On Tuesday, December 11th, 2018, in Paris three international startups were selected as the winners of the Boomer Challenge startup contest. The winners – Max de Génie (1st prize), Cerelab (2nd prize), et Troo Foods Ltd (3rd prize) – were selected for their innovations in food for senior consumers. 42 applicants from 16 countries entered the Boomer Challenge, with 13 startups taking part in the final. The winners gain access to cash prizes and professional acceleration support for their innovations.
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THE BOOMER CHALLENGE WINNERS
The Boomer Challenge is an international start-up contest organised by Vitagora and Mondelēz International. Launched at the end of October 2018, the contest final was held in Paris on December 11th, 2018. This contest had a double aim: to identify and reward innovative start-ups from around the world, and to develop new food products adapted to the needs of the ever increasing demographic of over 65 year olds. The innovations entered in the contest could be finished food or drink products, processing technologies, ingredients or packaging solutions.
The prizes have been attributed to: Max de Génie (1st prize), Cerelab (2nd prize), et Troo Foods Ltd (3rd prize). "Max de Génie had a strong understanding of boomers’ market needs, targeting a dormant category of baking mixes by bringing new life to it", said Gil Horsky, Director Global Innovation at Mondelēz International, and member of Boomer Challenge jury.
In total 42 entrants took part, with more than 60% of them from outside of France: Israel, United Kingdom, Thailand, Ireland, Croatia, Canada, etc. were represented. Fourteen start-ups were invited to present their innovations in a pitch during the contest final, before a July composed of experts in food for seniors, in international law and innovation*. The three winners were selected on the basis of the business potential of their innovation and their capacity to offer a meaningful answer to the needs of senior consumers. The winners gain access to cash prizes of up to €6,000 and to professional acceleration support including a place in the ToasterLAB acceleration program, run by Vitagora.
*The members of the Boomer Challenge final jury: Frédéric Serrière (Senior Strategic), Claire Sulmont-Rossé (UMR CSGA), Céline Bondard (Cabinet Bondard), Katia Merten-Lentz (Keller & Heckman), Ariane Voyatzakis (Bpifrance), Gil Horsky and Adam Harris (Mondelēz International), and Claire Van Overstraeten (Vitagora).
The winning startups :
FIRST PRIZE: MAX DE GÉNIE - www.maxdegenie.com - FRANCE
Max de Génie offers low glycemic baking mixes made without refined ingredients that enable consumers to cook gourmet and healthy pastries and cakes in less than 5 minutes of preparation! These enable the confection of not only delicious pastries but also pastries full of nutritional qualities (Less calories and sugar for more proteins and fibres).
SECOND PRIZE: CÉRÉLAB - www.cerelab.fr - FRANCE
CERELAB is a Research and Development Center dedicated to Wheat-Flour-Bread sector. Created in 2007, CERELAB has a specialized know-how related to nutrition through cereals: analysis and characterisation of wheat and flour qualities and development of sensory and highly nutritional health products. Through a Research program, CERELAB® has developed the 1st Oral Nutritional Supplement in the form of a brioche intended to elderly suffering from malnutrition.
THIRD PRIZE: TROO FOODS LTD - www.eattroo.com – UNITED KINGDOM
TrooFoods Ltd is a prebiotic-based gut health food company on a mission to inspire people to change their diets to live long, healthy & happy lives.
LIFE-LOVING, and innovation-loving, SENIORS
In 2050 in France, one in three people will be over 60 years of age (INSEE). Already, in 2016, nearly 20% of the inhabitants of the European Union are over 65 years of age. Cooking appliances, frozen foods, micro-wave ovens etc. – since their youth, this generation of “Baby Boomers” have been aware of how innovations can bring benefits to their daily lives. Willing consumers, they are sometimes known as the “supermarket generation”.
However, their food needs are harder to meet: products that are poorly adapted to their taste preferences, non-user-friendly packagings, unsuitable portion sizes etc. In spite of this, a 2015 survey carried out by Seniophère in France, showed that 36% of Baby Boomers declare themselves to be “always willing to try new things”, and 40% declare that they “often buy new products to try out”. Fond of novelty, seniors represent a very real market opportunity for innovative food business. Startups from throughout the world have understood and taken up this challenge, as demonstrated by the participation rate in the Boomer Challenge.