Founders! Last chance to enter FoodNavigator-USA's FOOD FOR KIDS trailblazers challenge

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Founders! Last chance to enter FoodNavigator-USA's FOOD FOR KIDS trailblazers challenge

Related tags: Food for kids, trailblazers

Want to present your child-focused food or beverage launch, brand, or business in front of our expert panel at FoodNavigator-USA's virtual FOOD FOR KIDS summit in the fall? The deadline to enter our annual trailblazers challenge is Monday, September 28.

We’re searching for trailblazing, entrepreneurial start-ups or established brands with new products to enter our annual trailblazers challenge​ ​and present their red hot food and nutrition innovations targeting expectant Moms, babies, toddlers, kids or teens at FOOD FOR KIDS 2020.

Maybe you have a healthy new lunchbox snack, a kid-focused supplement, or low-sugar beverage … or perhaps what really differentiates you is your direct to consumer business model, or your social mission?

ENTER HERE​ by September 28 for a chance to take center stage in FoodNavigator-USA’s FOOD FOR KIDS​ summit​​ (5 events over 5 weeks, starting Oct 21, ending Nov 18), which aims to shine a spotlight on the companies, large and small, that are doing most to drive innovation and champion change (checkout the latest speakers​). 

All submissions will be evaluated by the editorial team at FoodNavigator-USA, which will select three businesses to present their innovations on Wednesday November 11 at 10am Pacific time.

Each will get feedback from our expert panel of entrepreneurs and investors plus the opportunity to shoot a video with our editorial team later that month.

It all adds up to fantastic exposure for your brand...

Expert panel:​ Mark Rampolla, Powerplant Ventures; Jon Sebastiani, Sonoma Brands; Brad Barnhorn, board member and advisor

If you’re one of the three trailblazing brands selected by our editorial panel you’ll receive:

  • A place on the FOOD FOR KIDS​​ program​: participation in the Trailblazer session
  • Feedback from our expert panel​:  Mark Rampolla, partner, Powerplant Ventures; founder, ZICO Coconut WaterJon Sebastiani, founder and CEO, Sonoma Brands; founder, KRAVE Jerky; Brad Barnhorn, board member and advisor, growth stage food & beverage companies  
  • A one-on-one video interview​ with the editorial team that will run on FoodNavigator-USA​​

For more information and to submit your entry, CLICK HERE.

*Previous winners include: ​Cerebelly, Kashi by Kids, Scramblers, Nom Noms World Food, Raised Real, and KidsLuv

Confirmed speakers at FOOD FOR KIDS​ ​- a virtual series starting October 21 and ending November 18 - include:

Week #1 (Weds Oct 21, 10am PT). FOOD FOR KIDS: The consumer panel


We set the stage for the conference by bringing together a panel of parents from across the country for a lively interactive video discussion exploring some pain points they experience when it comes to feeding their kids.

  • David Lemley, ​founder, president & chief strategist, Retail Voodoo 
  • The consumer (parents) panel: ​TBA

Week #2 (Weds Oct 28, 10am PT). FOOD FOR KIDS: Kids and the plant-based trend ​ 


Plant-based meat, dairy and egg products are gaining traction But are these just for adults? Where is the opportunity in plant-based for kids

  • Adam Lowry​, co-founder and co-CEO, Ripple Foods
  • Kristie Middleton​, VP business development, Rebellyous Foods
  • Jaime Athos, ​president and CEO, Tofurky 
  • Hema Reddy ​founder and CEO, Crafty Counter (Wundernuggets) 
  • Alison Rabschnuk, ​director of corporate engagement, The Good Food Institute 
  • Marlena Hidlay,​early life nutrition segment lead, DSM North America 

Week #3 (Weds Nov 4, 10am PT). FOOD FOR KIDS: Beverage trends  


Beverage trends session featuring brands developing innovative new beverages for kids, spanning packaging trends, sustainability, sugars and sweeteners, flavor trends, market dynamics, ingredient trends and new routes to market.

  • Melanie Kahn​, founder, Poppilu
  • Billy Bosch, founder and CEO, Iconic Protein  
  • Creative Roots (Kraft Heinz)  
  • Jennifer Pomeranz​, assistant professor, Department of Public Health Policy and Management, New York University 

Week #4 (Weds Nov 11, 10am PT). FOOD FOR KIDS: Innovation in action… meet the trailblazers! 


The three winners of FoodNavigator-USA’s annual trailblazers challenge present their kid-focused innovations to our expert panel for feedback on their products, branding, go-to-market strategies and business models.

  • Jon Sebastiani​, founder and CEO, Sonoma Brands​; founder, KRAVE Jerky  
  • Mark Rampolla​, partner, Powerplant Ventures​; founder, ZICO Coconut Water 
  • Brad Barnhorn​, board member and advisor, growth stage food & beverage companies 

Week #5 (Weds Nov 18, 10am PT).​ FOOD FOR KIDS: Meeting children’s nutritional needs, from foods to supplements​  


What key nutrients do kids need, when, from the first 1,000 days (conception to two years) to early childhood and the teen years? Should kids take supplements? If so, when, and what are the nutritional gaps parents should be thinking about?

  • Erin Quann, PhD, RD, Head of Medical Affairs, Nestlé Nutrition/Gerber 
  • Dr Jennifer Harris​, senior research advisor, Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity
  • Shelley Balanko, PhD,  ​senior vice president, The Hartman Group
  • Eric Ciappio, ​technical sales manager, IFF Health
  • Sonia Hartunian-Sowa, PhD, ​director of nutrition, science & advocacy, DSM North America 
  • Natasha Bonhomme, ​director, Expecting Health

Sponsors include:​ DSM, IFF Health, Cargill, Curion, and Sweegen

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more


Pectin's "a-peeling" future

Cargill | 28-Nov-2022 | Technical / White Paper

Familiar, plant-based, highly functional… today's pectin ticks off a lot of boxes for consumers and product developers alike. Learn how this humble...

Protein Systems: Next-generation Plant Protein Solutions

Protein Systems: Next-generation Plant Protein Solutions

ADM: Gain an Edge with Global Consumer Trends | 07-Nov-2022 | Case Study

Discover ADM’s Protein Systems, offering three levels of solutions and services aimed at helping you create a market-winning product with speed, no matter...

Add sparkle and magic to your next product

Add sparkle and magic to your next product

Glanbia Nutritionals | 28-Oct-2022 | Product Presentation

93% of consumers cite appearance as the most important purchasing factor when it comes to food, creating a market focused on the use of bright colors to...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more