To make it in the food business, entrepreneurs need to be hungry for success. During NOSH Live Summer 2017, early-stage businesses will face off to prove they have both the ravenous desire and the strategic roadmap needed to grow their brands. But at the winner’s table, there is only room for one.
At NOSH Live’s second semi-annual Pitch Slam, sponsored by ADM, five hungry emerging natural food brands will have four minutes on the Metropolitan West stage to prove to a panel of four industry-vet judges that they hold the key to the future of food. Judges include Mark Rainey, Vice President Global Food Marketing at ADM; Jason Cohen, Founder and Co-CEO of Halen Brands; Deb Hannah, Director of Retail Branded Partnerships at Starbucks; and Tom Spier, founder and Managing Partner of Boulder Food Group.
For the contestants, the stakes are high. Aside from bragging rights, expert advice and brand exposure, one worthy winner will walk away with a $5,000 check.
Meet the brands looking to claim their spot in the NOSH winners’ circle.
Cali’flour Foods owner Amy Lacey is hoping her cauliflower pizza crust will help her take a slice out of the gluten-free market.
The California-based brand, which launched less than two years ago, makes vegetable-based frozen crusts with no fillers, additives or preservatives. The company also touts the crust’s nutrition label. One crust makes up approximately half of a consumer’s daily vegetable recommendation and Lacey hopes this nutritional punch will attract consumers outside of the gluten-free market, as well.
Bronx Hot Sauce
This condiment company thinks being socially responsible is hot–and they’re hoping consumers will, too.
Bronx Hot Sauce’s lines are created entirely from serrano peppers grown in over 40 community gardens throughout New York’s poorest borough. The company purchases the peppers at high prices to provide better wages for the gardeners growing them. Last year, more than 30 Bronx community gardens grew 1,500 pounds of serrano peppers that ended up in bottled hot sauce distributed across the Tri-State Area, according to the company.
Vice President Daniel Fitzgerald will talk about how the brand is looking to help solve some of the city’s large societal problems through the sale of their socially conscious product at a premium price.
Zesty Z: The Za’atar Co.
In March 2016, Alexander and Lorraine Harik launched their Mediterranean condiment brand Zesty Z: The Za’atar Company. The brand celebrates za’atar, a wild Middle Eastern thyme, through its spread, which sells for $10 per nine-ounce jar on its online store.
Zesty Z is gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, low sodium, and requires no refrigeration–even after opening. Za’atar has long been a staple in the Mediterranean diet, but now the mother-son team is looking to capitalize on the U.S.’s growing desire for global flavors.
For Bearded Brothers, food is a family business. The Texas-born organic bar brand is geared toward outdoor enthusiasts looking for energy to power through any adventure.
The fruit-and-nut bars are paleo, vegan, gluten-free and soy-free. The bars are fruit and nut based, with one nut free bar made from hemp seeds, figs, and dates. CEO Caleb Simpson thinks the company’s branding and fun flavor names is what makes them stand out from the competition.
Partake Foods founder Denise Woodard is hoping her line of better-for-you, allergy friendly kids snacks will resonate with moms. The company launched less than six months ago with its first line of products: mini cookies.
The cookies come in three flavors– Sprouted Grain Chocolate Chip, Carrot Oat and Sweet Potato Millet– that are free from 12 of the top allergens. The 5.5-ounce boxes retail for $4.99. The brand’s motto is “you don’t need food allergies to love our snacks.”
Tune into the Project NOSH livestream on Monday to catch all the action and stayed tuned to ProjectNOSH.com for more coverage from NOSH Live Summer 2017. If you’re interested in attending NOSH Live Summer 2017, registration is still open but limited seats remain.