New York is one of the most exciting cities in the world and for decades, the Fancy Food Show has been one of the largest gatherings for food producers, importers, and buyers. This year, after the establishment of a partnership between the Specialty Food Association (SFA) and Seeds&Chips, the show also began exploring the future of food with the Seeds&Chips Arena coming from Milan and bringing some of the most exciting startups in the food world with it. From June 30 to July 2nd, the Summer Fancy Food Show brought thousands to the heart of the Big Apple to explore, exchange, and most importantly taste foods from around the world.
An integral part of Seeds&Chips – The Global Food Innovation Summit, held since 2015 in Milan, the Arena is an interactive, circular space designed to stimulate conversation and encourage critical thinking about food innovation. Visitors mingled with each other while checking out projects from 20 different startups who were handpicked by Seeds&Chips to represent the brightest ideas for the next generation of food innovation. As part of the SFA’s drive to bring more food innovation into one of the most storied food fairs in the world, the Arena was a space to transform, to engage, to educate and to explore the potential for disruption in the global food chain.
The FoodTech Accelerator group was a big part of the Arena program, Marco Perrone, program leader and Andrea Beretta, deal-flow manager of FoodTech Accelerator were on hand for a pitch competition that took place throughout the entire show. Along with an expert jury including Seeds&Chips Chief Content Officer Sharon Cittone, they heard pitches from startups working on superfoods, AI, and Smart Kitchen devices. The finalists were chosen from this group and included sustainable food producer Planetarians, personalized yogurt maker Yomee from Lecker Labs Limited, online marketplace Emerge, plant based nutritional shake Yuvee, and sustainable flour producer Rise.
After careful deliberation, the jury selected Rise as the winner of the pitch competition and gave the founders the chance to be a part of the FoodTech Accelerator program to begin in Spring 2019 in Milan. The company, recently featured in the New York Times, takes upcycled grain from beer producers and transforms it into flour that can be used in baked goods, thus eliminating a significant amount of waste that the beer sector accumulates. The founders of Rise look forward to working on real solutions to reduce food waste and to learn about bringing their product to the European market. As a part of the FoodTech Accelerator class, they will have the chance to continue the growth of the idea and their company’s scale.