Virgin Foodpreneur Fest – the finalists are revealed!

The time has come to reveal the winners of Virgin Foodpreneur Fest 2014! With hundreds of entries flooding in over the last few weeks, whittling them down to just eight finalists was a really tough (and mouth-watering) job. We weighed up burrito stalls and burger vans, brownies and bakes, superfoods, kid’s food, futuristic food and good old honest food. But after tears, tantrums and many impassioned arguments at VSU HQ, we managed to pick our favourites. Drum roll please – our semi-finalists are…

Tastiest startup

Not Dogs

Created when founders Katie and Jane found themselves frustrated at the lack of satisfying veggie fast food options at festivals, Not Dogs proves that you don’t need meat to create a hot dog that ticks all the boxes – and with imaginative toppings that include fried eggs, beer-caramelised onions and crushed nachos, they’re way ahead of their traditional counterparts.

Killer Tomato

Purveyors of the infamous ‘Vampire Taco’, Killer Tomato create authentic Mexican food with a kick – think deep-fried avocado, cups of charred sweetcorn with chipotle mayo and feta, and an impressively large sandwich they call ‘El Gordo’. It’s the kind of food that gets all over your face when we eat it and fills your soul with joy. Which is definitely our style.

Best Healthy Food Business

Zingology

Hate eating your greens? Try them powdered! Zingology’s range of powdered fruits and veggies is an easy way to get in no-fuss nutrients – for example, just 12g of carrot powder is the equivalent of 3 juiced carrots. You can put them in smoothies, cakes, and even sneak them into your dinner (or someone else’s). Zing!

Sweet Virtues

Ever dreamed of healthy chocolate? Dream no more. These truffles pack in FIVE superfoods per serving, including chia seeds, maca, lacuma and ginseng – and high-quality dark chocolate packed with antioxidants, of course. So if you want a sweet treat with a nutritional kick and more than a hint of luxury, you know where to go.

Best-Looking New Brand

Proper Beans

Move over, Heinz – there’s a new kid on the baked bean block, and they’re posh beans company Proper Beans. With ingredients including smoked pork collar and ham hock, these aren’t the beans you eat cold from a tin with a hangover – and they’ve got the suitably upmarket branding to match. Quirky, English, and as classy ad you’d expect… we love it!

Duke of Delhi

Dark chocolate with chunks of Delhi mix? It works! Cinnamon, cardamom and other delicious flavours mingle in Duke of Delhi’s other chocolate bars, and the branding is warming and welcoming as a roaring fire on a chill winter’s day. Settle down, take a bite, and find yourself transported.

Most-Loved Kid’s Food

BKD London

Offering baking classes and parties for kids aged 2+, BKD introduces children to the joys of cooking early! From rainbow sponges to extravagant decorations, children can get messy in a kitchen that isn’t theirs (helpful) and take home cakes that they made themselves to show family and friends.

Sweetpea Pantry

Full of goodness and wholesome ingredients such as quinoa, oats and flax, Sweetpea Pantry’s baking mixes are a great choice for the health-conscious parent, and perfect for those with allergies or intolerances. You can make biscuits, flapjacks, pizza and more, knowing that the ingredients are all-natural and low on sugar. Oh, and it makes baking a doddle!

All of our finalists will be attending the judging ceremony on 17th September at TestBed1 in Battersea, where their food will be sampled by the judges and one business will be crowned Foodpreneur Fest 2014 winner. And we heard that a certain Mr Branson will be coming along too?!

And if you’re a foodpreneur who hasn’t made the finals, don’t worry – you can grab a ticket to this exclusive event. A morning and early afternoon of workshops featuring food buyers and journalists will be followed by a tasty lunch, the judging ceremony, and a chance to mingle and grab a glass of Prosecco afterwards. Hope to see you there!