The third annual Seeds&Chips Global Food Innovation Summit started off with a panel titled How Millennials Are Changing the Food System. Speakers discussed why young people are doing more than just taking pictures of their food. Their activity on social media platform indirectly spearheads change in the food industry. Brands have been forced to adapt by altering their marketing strategies and product lines to meet Millennials’ expectations.
According to Tobias Peggs, founder of Square Roots, Millennials are willing to pay more for local food, expect to know where their food comes from, want healthy snack options, and actively seek out nutritious recipes online. His company seeks to bring the farm to the city and coaches young farmers how to grow nutritious food in urban greenhouses. He hopes that his company can help feed a rapidly urbanizing population and allow consumers to know where their food came from and build a relationship with their local farmer.
Two of the ten speakers during the session were entrepreneurs: Danielle Gould, CEO of Food+Tech Connect, a food and innovation community, and Deepti Sharma Kapur, CEO and founder of FoodtoEat, an online ordering service focused on food trucks and corporate catering.
This panel commenced four days of panel discussions and meetings at Rho Fiera in Milan, Italy, with former U.S. President Barack Obama as the keynote speaker. Following his talk on May 9, Obama will also participate in a panel that includes Sam Kass, the former White House chef and current advisor to Obama. More than 200 international speakers are discussing various topics during the four-day event. Panel discussions are centered around strategies to feed more people with less land.
Marco Gualtieri, Seeds&Chips chairman, has put the focus on young people’s involvement this year. For each Seeds&Chips talk, there will be at least one speaker or panelist under thirty and a “teenovator” under 18 years old who presents their vision for the future of food.
This year, he has also gathered young people to participate in a Hackathon for food waste over the next few days. Gualtieri hopes that they can come up with an innovative solution that reduces waste in the food system. The Hackathon is put on in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, University and Research. There is also a space at the Summit called Give Me Five, where young entrepreneurs can meet a leader for five minutes, to whom they can pitch their ideas.
Click here to view the full schedule for Seeds&Chips. Organizers are urging attendees to use #SaC17 in social media posts relating to the Summit.