FoodBytes! Pitch is a program that attracts hundreds of global applicants who are driving innovation and change in world food systems and NZ’s own Ārepa is one of the 12 Aisa Pacific start-ups which have been shortlisted.
Auckland-based smart drink maker Ārepa has developed plant-based drinks, capsules and powder to support brain health and function and counts Coles Australia among its customers. Since it was established in 2018, Ārepa has undertaken significant research and development including a study by Auckland University academics. This small scale, short-term study found study participants significantly increased cognitive function scores after one week taking Ārepa’s key ingredients of blackcurrant, pine-bark and I-theanine (an amino acid found in black tea).
Ārepa is the only New Zealand company among an APAC FoodBytes! Pitch 2021 cohort recognised for outstanding innovation in the fields of sustainable supply chains, improved resource management and the next frontier of nutrition.
If Ārepa is selected for the next stage of the programme it could follow the success of New Zealand company Regen which pitched at FoodBytes! in 2017. Regen CEO Bridgit Hawkins said participating in Foodbytes! was ‘a transformative experience’.
“Foodbytes! was the most well-structured programme and the most focused on helping me – as the founder and driver of a business – to be successful. There was considerable wraparound support, including workshops, coaching and mentorship, pitch refinement and advice on market opportunities, which was incredibly valuable. Not to mention the networks and introductions, including meetings with senior people at Rabobank and other sponsors. It’s usually very difficult to make those kinds of connections,” she said.
The shortlisted APAC innovators by sector are:
Consumer Food & Beverage (CPG)
- Fable: (Australia) Plant-based meat alternative.
- Ulu Hye: (Australia) Plant-based milks.
- Your Food Collective: (Australia) Locally grown, ethically sourced groceries.
- Ārepa: (New Zealand) Nootropic ‘brain food’ drinks.
- Great Wrap: (Australia) Plant-based, compostable stretch wraps.
- AgriDigital: (Australia) Digitised platform streamlining the grain supply chain.
- AgUnity: (Australia) Technologists integrating remote farming communities with global supply chains.
- ThinkBio: (Australia) Biological products enabling growers to minimise synthetic fertilisers, and optimise yields.
- Aqua Development: (South Korea) Sustainable indoor shrimp farming system.
- TranspiratiONal-SBM: (Australia) Biodegradable polymer membrane maximising yields and minimising negative environmental impacts.
- Agnext Technologies: (India) Digital platform providing instant, on-site assessment of food quality.
- ProfilePrint: (Singapore) Artificial intelligence-powered food ingredient analysis software.