Winners of the Food-Tech Award 2021

Barilla and Lavazza celebrate the winners of the international scale-up competition

Barilla & Lavazza, two Italian food giants part of Lifestyle Tech Competence Center, the Swiss association that drives innovation in the Lifestyle sector, announced the winners of the Food Tech Award 2021, retail edition. The large-scale international scale-up competition was conducted in partnership with Accenture, UBS, and Microsoft, with Loomish, a Swiss investment management firm, as the scouting partner.

Lugano, June 15, 2021 – Barilla, the world’s largest pasta producer, and Lavazza, a prominent Italian manufacturer of coffee products, both members of Lifestyle Tech Competence Center celebrated the winners of the Food Tech Award 2021, retail edition at the new USI-SUPSI University campus in central Lugano, Switzerland.

The initiative was specifically aimed at discovering innovative solutions in the food grocery retail, in particular B2B or B2B2C start-ups/scale-ups working on consumer data capturing and omni-channel solutions.

The announcement was the result of an intensive process with calls for mature scale-ups and innovative B2C service providers, performed by Loomish SA, a Swiss investment advisory firm specialized in Lifestyle Tech and scale-up scouting. The calls were focused on two particular areas: a. solutions that enforce client engagement across touchpoints; b. solutions that enable rich data capture in grocery retail settings, both online and offline.

Out of the more than 60 international applicants, 12 scale-ups were selected to pitch their tech solution physically or virtually to an impressive jury consisting of Barilla and Lavazza, as well as other prominent players in the food sector such as COOP, VéGé and Metro. The jury was completed by Accenture, UBS, TiVenture SA, Microsoft, ABC Capital partners, Privilege Ventures, Loomish and academic players USI & SUPSI.

Besides taking home the title of the Food Tech Award winner, the two winners will get the opportunity to connect with leading brands and retailers from the sector, as well as investors, academic players, and technology companies. Furthermore, the winners will be able to reinforce their presence in Ticino, Switzerland as 8 months’ free desk & office services at Dagorà Innovation Hub will be provided, sponsored by UBS.

The jury chose the following winners in the 2 categories:

Category: client engagement

The finalists in the client engagement category were: BYONDXR, ( Israel, HATCH ( The Netherlands, ANIMATICO ( Switzerland, ADRICH ( USA, SQUALE ( Switzerland, SKYLABS ( Switzerland

The winner was ANIMATICO (, from Switzerland

ANIMATICO provides interactive avatars as digital touchpoints in retail stores to foster customer engagement, steer product choices, and link offline and online channels. ANIMATICO provides an avatar animation, interaction, and analytics platform which can be used to create interactive avatars as digital in-store touchpoints for customer support and product recommendation. Their technology is specifically designed to work in challenging environments with background noise where ANIMATICO deploys its own audio-video sensor fusion to reliably detect the interactions and voice activity of a user. The avatar proactively identifies shoppers and offers help in selecting the right fit product.

Category: rich data capture

The finalists in the rich data capture category were: NEXTATLAS ( Italy, BEHAMICS, ( Switzerland, GROTTINI LAB ( Italy, ADIMO ( UK, MINUBO ( Germany, PROFILA ( Switzerland.

The winner was NEXTATLAS (, from Italy

NEXTATLAS is a unique, data-driven trend research platform leveraging AI to detect emerging market trends that are statistically likely to become mainstream. iCoolhunt is a pioneering proponent of innovative services that provide brand owners and their advisors with rich, timely, and objective information about the drivers of change in consumer lifestyles and behavior. As a first-mover in the use of artificial intelligence for predictive monitoring of emerging consumer trends, iCoolhunt brings a fully-fledged scientific approach to a traditionally opinion-led industry. The company developed NEXTATLAS, the world’s first independent data intelligence platform capable of aggregating and analyzing relevant information generated by digital era trendsetters for the early identification, comprehension, and forecasting of consumer trends. 

The scouting activity provided by Loomish was made possible by partners Lifestyle Tech Competence Center, Accenture, Barilla, Dagorà, Lavazza, Microsoft, USI, UBS and SUPSI. 

Carlo Terreni, says: “As the President of the LifestyleTech Competence Center, I am very pleased that exactly one year after the launch of the Association, we have successfully delivered several projects driving innovation both in the Food and Fashion sectors. Particularly in the case of the FoodTech Award, I am thankful to our superb industry partners Barilla and Lavazza, who entrusted us with this task, as well as to our long-standing allies Accenture, Microsoft, Loomish and UBS on joining forces in this great collaborative effort. It is an excellent example of cross-industry cooperation, completely in line with our commitment as an Association to facilitate innovation through releasing synergies between the lifestyle-related industries and technology.” 

Igor Nuzzi, Lavazza Regional Director Switzerland & Italy, says: “Our participation in the programme led by LTCC has enabled us to enter an ecosystem of tech start-ups and other high-powered partners, in line with Lavazza’s ongoing and passionate commitment to innovation, as seen throughout its history. Given today’s shoppers are increasingly multi-channel, food producers and distributors must be capable of acting and evolving together and they can do this thanks to research and innovation. We feel sure that rich data capture and client engagement projects will enable us to better understand the customer journey and create an increasingly personalised narrative. Centred on the consumer’s experience, it aims to boost brand loyalty, creating value for all the main players in the chain.” 

Luca Ravazzoni, eCommerce Director of Barilla says: “Today, the understanding of the Omni-Channel market scenarios and trends generates development opportunities for our brands. The implementation of enabling solutions, must be driven by curiosity, passion and above all the identification of the right partners to work with. This is why we chose to be part of LTCC & its FOOD Tech Award.” 

“As a bank that has existed within the canton for more than 100 years (a jubilee we celebrated in 2020), we were keen to seize this opportunity to support the LTCC association in order to make a tangible contribution to the development of our canton. The digital transformation has now become an integral part of our daily lives, and as an institution we are firmly convinced that we need to continue investing in new technologies. For this very reason, UBS has created a center of competence for artificial intelligence at its Manno – Suglio site, dedicated to experimenting with new technologies applied within the financial sphere to assist UBS Switzerland and the Group as a whole. The projects submitted for the FoodTech Award 2021 follow in the wake of these developments: the tremendous collaboration among all the partners is a crucial starting point for bringing genuine added value to our region and to all those who will benefit from these innovations.” – Gabriele Amadò, Head of UBS Corporate Clients Market area Ticino 2.

“Retail is undergoing rapid transformation, and technology is the key enabler. As demonstrated at this edition of the Food Tech Award, retailers are increasingly focused on how to better understand their customers”, says Andrew Reid, Head of Microsoft for Startups Switzerland. “We are happy to support our customers and partners in reimagining the ways in which they work.” 

Michele Raballo, Digital Commerce Lead at Accenture Europe says, “Accenture is proud to participate in the LTCC co-innovation programme supporting the growth of tech scale-ups in Ticino and providing global best practice processes together with worldwide proven methodologies to scale innovation.” 

Leave a Comment