Food Tech Solutions in China

Food Tech Solutions in China

As the country with the largest population in the world, it has been vital for China to implement serious changes within their food system. Issues concerning sustainable food production, polluted crops and food waste are being met head on with a myriad of outside-the-box solutions. These new innovations have generally been met with open arms by consumers. According to Sam Geall, “a research fellow at the U.K.’s University of Sussex who focuses on China’s environment and agriculture” (Bloomberg), many Chinese people are wary about food-safety, and express a willingness to pay more for higher quality products. With pollution, overuse of fertilizer and other food related hazards causing mistrust, there’s no denying that the feeding the ever-growing population requires rethinking food production. Source So what is the key to cultivating innovative food technology in a country of 1.4 billion citizens? Startups are shining in this area. Bits x Bites, a Shanghai based “accelerator and venture capital that supports food tech startups in shaping our food future” offers select food-tech startups the capital and guidance needed to thrive in the Chinese economy. The first of its kind, Bits x Bites is supporting some seriously innovative startups. Source China is struggling to maintain farmable land and more crops are imported than grown in the country. This has led entrepreneurs to turn to hydroponic farming for fresh produce options. The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing researched vertical farming, and found the method to be highly successful and sustainable. This has garnered attention and spurred the Agricultural Development Bank of China to fund key projects promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture (Bloomberg)....
Flashback Friday: Favorite Frozen Treats

Flashback Friday: Favorite Frozen Treats

Happy Friday! Summer is in full swing, and we are reminiscing about the sweet frozen treats that we grew up with. Relive the feeling of chasing down the ice cream truck with these throwbacks. BRIDGET Orange Creamsicles all day. They are the best of both worlds, sweet vanilla covered in tart fruit flavoring. Best when eaten next to grandmas pool. ALISHA Two words: CHACO TACO. I remember feasting on these beasts at the summer camp canteen…. I don’t know what brilliant mind decided to herald the unholy alliance between hard shell tacos and frozen dessert novelties, but damn I’m glad they did. JANNA Sprinklers Ice Cream bars! The perfect combination of rainbow sprinkles, vanilla ice cream and chocolate coating. Im 90% sure I was obsessed with these mainly because I used to LOVE everything rainbow. CHELSEA I loved walking to 7-11 with my friends to get a Slurpee and playing Crusin’ USA (this is back when 7-11’s had arcade games in the back). FRED Frozen Capri Sun…alll dayyyyy. JEAN PAUL Tamarind or passion fruit flavored shaved ice cones with condensed milk drizzled on...
The Double-Edged Sword of Natural

The Double-Edged Sword of Natural

Since the dawn of man, we’ve been obsessed with food, and if you need evidence in this day and age, look no further than a millennial’s Instagram. Food has and will always be a means of survival, but for many, foods role has evolved from sustenance to enjoyment. Prominent trends such as Transparency, Veganism, Mindfulness, Freshness are at the forefront. One Master Trend overrules them all simplicity in food. We all win… Or do we? We’re in a race to the bottom of an ingredient list. We are removing as much over-processing as possible. These are all good things, but… In the process, an important equity has been lost – taste differentiation. Which is something Big Food always benefitted from.     And for decades, Big Food has built brands on the pleasure of taste… irreproducible, proprietary, unnatural but ultimately delicious taste. A locavore or organictarian, with a gun to its head, would choose an Oreo over a private label knockoff, no questions asked. A Dorito over a cheese flavored tortilla chip. A Coke over cola. Intensive food science, heavy processing and laboratories that double as “kitchens” gave way to these patented, competitive brand advantages. These fabricated flavors turned products into household names, and ultimately billion-dollar brands. Yet the same practice that built Big Food up, is now responsible for its demise and vilification. Less Ingredients + Less Processing + Less Engineering = Commodities. So the natural foods industry is now faced with answering the tough question of how do you democratize natural food without falling victim to the dreaded C-word; commoditization? How do you build a meaningful brand without the type of flavor differentiation Big Food benefitted...
Meeting the Team 06: Bridget

Meeting the Team 06: Bridget

Tell us a little about yourself. I was born and raised in Fairport, NY a small town outside of Rochester. I am one of the designers concepting and creating the packages designs that come from Interact. I was brought on as an intern about a year ago and these crazy people actually hired me full-time three months later! Why did you want to work in advertising / packaging design? When did you know it was what you wanted to do? I fell in love with packaging design my senior year of college while working on an assignment to package gumballs in a unique way. I love creating things that not only have to communicate clearly and quickly, but also have to stand out next to its competitors. Grocery design in particular has a special place in my heart because it has to do all of this and impacts EVERYONE whether they like it or not. Except those people that grow everything they eat themselves — good for them though! What was your first job coming out of college? This was. 🙂 I’d say I’m pretty lucky for that. I genuinely could not have asked for a better post college experience. Have you always been a creative person? I wouldn’t know how to answer this if my first grade teacher didn’t ask me 11 years later if I was an artist yet. So yeah I would say so. In kindergarten I was commissioned to draw Blue from Blue’s Clues A LOT. How did you get interested in design? My junior year of high school I took an “advertising design” class on...