China Takes First Place In the 2022 ProVeg Food Innovation Challenge APAC

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With more than $10,000 in prize money on the table, young Asian tech teams competed in the ProVeg Food Innovation Challenge APAC.

China, Korea, India, Indonesia, and Thailand were all victorious in the 2022 ProVeg Food Innovation Challenge APAC. This was the first year the challenge included all Asia Pacific regions. It focused on South-East Asia in 2021 and Mainland China in 2020.

The winners

Students from China’s Shanghai Ocean University and Hainan University won top prize for its plant-based pork floss designed for infants. The plant-based meat is fortified with vitamins A and D.

Second prize winners came from Thailand and Indonesia; the Thai team, from Kasetsart University, created “DeCrab Jumbo Lump Crab Meat”, a plant-based crab meat with the taste and texture of conventional crab.

A plant-based crab meat was a winner this year. Courtesy David Abbram via Pexels

The Indonesian team, from Universitas Gadjah Mada, Universitas Indonesia, Universitas Katolik and Indonesia Atmajaya, developed “PepShot” — a plant-based energy shop designed for workaholics to boost productivity. It comes in fully biodegradable packaging.

Korea, Thailand, and India shared the third prize. Korean students from Sung Kyun Kwan University and Yonsei University developed a new range of K-bakery products for South Korea’s biggest chain bakery using Beyond Pork, and vegetables.

India’s team hailed from NIFTEM-Kundli, IIHM-Kolkata, St. Xaviers College-Kolkata, and NMCCE Mumbai. They developed plant-based kebabs and chicken modeled after HaoFood’s peanut-based chicken.

Thailand’s team from Panyapiwat Institute of Management created the “Hi Burger” — a satay-flavored plant-based burger made from jackfruit and herbs and spices.

Meeting Asia’s demand for plant-based food

“This is the third year we have run the ProVeg Food Innovation Challenge and I am pleased to see that the competition is growing in scale and influence,” Shirley Lu, Managing Director of ProVeg Asia, said in a statement.

OmniFoods worked with the teams | Courtesy

David Yeung, co-founder and CEO of the leading Asian pork and seafood successor brand, OmniFoods, said his company was delighted to have partnered in this year’s challenge. “Our team has been impressed by the creativity and passion of the younger generations who are committed to driving positive changes and accelerating sustainability through food innovation,” Yeung said.

In total, 179 food ideas representing 163 universities, vied for the prizes. The students had to not only develop the food but also a go-to-market strategy for the products. The event was sponsored by PepsiCo, Unilever, Omnifoods, Beyond Meat, Oatly and CPF with the goal of raising awareness about the benefits of plant-based food as well as the innovative skills of young talent.

“I’m proud of the quality and creativity of students’ work,” Lu said. “Young innovators from Asia are transforming the food systems across the region and we look forward to even more participation from the APAC region next year.”


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