Ganeden has announced three finalists in its first-ever Innovation Jumpstart program, which encourages the development of new probiotic food and beverage ideas: AVOKE Spoonables, entered by Daniel Karsevar; Red Lotus Foods, entered by Jeanne Petrus-Rivera; and SimplyFUEL, from Mitzi Dulan.
The program, which was announced in February, encouraged the development of new probiotic food and beverage ideas. Scientists, entrepreneurs and inventors flooded the company with ideas before the May 6 deadline.
AVOKE Spoonables would offer a line of vegan, avocado-based smoothie bowls, packaged and ready-to-eat in an avocado-shaped stackable cup containing two servings of fruits and vegetables, 1 billion CFUs of probiotics and a toasted quinoa topping. Karsevar's concept would be the first avocado, probiotic smoothie and a tasty, healthy alternative to yogurt or plant-based beverages.
Red Lotus Foods, a Cleveland-based company, proposed a creamy spread made from cultured cashews with roasted garlic and herbs. The dairy-free, artisan spreads and toppings are an unusual variation to traditional spreads, but they satisfy the craving for the creamy, tangy taste of dairy. All are 100 percent vegan and fermented at room temperature.
SimplyFUEL submitted non-GMO, protein energy balls made from scratch by Mitzi Dulan, a registered dietitian and sports nutritionist for the Kansas City Royals. Packed with delicious ingredients, the balls are and are a fun, satisfying snack option outside of protein bars. They have been taste-tested and approved by several high-profile professional athletes, active adults, young athletes and children.
On July 16, up to two representatives from each company will present their product concept in a panel of industry experts from manufacturing, marketing, entrepreneurial and retail backgrounds. The grand-prize winner will receive $25,000 in support to utilize GanedenBC30 probiotics in the product, as well as the guidance, assistance and expertise needed to help develop and launch the innovative product into the functional food industry.
The winner will be announced at 3:15 p.m. on July 17 at Ganeden's Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) expo booth (No. 2148).
"We invited scientists, entrepreneurs, inventors and others with a brand-new probiotic food or beverage product concept to submit their idea, resulting in many impressive entries," said Andy Lefkowitz, CEO of Ganeden. "We believe our finalists represent novel products that will resonate with consumers and fill a specific need in the marketplace, but it was a difficult choice as many entrants met this goal."
The winning concept will join the more than 500 probiotic product SKUs that have been brought to market with GanedenBC30 probiotics. Retail sales of these products exceeded more than $1 billion in 2015.