Food Entrepreneur NEW YORK — Five emerging brands have been selected to participate in Naturally New York’s A Fancy New York Pitch Slam at the Summer Fancy Food Show on June 26. The finalists will compete for a $150,000 prize package, including cash, services and a free booth at the Winter Fancy Food Show in Las Vegas next year.

“The first Fancy New York Pitch Slam collaboration was a highlight of the Summer Fancy Food Show last year,” said Denise Purcell, vice president, resource development for the Specialty Food Association. “There is a lot of positive momentum going into this second Pitch Slam event. We are looking forward to an exciting competition and opportunity to collaborate with Naturally New York.”

To qualify, companies must have been in the market for at least one year prior to the entry date of the contest and have generated $100,000 to $2 million in gross revenues during 2022 across all sales channels. Additionally, the finalists are members of Naturally New York or Specialty Food Association.

The five brands selected to pitch are:

Harlem Baking Co., a producer of premium, single-serve desserts;

Jasberry, a social enterprise food company committed to improving farmer livelihoods;

Kekoa Foods, a maker of organic purees incorporating herbs, roots and spices to expand babies’ palates;

Loisa, a brand of Latin American pantry staples including organic seasonings and sauces;

SAYSO, a creator of craft cocktail tea bags.

The event is hosted by Heather K. Terry, founder and chief executive officer of GoodSam Foods. Judges include Christina Briscoe, food and beverage category manager at SoHo House & Co., North America; Melissa Dolan, director at Emil Capital Partners; John Lawson, senior local forager for Whole Foods Market Northwest region; and Tapan Shah, head of venture capital for SnackFutures at Mondelez International.

Each finalist will receive three minutes to present and will be judged on presentation, storytelling abilities, innovation, social impact, branding, packaging and market viability. Attendees may vote for the People’s Choice winner, who also will be awarded a prize package.

“All finalists, whether they win or lose, benefit from our Pitch Slam event,” said Ms. Terry, who is also an executive board member and founding partner of Naturally New York. “The visibility alone is worth the opportunity. Last year, we had 625 professionals in attendance. It’s a huge boost to any brand.” 

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