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The Judging Panel

World Food Innovation Awards 2023

Gwen Jones

As a member of the news team at FoodBev Media, I am always on the lookout for the industry trends and developments. We’ve seen a lot of innovation happening in the food, beverage, dairy and packaging sectors, especially when it comes to sustainability and creating a greener world.

As consumers demand more sustainable brands and products to choose from, it has been amazing to see the industry quickly reacting to these needs, as well as new blood coming onto the scene with a greener story to tell.

News Reporter at FoodBev Media

Louis Bedwell

At Mission Ventures, we accelerate food technologies, grow businesses and help our partners, like Warburtons, Impact on Urban Health and Sainsbury's, to exceed their potential. We're driven to build a healthier, fairer and more sustainable industry. We interact with more than 1,500 early-stage food technology companies each year.

I started my career with an eclectic mix of experience across education, property and business support. Before joining Mission Ventures, I was part of the team that built one of London's most respected incubators, and I now use this knowledge and investor network to support food and drink brands. I'm curious about the power business has to improve our planet and focus on supporting Founders and business leaders to create impact with brilliant consumer brands.

Managing Director, Mission Ventures

María Mascaraque

María is a Global Industry Manager at Euromonitor International with a focus on Food and Nutrition. Based in London, she has more than 10 years of experience in the industry.

María drives the content and quality of Euromonitor’s global food industry research, provides global expertise and forward-thinking insights and identifies latest product developments and key market trends.

María advises clients on food and nutrition trends and has a special interest in the dairy industry, plant-based eating and health and wellness trends.

She holds a PhD in Nutrition from Complutense University, Spain.

Global expertise in Food and Nutrition | Consumer Insights | Market Research

Matt Buckingham

Matt is currently the Confectionery Buyer at Marks & Spencer having graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Management Sciences. His background is in the fresh produce industry, with experience at some of the UK’s largest salad producers as well as many days harvesting potatoes at his family farm.

After joining Marks & Spencer, he moved from the Supply Chain & Logistics department into a buying role within Ambient Celebration with responsibility for seasonal events including Valentine’s and Father’s Day. Now he looks after the Confectionery category overseeing all things Percy Pig! Innovation in this area will be of particular interest, with a focus on healthier choices and sustainability.

Marks and Spencer | Buyer, Confectionery

Morgan Oliveira

Morgan Oliveira is the founder and principal of Grounded, Etc., a consultancy specializing in helping startups in a number of ways, including communications, strategy, and more. She has worked with some of the country’s leading brands, including Apeel Sciences, sweetgreen, (named app of the year for 2017 by Apple), just to name a few. Additionally, Morgan is as an advisor to a number of companies including the fast-growing CPG startup, Actual Veggies, FTW Ventures, amongst others. Prior to Grounded, Morgan was the first employee at Eat JUST, a globally-known food technology company known for its versatile and realistic egg made from plants. While here, Morgan worked to spread the company’s story and mission internationally, and was the driver behind the successful press campaign during the "Mayo Wars" lawsuit from Unilever in 2014. Additionally, she was named to the Business Insider list of Top 50 Best PR People in the Tech Industry later that year.

Morgan's previous experience was also in food, having worked at one of the first meal delivery companies, LA-based Fresh 'N Lean. While here, she not only helped to quadruple its revenue in just twelve months, but also developed an influencer co-branding strategy, securing deals with leading names such as P90X founder, Tony Horton, and Vega Nutrition co-founder, Brendan Brazier. An RI native, Morgan is now based in NY having spent more than eight years living in LA and San Francisco. When she’s not working, Morgan enjoys fitness in all forms, painting, and traveling to all corners of the world.

Food Systems | Sustainability | Startups

Philippa Christer

Philippa has worked with food and drink companies for over 20 years, helping them understand how to grow their businesses through trade shows. She has worked with large export groups, government associations and launched food and drink events all over the world, helping exporters entering emerging markets.

Having worked for many years on Speciality & Fine Food Fair, she has first-hand experience of helping new to market food and drink companies make their first steps into supplying to the trade. She is passionate about helping companies successfully increase revenue and brand engagement through the power of live events.

A passionate foodie, and always interested in the latest food and drink innovations and trends, she is delighted her work within the food and drink sector has allowed her to sit on prestigious food awards panels, such as British Charcuterie Awards, Academy of Chocolate, Great Taste Awards, Free From Food Awards and World Innovation Awards. She is currently Director of IFE, the leading event in the UK for food and drink suppliers.

Event Director – IFE and IFE Manufacturing

Silvia D'Alesio

Silvia D’Alesio is a food ad packaging expert and an international scouter on food innovation, leading several projects regarding developing new food and beverage products and businesses. BSc. in Food Sciences and Technology and International MSc. in Food Innovation and Product Design. Currently, she can count on several collaborations, including research projects and scientific direction for Digital Food Ecosystem and FoodTech European Events; assistant professor at the University of Milan Department of Nutrition and Environment; and Professor of Futures Studies and Brand Packaging Design at NABA, Milan.

Food & Packaging Ecosystem Expert

Stefania Pérez Beltrán

Stefania is a gastronomy and marketing expert. During her experience, she had the opportunity to work in the food industry applying her knowledge from her gastronomic and business vision.
She has expertise in R&D, Marketing and Innovation areas. She is passionate about developing concepts, understanding consumer needs and building strategies that help companies to increase their impact and fit into the market.
She’s currently a Business Hunter Manager, dedicated to look for new food trends & technology, new concepts and benefits through considering the new habits the consumers are turning into.
Stefania is also excited to see the new product proposals and developments for the food industry. Her inspiration through culinary trends, products, ingredients and packaging concepts makes her consider the real experience for a consumer.
It's her third year in a row as a WFIA judge. She has special interest and is willing to see concepts based on sustainability, wellness and innovation.

Business Hunter Manager Team Foods - Colombia

Steve Osborn

Having graduated as an Analytical Chemist, Steve completed a Research Masters on Maillard Reaction Flavours, with the University of Reading. This was followed by many years in commercial and technical roles with Nestlé, Northern Foods, Ashbury Confectionery and Leatherhead Food Research where he became a recognised food industry expert. The Aurora Ceres Partnership Ltd was established in 2015, and provides innovation management for the Food and Beverage industry. A key focus is technology scouting through the ‘ACTION’ technology scouting platform, and the ‘FoodDrinkACTION’ innovation portal. Steve is also a regular contributor to food and beverage industry events and has spoken on numerous topics from nutrition, including salt and sugar reduction to waste valorisation and the future of food themed discussions. He is also a regular invited expert judge for a number of food and beverage innovation awards panels.

Steve Osborn BSc (Hons), M.Phil, Director & Technology Scout

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