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Rabobank Highlights Key Food, Ag Trends for 2017
USAgNet - 11/14/2017

Rabobank reports key trends from FoodBytes! 2017, including clean product makeovers, plant-based protein and food waste reduction. FoodBytes! by Rabobank is a next generation pitch competition-meets-networking event that brings together groundbreaking startups, investors and industry leaders, providing a safe haven for entrepreneurs to thrive. Part of Rabobank's Banking for Food vision to feed the world sustainably by 2050, FoodBytes! offers a unique opportunity to track the new ideas and trends that are disrupting our food system. The 60 companies that presented on the FoodBytes! stage in 2017 pitched a wide range of new solutions to food and agriculture challenges. The leading trends displayed included:

** Clean makeovers of existing products: CPG companies like Nom Noms World Food and Good Seed are reinventing existing products using clean labels and natural ingredients - this movement is especially prevalent in the ready meal and frozen food categories.

** Plant-based foods: From D'vash Organics' date honey to Beyond the Shoreline's Kelp Jerky, startups are taking plant-based products to the next level.

** Food waste reduction: Companies like Coffee Flour, Renewal Mill and Flashfood Inc are creating new systems to cut food waste, from food manufacturing by-product up-cycling to apps selling discounted grocery offerings.

**Increased efficiency through smart tech: Startups such as AgVoice, ImpactVision and XING Technologies are utilizing technologies like voice recognition software, hyperspectral imaging and nanotechnology to improve production efficiency, and simplify pathogen testing and quality control.

These trends will continue build momentum in 2018, while new trends including meal and food replacement drinks, fermented beverages and personalized nutrition will likely gain traction.

Paula Savanti, Rabobank senior consumer food analyst, expects FoodBytes! 2018 will unearth a new crop of novel ideas. "FoodBytes! is a platform for discovery that amplifies new and often unexpected trends within the startup community," said Savanti. "We love how this program is about connecting with entrepreneurs on the frontline of innovation." FoodBytes! 2018 will kick off in San Francisco on March 1, followed by Montreal on May 16, then on to New York in Fall 2018. Since its 2015 inception, more than 1,700 companies have applied to pitch to over 2,700 attendees at FoodBytes! North America events. Over 180 startups from around the world comprise the FoodBytes! alumni community, including LoveTheWild, Back to the Roots, MycoTechnology and Kuli Kuli.

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