In early April, ProVeg announced the finalists of the Southeast Asia Food Innovation Challenge. Between January and April, 125 projects were submitted by students from all over the region. Together with leading food-industry players, 17 submissions were selected to enter the Food Innovation Challenge.
Food Innovation Challenge attracts young talent
Given the increasing awareness of health and the environment, Asia is expected to constitute the largest share of the global plant-based-food sector in the near future. ProVeg launched the Food Innovation Challenge in the region in order to encourage young talent to pioneer plant-based food innovation. Participating companies include leading food-industry players Beyond Meat, CPF, Haofood, Nestle, Oatly, Unilever, and ProVeg. Students submitted their projects to the company of their choice.[vc_empty_space height=”28px”]
“Asia presents the largest opportunity for plant-based diets. The key to tapping into this enormous opportunity is innovation. Asia needs more tasty, healthy, and convenient plant-based products targeting not only vegans but also flexitarians.”
Before the application deadline, ProVeg organised two webinars with food experts from participating food-industry companies, as well as from leading organisations such as A*STAR and the FAO. Students were given the opportunity to learn more about the challenge over the course of five workshops and Q&A sessions with ProVeg. Additionally, ProVeg provided English-language support in order to encourage non-native English speakers to participate.[vc_empty_space height=”28px”]
Each participating company picked finalists to work with over the coming weeks. In total, 17 groups with 52 students were chosen as finalists. Selected projects vary from ‘Coffee Kombucha Oat Latte’ to ‘Plant-based Sausages’ to advocacy plans targeting adolescents. From now until early June, each student group will be mentored by the companies that selected them. This includes support in further developing their ideas, as well as general advice about their projects.
“It has been a pleasure to witness the variety and diversity of student group ideas related to the future of plant-based meat. The creativity and thoughtfulness of submissions we have received have inspired our whole team.”
“As we are targeting customers around the students’ age, this programme enables us to understand their perspective and how to engage with them better.”
Next steps of the Food Innovation Challenge
Starting in May, everyone can vote on their favourite submission to the Food Innovation Challenge 2021 on the project website. The winners will be announced during the online ceremony in mid-June.
In response to the growing global shift towards plant-based living and as a means of attracting young talent to pioneer plant-based food innovation, ProVeg is launching the Food Innovation Challenge across Southeast Asia.