The Sydney Startup Hub is hosting Australia’s first ‘foodpreneurs’ festival

- May 5, 2023 2 MIN READ
Chelsea Ford
Chelsea Ford. Photo: Cynthia Sciberras
While it’s been a torrid time for Australia’s food delivery sector in recent months, those making the things we love to eat continue to thrive, with more than 8,000 local small batch food makers helping feed the nation.

Their delicious talents will be celebrated in Sydney on Friday, May 19, at the inaugural Foodpreneurs Festival at the Sydney Startup Hub.

The day is designed to support and showcase founders of the most innovative food and drink products, from alcohol-free ‘booze’ to probiotic-powered sodas, krauts and tonics as well as more sustainable and ethical produce and packaging

Foodpreneurs Festival founder Chelsea Ford said the all-day event would be a smorgasbord of the hottest specialty products, and industry insights from across Australia.

“Australia has been on the world-stage for decades with award-winning wines and beers, but we are so much more than that,” she said.

“We now attract eyeballs from around the world with our innovations across a range of food and drink categories. Foodpreneurs Festival aims to help these brands connect and collaborate so they can scale quicker, and put what they are doing firmly on the radar of the people who count, from buyers, to industry experts and stakeholders.”

Ford said the day has been specifically curated for packaged food and drink brand owners, and will feature expert talks and panel discussions; networking and collaboration opportunities; business-building workshops; exhibits of the latest and greatest products.

There’s also a speed pitching event ‘Pitch Hub’, for founders to try and crack shelf space with the more than 78 stockists at the festival, including retailers such as David Jones and IGA Supermarkets.

The main stage features 20 growth and innovation experts and founders from industry significant brands, including GymBod, Pure Pops and Coco & Lucas.

The speaker program will offer insights on:
  • Winning buyers over in a competitive market

  • How to survive working with ‘the majors’ where margins are ruthless

  • Why foodpreneurs don’t make money and what to do about it

  • What the future of retailing looks like for food and drink brands

The ‘Express Lane’ features a curated line-up of experts offering advice and guidance on each foodpreneur’s product, plan and potential.

The festival will also enable up to 150 small batch food and drink producer to unveil their food and drink products to the world via ‘Stickybeak Station’ – a showcase to display products and have a ‘stickybeak’ at what others are doing.

Ford said small batch producers are at the forefront of new wave trends.

“By putting a spotlight on their challenger brand ingenuity and stimulating interest in the sector, we will make significant inroads in right-sizing the influx of imported and private-label products currently flooding the market,” she said.

“Australia is known to have the ultimate source of fresh produce and clean ingredients. If we don’t look after our producers we put this global reputation and small batch economy at risk.

David Jones food & hospitality development & concessions manager Meredith Nightingalet said consumers want ‘better for you’ food for their families and even their pets.

“It has been our mission since we opened our doors in 1838 to sell the best and most exclusive goods to the Australian public, and this festival gives us the opportunity to find exactly that in the food and drink sector,” she said

“We’re really looking forward to being part of the event and finding new products to bring to our customers.”

Get more information and buy tickets at foodpreneursfestival.com.

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