Trendi receives $85K from Canadian Food Innovation Network

The funding will propel the Burnaby-based robotics firm to advance its Smoothie Machine vending solution.

Photo credit: Trendi

The Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) announced funding for a quartet of nationwide food innovators. Of note: Trendi. The Burnaby-based robotics firm will receive CAD $85,667 for a project titled “from purees to powders: using rescued foods for healthy soups.” The cash comes via CFIN’s innovation booster program, the same one used to provide funding to Surrey-based Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds earlier this year.

Why it matters: According to Harvest and Value Chain Management International, 58 percent of food produced in Canada is lost or wasted each year. Dire statistics such as these and a passion for food and hospitality within Trendi are what inspire the team. What results is a powerful raison d’etre: eliminate food waste and improve the usability of its ingredients. The company is a natural fit for CFIN: a not-for-profit organization established in 2021 that acts as a catalyst for innovation in the food sector.

Meet the Smoothie Machine: The “purees to powders” project will buoy the Smoothie Machine, a Trendi-developed healthy and automated vending solution that will upcycle food waste and recreate it as fresh fruit smoothies or hot soup. The benefits of this? Reducing food waste through upcycling improves access to more sustainable and local food options for businesses and consumers, plus creates a circular economy.

Hot soup and a hot streak: The funding is the latest in a recent hot streak for Trendi. On June 9, the company announced a $6.2 million seed raise co-led by WGG Capital Canada, a firm that also invested in Trendi last year. In late June, after Trendi was crowned the winner of the Swiss Tech Experience, the company’s partnership director Curtis Wong toured Switzerland on the firm’s behalf. Also, co-founders Carissa Campeotto and Craig McIntosh recently returned from a business development quest to Spain and Italy.

Talkin’ Trendi: “The funding from CFIN means we can jump-start the design for a hot soup kiosk, which will use our own freeze-dried products,” said McIntosh. “While making it easy for people to get nutritious food on the fly, we will begin to create a circular economy.”

“The CFIN team is energized by innovative activity we’re seeing nationally as demonstrated in the applications received for the booster,” said CFIN CEO Joseph Lake. “This further validates the need to support and invest into Canadian food innovation and continue to catalyze activity in the food sector. These four winning projects are demonstrating impactful solutions that will reduce food waste, improve food safety, and digitize our supply chains, which will provide direct benefits for companies and consumers coast-to-coast.”

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