Food innovation contest looks at plant-based proteins

Ding Yining
The Food Innovation Challenge, launched by ProVeg, invited Asia Pacific college students to consider 11 innovation topics covering plant-based proteins.
Ding Yining

Imagine plant-based seafood, egg substitutes, or even ready-to-eat meals! They can be on your table soon.

The latest plant-based meals with distinctive Asian flavors could hit the market in the near future with alternative protein players eager to cater to the tastes of the region's vegetarians, as well as those with strong health and environmental awareness.

College students who are interested in alternative proteins are to unleash their imaginations as the latest food innovation challenge officially begins in Shanghai, inviting participants from the Asia Pacific region to submit new ideas.

Food innovation contest looks at plant-based proteins
Ti Gong

College students gather at the launch ceremony for the innovation contest.

The fourth edition of the Food Innovation Challenge, launched by non-governmental food awareness organization ProVeg, invited Asia Pacific graduate and undergraduate students to consider 11 innovation topics covering plant-based proteins, food and drink, as well as home meals.

Chamber Of International Commerce Shanghai Deputy Secretary General Zhou Yannan said at the launch on Tuesday that the innovation challenge offered a new and effective exchange platform for sustainable dining and alternative protein, and also signaled Shanghai's continuous efforts to drive a green economy and environmentally friendly solutions.

"Through these innovative ideas, alternative protein companies and service providers can also draw inspiration and empower the overall food industry," she said.

Food innovation contest looks at plant-based proteins

This year's contest includes topics put forward by multinational and local companies along with startups, including Beyond Meat, Cargill, Charoen Pokphand Foods, Nestle and Zuming Bean Products Co, after attracting participants from 164 different universities across the Asia Pacific region last year.

"Students in the region can fully combine different food cultures and dining habits with plant-based protein," said Shirley Lu, managing director of Asia for ProVeg International. "So it also helps promote cultural exchange."

The contest is also expected to enhance talent exchange, potential investment opportunities, and job openings for startups and established businesses.

The competition criteria cover four aspects – market potential, feasibility, product uniqueness, and go-to-market strategy – participants should apply before November 20 with final presentations to be given between December and next January.

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