• Winners of SnackFutures Innovation Future of Snacking Pitch Competition were announced on Wednesday, 5 September.
    Winners of SnackFutures Innovation Future of Snacking Pitch Competition were announced on Wednesday, 5 September.

An Australian hand harvested seaweed company is one of the Future of Snacking Pitch competition winners run by Mondelez International’s innovation and venture hub, SnackFutures. 

Alg Seaweed and TerViva, that partners with growers to plant resilient, high-yielding pongamia trees on degraded land using minimal inputs took out the honours, announced last night. 

The six finalists were: Beeing, Terviva, Perkii, Alg Seaweed, Stroh, and Unpackaged Eco. At this weeks Global Table conference in Melbourne, each finalist pitched their solution to foster a more sustainable food system in areas including: food waste reduction; sustainable sourcing and packaging; alternative ingredients; circular and regenerative snack solutions; and emerging technologies.

Alg Seaweed was founded by Melbourne dietition Sarah Leung. The hand harvested seaweed is a sprinkle that you can add to salads, meats, fish and other foods. Leung says by harvesting the noxious algae species, wakame, alg Seaweed is protecting the ocean. Its nutrients – high in iodine, fibre, magnesium, vitamin K, calcium, folate, vitamin B12, omega 3, and omega 6 fatty acids – make it highly nutritious.

Terviva partners with growers to plant the resilient, high-yielding pongamia tree on degraded land. It is a Series-D agricultural technology company that produces pongamia trees with abundant protein- and oil-rich seeds similar to soybeans. Their patented high-yielding trees are sold to growers and it also offer proprietary bean processing to create sustainable food and fuel. Its goal is to use the trees to restore degraded farmland to productive use.

SnackFutures head of innovation Brigette Wolf told Food & Drink Business, “Our goal is by 2020 to have $100 million dollars, but that comes to life in a way of us asking, can we create brands and businesses that meet consumers needs and are really addressing what's going on in the market.

“Can we go into those white spaces and have incremental innovation for our businesses, and then can we partner and invest in those upcoming startups.”

Of the finalists, Wolf said: “They all have their own unique story, which is what makes this the SnackFutures model so special. There are very different focuses and areas, some were finished products, some were ingredients, some were technologies. At the end of the day the founder’s passion came through in all of them.”


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