Why Meallions’ final will take place in Singapore

As we have finally started accepting applications for our show, Meallions, the battle of food startups, I am beginning to answer the most frequently asked questions. For example, why is the final happening in Singapore? I will share our way of thinking about it.

While in the US and in Europe the food startup boom has passed and the market is now developing at a steady pace, in Singapore it is only getting to its boiling point.

The government of Singapore is ready to invest into projects that create healthier and better-quality food.

First of all, Singaporeans are foodies. They love to have a great meal and spend approximately a quarter of their income on food, according to National University of Singapore’s professor Virginia Chia.

Secondly, the government is ready to invest into projects that create healthier and better-quality food that makes it easier to begin new businesses.

In the next three years, there will be $20 million given for that purpose, which falls into the global trend. 55% of Brits, for instance, have increased the consumption of vegetables in their ration and around 24% added superfoods to them. The startuppers try to support this trend and offer more and more cereals – quinoa, couscous etc., products and preserves for vegans and vegetarians as well as healthy snacks that would substitute chips and chocolate bars.

It will be the best test for the participants’ products.

Nowadays, when you say “food startup”, you mean not just production of food, but the IT- and technological solutions for it. In order to create any of those solutions, from a project for growing artificial meat to a company that produces chemicals for fruits and vegetables to be stored for longer, you need resources and finance. Venture capitalists watch technological startups in the food segment closely from the beginning of 2010’s. In 2013, they invested more than $2,8 billion into food-related projects all around the world, and $6,8 by 2015. The biggest part – nearly a half – goes to all kinds of the delivery services. Singapore has plenty of such projects too.

But they are far from the actual production of food, the creation of new meals and modernization of the old and the traditional ones. But this is exactly how foodie revolution began in the West, that increased the consumption and creation of new services. Perhaps, our show will be able to offer new tastes and new products to the Singaporeans while the Meallions’ finalists will be able to have the best opportunity to test how their projects will settle in the global markets.

Singaporeans are ready to experiment with food.

The food is still produced predominantly in accordance with the traditional recipes. This situation can be very handy. I can see that Singapore is a gastronomical capital of the world, much like London or New York. You can find all sorts of food here from a wide range of cuisines and prices (from $100 to $3 per meal). The competition is very high and the restaurants frequently close giving place to the others. But there are also long-living survivors. I believe that the Singaporeans are ready to experiment with food, but it does not mean that they will give up chicken curry for burgers, pasta or any sort of northern soups.

In fairness, countries that have already passed the boom of food startups prove that people prefer the traditional meals and tastes, but the old ways of cooking need to find a fresh and modern twist in that would make the local food more modern and popular.

Anyone who has a good idea of a food product can become a participant of the show.

Looking for such twists and creating new recipes based on the old and time-resisting ones will be the major tasks for the participants of Meallions show, the first episodes of which will be available on YouTube in the winter. There will be 15 competitors from Europe, including Russia. The program will be in English, and we have begun accepting applications in September 2017; the filming starts in Riga (Latvia) in the beginning of 2018. Any entrepreneur who has a great idea of a food product, the willingness to launch it on the global market and change the scene can become a participant of the show.

The finalist will be chosen by the real visitors of the street market.

Our aim is to form a global community of the food startuppers and help the local entrepreneurs to overcome the cultural and psychological barriers and plan their business in a larger scale, support the creation of the brand new products on the different financial markets as well as give the opportunity for the most interesting ones to evolve into a global product. Besides, we will find new entrepreneurs’ teams that could be attractive to the investors, because we all are looking for the projects to invest in, but there are not many suitable projects on the surface. There you go – we are creating a ‘surface’ that would make everything more visible. The project’s slogan is New Meal for Meallions. The final battle will happen in Singapore as it is the new gastronomical capital, and the finalists will be chosen by the potential consumers – average visitors of the street markets; who manages to sell more food wins.

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