at the core of our business, and Jennifer’s extensive experience and proven track record in innovation across product, packaging, sensory, culinary and nutrition will help us achieve our ambition. I believe Jennifer is the perfect addition to our team as we focus on growing our star brand globally. “
Formed in 2016, Pladis employs more than 16,000 people and operates 25 factories in 11 countries. The company consists of Godiva Chocolatier, a premium chocolate brand; McVitie’s, a biscuit brand with a heritage in Britain and Europe; Ulker, a biscuit and confectionery brand in Turkey and the Middle East; and DeMet’s Candy Co., creators of the Flipz chocolate pretzels and covered bean turtles group.