The three trailblazing brands who will take center stage on the opening night (November 13) of Food Vision USA in Chicago this year are: Goat-milk-fueled brand Funny Farm (Epic Source Food Company); grasshopper-fueled edible insect start-up Hargol FoodTech and The Chaat Company - which is introducing Indian street snacks to a US audience.
The eight runners up – who also wowed us with their innovative products – are: NuBana (green banana flour); Naledo (turmeric paste); Algama (algae-fueled mayo and other products); Crunchsters (sprouted mung-bean snacks); Lithic Nutrition (cricket protein bars and powders); Outer Aisle Gourmet (cauliflower-based wraps, pizza bases); Pique Tea (premium instant tea); and Kickfurther (a crowdsourcing fund raising platform utilized by food brands – among many others).
Our three trailblazers will be invited to present live on stage to our expert panel and the audience as part of our innovation, incubation and investment discussions on the opening night of Food Vision USA (Nov 13-15) – a three-day conference shining a spotlight on the companies, large and small – that are doing most to drive innovation and champion change.
There they will get feedback on their products, packaging and strategy, plus the opportunity to ask questions and seek advice from the panel and from the Food Vision community.
The panel (pictured below, left to right):
- Wayne Wu, managing director, VMG Partners
- Gigi Lee Chang, CEO, Food Future Co, co-founder Plum Organics
- Scott Norton, co-founder, Sir Kensington’s (Unilever)
- Barb Stuckey, president and chief innovation officer, Mattson
The three trailblazers will receive:
- A place on the Food Vision USA program: participation in the trailblazer session
- Access to the full program including all presentations and networking sessions
- Accommodation at The W Chicago (November 13 & 14)
- Coverage in FoodNavigator-USA/ NutraIngredients-USA
- Video interviews with the FoodNavigator-USA editorial team.
- Inclusion in the 2017 FOOD VISION USA video.
- 50% discount on registration for colleagues (standard registration, does not include accommodation)
- The eight runners up will receive a 50% discount on their registration (not including accommodation).
- Feedback and participation in the Innovation panel with Scott Norton, Sir Kensington’s (Unilever), Wayne Wu, VMG Partners, Barb Stuckey, Mattson and Gigi Lee Chang, Plum Organics & Food Future Co.
TRAILBLAZER: Funny Farm (Epic Source Food Company, Frisco, Texas)
Consumers with cow’s milk allergies or digestive issues have “flocked to plant based dairy,” says Epic Source Food Company CEO Tim Millson.
But they haven’t explored goat’s milk, he says, in part because they are perceived to be too, er, “goaty.”
Funny Farm, he says, has the solution: “Because of how we treat our milk after we milk the goats, we have developed the first non-goaty goat milk products. We do not have those twangy, grassy flavors most people associate with goat milk. Our clean milk process is groundbreaking and we are bringing consumers back to real dairy, and goats are the earth’s most sustainable milk source.”
From mac and (goat) cheese, to goat cheese popcorn, pizza, chips, puffs and crackers, Funny Farm is a new line of goat-cheese-based products from the team behind the Laloo's goat milk ice cream brand, says Millson.
“Our goal is to take our recipes worldwide and franchise the brand across the world. Goat milk is the largest consumed dairy product across the world with the exception of the US and Canada yet I am the only one using it for meals and products other than fresh cheese and fresh milk.”
TRAILBLAZER: THE CHAAT COMPANY (New York City)
The brainchild of serial entrepreneur Anshu Dua, and chef Shiraz Noor, The Chaat Company is on a mission to introduce Indian street snacks known as ‘chaat’ to US consumers.
Its first product line combines authentic Indian street flavors, such as tamarind and date chutney, blended in whole milk yogurt and topped with crunchy, turmeric spiced lentil puffs: a convenient, grab & go Indian street snacking experience in a cup, says Dua.
“Indian food has rarely been considered cool. In a culture bursting with energy, color and tradition, we only tend to see it expressed in poorly-lit, poorly-branded, Taj Mahal-themed restaurants slinging all-you-can-eat buffets. Americans today are seeking out authentic, global food experiences that are natural, well branded, but also convenient for an increasingly time-pressed lifestyle.
"Chaat, with its rich history and bold flavor combinations, is poised to excite and satisfy the next generation of American snack cravings.”
The Chaat Company launched its first product line in January 2016 through a partnership with Whole Foods and other natural grocery retailers on the east coast and is now working with a new strategic partner and investor in India (Jain Farm Fresh) to help it source authentic ingredients sustainably and build out a portfolio of convenient, grab & go Indian street snacks.
TRAILBLAZER: HARGOL FOODTECH (Misgav, Israel)
While crickets currently lead the edible insect pack, the grasshopper – which has a whopping 72% protein by dry weight with all the essential amino acids – has just as much potential as a protein source, says Israeli start-up Hargol FoodTech - which claims to be the first company in the world to grow commercial quantities of grasshoppers in climate controlled facilities.
From a flavor perspective, grasshoppers have a blander and less distinctive taste than crickets, making them more appealing to food formulators, claims co-founder and CEO Dror Tamir. They are also both Kosher and Halal, he says, whereas crickets are not generally considered Halal: “Grasshoppers are the only kosher and halal insect in the world. They are mentioned as kosher in Leviticus.”
Right now, the company’s focus is selling grasshopper protein powder to food manufacturers in the US and Europe, while the company is also collaborating with manufacturers to co-develop innovative grasshopper protein based products.
THE RUNNERS UP:
NuBana (green banana flour); Naledo (Truly Turmeric turmeric paste); Algama (algae-fueled Good Spoon mayo and other products); Crunchsters (sprouted mung-bean snacks); Lithic Nutrition (cricket protein bars and powders); Outer Aisle Gourmet (cauliflower-based wraps, pizza bases); Pique Tea (premium instant tea); and Kickfurther (a crowdsourcing fund raising platform utilized by food brands – among many others).