MAD//Fest sees F&B brands launch £20k innovation pitches


Coca-Cola, AB InBev and McCormick are among the brands who have provided £20k innovation pitch briefs at MAD//Fest London on 5-7 July at The Old Truman Brewery.

MAD//Fest House of Innovation

Designed to enable collaboration between major advertisers and emerging start-ups, the series of live pitches will see 6 brands offer pilots to six start-ups in MAD//Fest’s ‘House of Innovation’. 

The briefs represent the real challenges of major UK and international brands. 

They include connecting, engaging and influencing shoppers (Coca-Cola), engaging consumers in a digital world (AB InBev) and encouraging people to do more home cooking (McCormick).

A total of 35 innovative ‘madtech’ start-ups will be exhibiting in MAD//Fest’s House of Innovation and pitching live on-stage for the pilots, which are cumulatively worth over £100k and are subject to due diligence. 

The pitches will be hosted by innovation specialists Co:Cubed.

The briefs include:

Coca Cola (CCEP): Connecting with shoppers, instore and online

As the world’s largest bottler of Coca-Cola products (outside the US), CCEP is looking for innovative solutions to connect, engage and influence shoppers. 

As part of this brief, CCEP are looking for tools to engage shoppers mid Grocery shop (Instore or Ecomm) to break their habits and to help them pick up something different.

AB InBev: Engaging and re-engaging consumers in a digital world

As the world’s largest brewer, AB InBev is always seeking to connect and engage consumers on a deeper level – particularly in a digital world. 

As part of this brief, ABInBev is in search of solutions that create personalised engagement with consumers of beer and other beverages. The product should provide recurring value so that users come back to it at least once a month.

McCormick: How can we encourage consumers to do more homemade cooking in a post pandemic world?

As the world’s largest herb & spice company, McCormick (Schwartz in the UK) has ridden the boom of home-cooking over the past 2 years. 

As part of this brief, McCormick is looking for solutions that can sustain growth through inspiring people to cook more in a post-pandemic world.

Over 8,000 brands, agencies and media owners are expected to attend 2022’s ‘No Guts, No Glory’ themed MAD//Fest London.

Speakers include Rachel Waller, Global VP Innovation, Burberry; Cristina Diezhandino, Global CMO, Diageo; Tina Koehler, Global VP Marketing, Deliveroo; Broadcaster Jay Rayner; Rory Sutherland, Vice-chair, Ogilvy and Sir Martin Sorrell, Founder & CEO, S4 Capital.

MAD//Fest Carnival

The event also features the MAD//Carnival on 7 July, which features DJ Norman Jay MBE and food and drink activations from Dishoom, Campari, Heineken, Diageo, BrewDog and Beavertown.

Toni Radzihovska, Global Director, Digital Consumer Products AB InBev: “We are excited to be working with Co:Cubed and MAD//Fest on our latest brand challenge. 

“As the world’s largest brewer, ABInBev is searching for solutions and products that create personalised engagement with consumers of beer and other beverages. 

“The product should provide recurring value so that users come back to it at least once a month. We can’t wait to collaborate and develop new innovative ideas with the start-up community.”

Marco Levy Geraldes, Director, Business Development, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners: “How do you go about breaking long-standing habits and encourage shoppers to try something new? 

“We’re excited to be engaging MAD//Fest’s startup community and can’t wait to see the innovative solutions on show that can help our customers to explore our range of iconic brands.”

Olivia Wilson, Director Consumer Growth Platforms EMEA, McCormick: “The team at McCormick are thrilled to partner with Co:cubed and MAD//Fest to be inspired by the companies at the forefront of leveraging the latest thinking in insights, tech and capabilities to drive progress. 

“We are passionate about bringing flavour to mealtimes and can’t wait to hear how the start ups are thinking about spicing up the world of home-cooking.

Jeremy Basset, CEO & Founder, Co:Cubed: “The appetite for addressing brand challenges through start-up innovation grows stronger as technology, consumer behaviour and cultural trends change the marketing game. 

“We’ve lined-up 6 major advertisers and 35 disruptive start-ups to discover solutions and forge working relationships via £20k pilots in real time. 

“If you’re a brand owner or agency looking for new and innovative technology to help you overcome marketing challenges, MAD//Fest’s House of Innovation is the place to be this summer!”

Dan Brain, Co-founder, MAD//Fest London: “MAD//Fest isn’t just a place to ‘talk’ shop – our House of Innovation is a vibrant space where deals are done, relationships are made and attendees benefit from seeing how the latest emerging technologies can meet the briefs of the world’s top advertisers. 

“This year’s theme for MAD//Fest is ‘No Guts, No Glory’ as it’s fantastic to see top brands share their challenges and open their minds to the possibilities of collaborative innovation.”