The Naturally Chicago Good Food Pitch Slam, co-presented by the Good Food Accelerator, features 11 rising companies — who will compete for a prize package valued at more than $100,000. Leading companies and service providers have generously provided business-building prizes, including a complimentary booth and the opportunity to pitch at the 2020 Natural Products Expo East in Philadelphia donated by our partners at New Hope Network!

The Pitch Slam showcases stars among early-stage entrepreneurs and provides stakeholders a first look at the latest drivers in the fast-growing Good Food Business sector. Emerging brands will pitch to an audience of investors, venture capitalists and family offices, large-scale food buyers and industry leaders.

MASTER OF CEREMONIES

Shelby Parchman 

 Growth & Advancement Strategist, Good Food Accelerator; Managing Partner, InUrban Strategies, LLC

MEET THE 2019 NATURALLY CHICAGO PITCH SLAM CONTESTANTS

Blake’s Seed Based makes seed + fruit snack and protein bars that taste great and are allergy friendly. Founder Blake Sorensen is a former athlete who has a life-threatening nut allergy. Blake’s gives back through its Bar For a Box program: For every box sold, one bar is donated to a school in need.

Brass Roots is New Orleans-based and makes familiar snacks with nutritionally superior ingredients — including the Sacha Inchi seed, of Peruvian origin and high in protein, fiber, and omega-3 fats. Products include organic Sacha Inchi Butter, a Keto- and allergen-friendly peanut butter alternative, and Crunch Puffs. Brass Roots is focused on youth empowerment in New Orleans.

Parks & Nash is Bone Broth meets Instant Soup. All the taste (created by a Certified Master Chef) and health benefits of bone broth, with convenience and affordability. Today, we’re shaking the category as bone broth goes mainstream. Tomorrow, we’re cleaning up center-of-store, injecting foods mainly considered unhealthy with dehydrated bone broth and other dry proteins.

Petal, a woman-owned business, is the world’s first organic-certified beverage brand dedicated to sparkling botanical blends. Each Petal product is sweetened with organic agave and offers a 15-calorie, low-sugar beverage, packed with powerful antioxidants, in six incredible flavors: Original Rose, Mint Rose, Lychee Rose, Elderberry White Tea Flower, Peach Marigold Basil and Lemongrass Dandelion.

Poppilu is an all-natural, antioxidant-rich drink that gives permission to love lemonade! It is bold on citrus, but not on sugar, bursts with antioxidants, and has a healthy pink boost from aronia berries — an emerging Midwest superfruit known for its antioxidants. A participant in the KraftHeinz Springboard incubator, Poppilu features three tart & tangy lemonade flavors.

Sacred Serve is a pioneer of functionality within frozen indulgence through their plant-powered gelato. Each flavor is made from a base of certified organic young Thai coconut meat, flavored with potent superfoods and adaptogenic herbs, sweetened with just a hint of low-glycemic coconut sugar, and designed through a proprietary cold-crafting process to preserve critical micronutrients.

Skinny Souping is a line of healthy drinkable soups packaged for consumption on the go. All Skinny Souping flavors are made from a handful of simple ingredients that are delicious hot or cold. No preservatives ever, vegan and gluten-free. Alison Velazquez, founder and CEO, is a wellness expert who holds a degree in culinary arts.

Tempo elevates consumers to perform better through its line of functional beverages. Tempo’s products feature carefully selected blends of superfood ingredients, including hemp-derived CBD, providing a productive escape from the stress of the urban professional lifestyle. Products include CBD-infused wellness shots, as well as tea-infused sparkling drinks in matcha, black tea, and hibiscus varieties.

The Cider Farm organically grows rare cider apples. Its complex, wine-like ciders are in marked contrast to mass-market alternatives, and their rich brandies are made in the Calvados tradition. The Cider Farm brings these products together in its tasting room along with local organic and sustainable ingredients, developing a business model ready to scale.

The Worthy Company is a B Corp that is revolutionizing plant-based snacking with its Blendie Bowls. The founders — two longtime friends, new moms, and plant-pursuing animal lovers — created these bowls from veggies, fruits, protein, and fiber from legumes and chia. They provide spoonably smooth, complete nutrition from traditional ingredients crafted to fit modern life.

Within/Without offers delicious grain-free granola clusters in five varieties: Maple Pecan, Blueberry, Cherry, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Original, plus seasonal Pumpkin. Every variety is powered within by almonds, coconut oil and honey, and intentionally made without oats, refined oils and cane sugars/syrups. Products are gluten free and Certified Paleo-, Diabetic- and Keto-friendly.

PITCH SLAM JUDGES ARE INDUSTRY LEADERS

JEAN-PIERRE COMTE 

President, Regions America, Barilla Group

ASHLEY HARTMAN 

Principal, Bluestein & Associates

TERA JOHNSON 

Founder, Tera’s Whey; Director, Food Finance Institute

MICHAEL LAVIN 

Founder & Managing Partner, Germin8 Ventures

RYAN PINTADO-VERTNER

Founder, Smoketown LLC

MARK RETZLOFF

Chairman, Flock LLC; Co-founder, Horizon Organic Dairy; Co-founder, Alfalfa’s Market

JEFFREY SANFILIPPO 

CEO, John B. Sanfilippo & Son

PITCH SLAM INTRODUCED BY

Kim Feil 

Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, ASPIRE Healthy Energy Drinks

Charlotte Flinn 

President, Flinn Consultants

Chair, FamilyFarmed Board

Anu Goel 

President, Client Growth Solutions, SPINS

Jim Slama 

Founder & CEO, FamilyFarmed/Naturally Chicago

OUR GENEROUS PITCH SLAM PRIZE CONTRIBUTORS

NEW HOPE NETWORK: A booth at 2020 Expo East in Philadelphia and opportunity to pitch in the Expo East Pitch Slam.

CPG.IO: 1 year of full access to account management and marketing execution services from a top omni-channel, optimization and fulfillment brand partner.

SRW: Pitch Slam winner will work with SRW Agency — a full-service agency with a penchant for growing natural health and wellness brands — on one brand video that includes a half-day shoot, interviews with founder(s) and key stakeholders, and best practices for utilizing the video

sgsco: This global collective delivering end-to-end marketing solutions from concept through implementation will provide a suite of services that could include (based on prize winner’s preference) a food photography session, packaging production artwork, e-commerce product photography, sales samples and influencer kits, or POP/POS prototype (design and print).

Whole Brain Consulting: Consulting services from the company’s experts in outsourced operations management, food safety compliance and supply chain management.

Smoketown LLC: Marketing, growth and strategy consulting services from a leading brand & innovation strategy agency.

SPINS: One-time snapshot of Natural Channel data from the industry’s leading data firm.

Polsinelli: Legal services from a top law firm that specializes in working with food, beverage and consumer product companies.

Accelerated Growth: 40 hours of financial modeling/analysis or 15 hours of board advisory from this top CPG finance, operations and technology consulting firm, based on winner’s needs.

NewPoint Marketing: Assessment from a top food industry marketing firm to address prize winner’s specific marketing needs, followed by consulting services to address those needs.

Creative Alignments: Perfect your recruiting strategy to attract top talent with 10 hours of free recruiting consulting services. Creative Alignments’ Time-Based Recruiting® can add bandwidth and expertise to your team, on demand.

Makeena: This location-enabled web and mobile platform for the natural products industry provides one year of its Premium Package for its Shopper Engagement & Insights Platform.

Pod Foods: 6-month Premium Membership with this innovative distributor for growing brands

Pitch Slam Presented by Naturally Chicago

PITCH SLAM PRIZE SUPPORTERS

PITCH SLAM CONTESTANTS