The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which launched the challenge last year in partnership with the Sustainable Food Trust, announced that more than 160 products have been selected and will be supported in developing their first designs.
A total of 400 applications were submitted for this year’s challenge, which tasked participants to design new products – or redesign existing ones – using circular economy principles which help nature to thrive and address climate change.
Applications were submitted from the UK, US, Africa, Europe and Latin America, with cactus cookies, banana peel snacks and pasta made from wrinkled peas among the designs chosen. The concepts were submitted by companies of all sizes, ranging from start-ups to multinationals such as Danone and Nestlé.
As the next phase begins, the challenge organisers are calling on retailers to showcase the items as early as this year. Supermarket chain Waitrose and major retailer Grupo Carrefour Brasil have already signed up.
Beth Mander, food programme manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said that because of the way that the current food systems contributes to biodiversity loss and emits a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, it is critical that new innovations are discovered.
“We can, and must, redesign our food to regenerate nature and tackle some of the most pressing global issues facing us today,” Mander continued.
“It’s encouraging to see such a huge appetite by businesses to rise to the challenge of helping to reshape how we design food for the future. With such an innovative range of product ideas, we hope they will become everyday items on shopping lists.
“This is an exciting time for more retailers to get involved and be among the first in the world to offer their customers unique access to food choices which help preserve and restore our planet for future generations.”
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