Niagara College Hosts Inaugural Niagara Food & Beverage Innovation Summit

Bill MacDonald, coordinator of Niagara College’s Commercial Cannabis Production program gave a tour of the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus Cannabunker

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. — The Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre at Niagara College recently brought together big names in the food and beverage industry at the first annual Food & Beverage Innovation Summit.

“We are pleased to be collaborating with industry experts and innovators to drive growth and development in the food-and-beverage sector,” says Lyndon Ashton, centre manager, CFWI Innovation Centre. “The event is an opportunity for thought leaders, product developers, marketers, entrepreneurs and innovators in the food-and-beverage sector to learn from each other and other world-renowned experts.” 

The event explored trendsetting concepts and forecasted trends. Key topics highlighted during the summit included cannabis and the future of cannabis edibles. 

The one-day event included keynote speakers, expert panelists and interactive sessions, as well as tours of the research labs at the CFWI Innovation Centre and the College’s Teaching Winery and Teaching Brewery.

Keynote speakers included chef Christine Couvelier, a culinary executive and founder of Culinary Concierge, and Skyler Webb, director of Product Development at Cannabistry — a professional research, development and branding company dedicated to bringing outstanding product innovations to legalized marijuana industries.

During a number of breakout sessions, hosted by experts, participants took away strategies to de-risk new product introductions, taste modification and plant-based science. Session leaders included Kaela Lewis and Michael Vahabi of Hela Spice Canada Inc.; Dr. Alexandra Grygorczyk and Dr. Amy Bowen of Vineland Research and Innovation Centre; Nadine Farran-Gatti and Jason Mittelheuser of FONA International; and Bill MacDonald and Alan Unwin of Niagara College.

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