The entrepreneurs shared a 30-second video, then got feedback from a panel of expert judges. (Think Shark Tank, but less vicious, more delicious.) Each entrepreneur told a very personal story about her mission to change the way we eat.
Julie is a trained chef and food stylist. During the recession, she "turned her brain to cooking with what was on hand" by necessity. From that challenge, she launched a blog (Chef Julie Yoon) and a YouTube cooking show called Bits & Pieces.
Her show helps anyone cook healthy, affordable meals using ingredients you already have in the kitchen. Her recipes are easy and fun. "I just want to be a friend hanging out in the kitchen with you," she said. Her goal is to inspire "kitchen confidence" and to be "the chef next door." Judge Katie Ford of Starcom Mediavest told Julie that both of those are powerful taglines she can use to her advantage.
Caitlin believes that vegans everywhere deserve delicious, preservative-free food. Feed Your Head sells vegan meats, cheeses and sauces online; her other company, Pirate Pastries, makes Chicagoans happy with killer baked goods (soon available online, too).
Judge Luvvie Ajayi of The Red Pump Project (a #BlogHer15 Pitch finalist), told Caitlin, "You have to not assume that people will know that vegan food is actually very versatile." Caitlin agreed: "I'm really all about delicious food… We think everyone should eat what they want to eat—but also our food."
Love With Food is a snack subscription box that delivers healthy snacks for $9 a month—and helps feed children in need by donating to food banks. Each box has eight to 10 snacks. They're all in single-serving portions, so picky eaters can try new flavors each month.
"Everyone has the right to eat well. All of us have the power to give a little back to those in need. It was risky to leave my job to start Love With Food, but I chose love over fear, and I hope you will too," Aihui said, saying her box helps people "snack smart and do good."
Emcee Ellen Gustafson, an author and social entrepreneur, told Aihui, "I love that your business boils down the massive issue of how we eat and how it's connected to problems like hunger, and brings it into someone's home. This is the way other food companies are going to be involved in things like hunger, eventually."
Catherine, who shares kid-friendly recipes at Weelicious, founded One Potato to deliver organic meal kits to families in Los Angeles. Each kit has recipes and ingredients, and every meal can be prepared in 30 minutes. Each delivery comes with free slice-and-bake cookie dough, too.
"Getting the family together at dinner, it's hard," she said. "We're giving back to moms. We want to employ moms, who had kids and now can't get jobs." Catherine also works with LA Kitchen, which supports foster kids aging out of institutions by teaching them how to get a job in the food industry.
Judge Lea Ann Leming, Chief Content Officer for SheKnows, asked about the most popular meals: mu shu chicken and fettucine Bolognese. "We're trying to expand kids' palates," Catherine said. "We're not trying to dumb down food. Lots of companies miss the mark there."
On Saturday evening, the judges' rankings were combined with the popular vote on Twitter, and the winner of The Pitch: Food Edition was Aihui Ong. She'll receive a prize package of $100,000 worth of marketing, media and promotional support from SheKnows Media, and each participant will receive a marketing and content brainstorm session to help them reach their goals in 2016.
Stay tuned to see all the Pitchers' videos on Monday morning!
What does it take to change someone’s mind? To convince them to buy a product, modify their daily routine or completely make over their lives? Could you sell someone on an idea in under 30 seconds? We invite you to try. But remember: The clock is ticking. To participate in The Pitch or recommend someone you know, contact us at ThePitch@SheKnows.com.
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