The food industry has seen a huge interruption in productivity due to the current pandemic. One organization that has taken notice is the American Heart Association. Families already struggling with access to food have been contending with even more hardship in recent months. While the problems aren’t new, the emphasis on them has grown greatly and has made the need for a solution that much more important. The Association is looking for new ideas and it is tapping into the food industry to try and drive innovation in this area.
The American Heart Association has already tried to draw more attention to our eating habits by placing our behaviors in the spotlight. When coupled with the major players in the food industry, the goal of the Association is to create healthier habits that will stave off food-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes or heart disease. While there are small instances of negligence here and there, a complete overhaul of the existing food system is the endgame.
The Foodscape Innovation awards, a creation of the American Heart Association, is meant to recognize the advancements and good ideas in the food industry, regardless of where the idea originated. That is why the Association is opening the awards to companies in the food industry of all sizes to participate. As stated by American Heart Association Chief Medical Officer for Prevention Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., FAAFP, “the Foodscape Innovation Awards recognize the innovations themselves, and there is no company too big or too small to apply. We hope to see applications from all facets of the food industry, from environmental sciences to manufacturing to retail and public health."
The last winner of the Foodscape Innovation award was an application aimed at increasing awareness and usage of a federal nutrition assistance program for low-income women, children, and infants. The types of benefits mentioned most go unused for a myriad of reasons. JPMA, Inc., the developer of the application, caught the attention of Kellogg, who collaborated with the creator to add meaningful new features to the app like the ability to find stores and eligible food items for the WICShopper App.
For those who wish to participate in this year’s Foodscape Innovation awards, your entry must be relevant to the times and completely original. The idea must help to promote healthy eating practices, shine a spotlight on healthier food products, make such products more readily available or affordable, and shift the food consumption narrative towards healthier items.