Nuclear scientists, Michelin star chefs, nutrition biotechnologists, marine biologists, software developers, entrepreneurs, culinary management students.
Other than being extremely professional in their chosen fields, what is one thing all these people could possibly have in common?
As you probably have guessed from the title, this amazingly talented bunch has spent their weekend Fazer Foodathon hacking together the food of the future. Divided into 10 teams, foodathon hackers were tackling 2 challenges – designing new plant-based dishes, cooking techniques and raw material combinations, and figuring out their ways on how to market them.
Passion for food unities for more sustainable future
The aim of the Fazer Foodathon was to create new plant-based raw materials and ways to cook and to find new ways to make new people inspired by vegetarian food.
“It was amazing to see such a wide range of people applying for our foodathon. Fazer hopes to be able to further develop the ideas created at the event with the teams in our different businesses. We were able to gather under one roof people from various backgrounds, age groups and geographical locations, from Latin America to Finland and all in between with the youngest participant being only 11 years old.” – comments Sanna-Maria Hongisto, senior manager nutrition at Fazer.
Vegetarian food of the future
Switch to vegetarian meals have been gathering more and more attention in the past few years, and Fazer realizing the plant-based trend, opened up its food services – restaurants, bakeries, confectioneries and lifestyle products to enable innovation in their own offering.
“We are excited to explore new products that will help to change how we think about vegetarian food. We are looking for a product that is completely new, scalable, and has a market potential.” – said Jaana Korhola, Managing Director of Fazer Food Services Finland in the live video on ArcticStartup Facebook page.
Teams at Foodathon presented a wide range of ideas – from new products and services to new concepts and food processing technologies. Below is the list of teams and ideas taking part in the competition held on Sunday at Haaga Helia.
- Beyond Zebra team of PhDs and nutritionists was working on plant-based education program for kids;
- QuiKnow team of nutrition biotechnologists presenting new ways of processing quinoa with probiotics
- Wicked veggies vegetarian food delivery service based on selected recipes that comes with information about the ingredients and their nutrition values developed by culinary management students
- Oaty team aiming to diversify vegetarian food with products and snacks made of fermented oats
- Vegg by Egg International hacking traditional recipes like bread and pastry with vegan egg made of tofu and soya.
- Muru by Veggie wisdom – food concept that secures vegan nutrition replacing meat and cheese with oat, hemp and fava beans.
- Foodalytics – magic spoon that collects data about your food intake and water consumption and sends it to your phone so you become more aware of how much nutrients do you consume.
- M3 NGO concept by Dancing beans that stands for minimum amount of flavoring, processing and additives for food producers.
- D’Maize by Garbonzos popularising Latin American cuisine in the Nordics by introducing gluten free bakery products like tacos and tortillas.
- Environscence focusing on how to increase the usage of seaweed and introduce seaweed in traditional Nordic recipes.
The teams spent almost the entire Saturday in the kitchens preparing samples for the final pitch. ArcticStartup also decided to experiment in the kitchen and within only a few hours created a Shroomsburger – 100% vegan burger.
To help teams develop the concept and business idea, Fazer was able to pull off internationally renowned top-level names. The British vegetarian writer and spokesperson for responsibility, Chef Arthur Potts Dawson took part in the event as a speaker and mentor the teams competing at the hackathon. Arthur then presented his own Arthur Potts-Dawson Pick Award, which went to Foodalytics. “I believe the future of how we eat is in the data. Data is what is going to drive the future consumer.” – commented Arthur on his choice.
Given the level of dedication and professionalism of all participating teams, competition for the final prize of 5000 euros was high. 6 foodathon judges including Bocuse d’Or Michelin star chef Eero Vottonen determined 3 winners based on product innovation, market and business potential and how much teams were able to achieve during the weekend.
The 3 winning places were shared between Foodalytics, Oaty and Vegg, with the latter getting the final prize. Egg International, the company behind Vegg, will be working with Fazer developing the concept further. If you are in Helsinki you can already try the new invention at restaurant Egg in Katajanokka.