Trailmix event promotes Idaho startup food producers

photo of broadway albertsons
The winner of the Trailmix event will have their product stocked at the new Albertsons at the corner of Broadway and Beacon in Boise. File photo.

In an event intended to showcase entrepreneurship in Idaho’s food processing industry, grocery retailer Albertsons and downtown Boise co-working space Trailhead are partnering on “Trailmix,” a competition for startup food producers.

The event will be held Oct. 18 at Trailhead starting at 2 p.m. during the third annual Startup Week, a conference to promote Idaho entrepreneurship.

photo of tiam rastegar
Tiam Rastegar

Five companies will be chosen to do a pitch on their products, Shark Tank-style, while 18 companies will participate in a showcase exhibition to create awareness for their products, said Tiam Rastegar, executive director of Trailhead Boise.

“Two years ago, Trailhead, as an organization, started talking to Albertsons, and started to float the idea of how can we, as a community, leverage our assets in food production, and Albertsons as a grocer, and create jobs,” Rastegar said. “It became very clear, with our strong history of food innovation and agriculture and distribution, that we are well positioned to help food entrepreneurs.”

The winner of the competition will receive $10,000; access to and meetings with Albertsons sales managers; a one-year membership at Trailhead and access to Trailhead’s mentor network; and product placement in the Broadway Albertsons location. Products could also be placed in an additional 22 Albertsons locations in the Treasure Valley area, as well as other stores within the Intermountain Division of Albertsons Companies, including up to 83 stores in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon and Wyoming. All five finalists will also receive Trailhead memberships.

“The concept of Trailmix, a pitch competition to showcase emerging food companies in the Northwest, is very exciting both to recognize the wonderful products produced in our area, and to spotlight the Treasure Valley as being innovative and a great location for startups,” said Kathy Holland, in communications and public relations for the Intermountain Division of Albertsons, which will be providing panel speakers, judges and the keynote speaker for the event. “Our Albertsons stores continue to provide new products on the shelves that are local and relevant to the neighborhood where the store is located. This pitch competition highlights many local companies who already have product on the shelves in our stores, and also allow us to meet new product companies to explore options. Our hope is for all companies to walk away from this competition with additional knowledge and ideas on how to increase the scale of their product.”