There IS innovation in food!
Every year, the Boston area’s Mass Innovation Nights hosts a special edition just for the food business. The founder, Bobbie Carlton, asked me to serve as an expert advisor at last week’s event.
By popular vote, four products presented their food industry innovations at the event:
Pipe Dream Cupcakes: A cupcake truck! This totally takes the food truck trend to a new level. I know, this probably exists in Brooklyn already – but this truck serves suburban Boston.
Stump Chunks Fire Starter: These tree trunk shavings and pieces are the best way to start a fire (for a barbeque or otherwise), according to Stump Chunks. I’ll be trying my sample this weekend.
Bell Tower Mobile Mart: It’s like an ice cream truck for groceries. (To be seen whether they will serve Pipe Dream Cupcakes!) They are just about to get started in some Boston neighborhoods, and they’ll deliver healthy food to areas that need it.
EarthHook: Made for grocery carts, this hook allows a shopper to hang their reusable bags outside the cart so they don’t get smooshed up. And the thing that holds on to the cart has room for an ad, too.
Ten other products were in the running, from roasted chick pea snacks to meal & recipe kits delivered with fresh ingredients. Full event info and a recap is at http://mass.innovationnights.com/events/august-8-2012-mass-innovation-nights-min41-foodie.
What I love about the event that Bobbie hosted is that it shined a light on bootstrapping entrepreneurs trying to break into the food world rather than the innovation led by big R&D budgets that I’m used to seeing. It’s hard to innovate without that big company backing, and there were a lot of smart people working at it. There’s room for a lot more of this.