Among those judges -- as well as an investor in the show -- Dan Glickberg, a fourth-generation founding family member of Fairway Market and past vice president.
Glickberg, who grew up in Irvington and now owns Manhattan-based Dan Glickberg Food, a food consulting company, said the show is a natural transition for him, especially as he worked for years with a number of small suppliers. "I understand their operations," he said.
His experience being in such close contact with consumers -- knowing what they'll spend their money on -- also gives him a unique perspective for knowing what companies to invest in.
So far -- he's on six of the eight episodes -- he's been having so much fun he doesn't feel like he's working.
Among the trends Glickberg is seeing:
- Healthy Living: "What had been a niche category is really standing on its own with a lot more traditional players in the market."
- Protein: "This is huge right now," he said. A lot of companies are developing products where they are adding protein into their products. "This is not meant for someone who lifts weights, but for the average consumer."
- Renewable Sources Of Protein: Are you ready for cricket? As in cricket flour in protein bars and crackers. "You can't taste the difference," said Glickberg. "This is a pure product."
And though he can't go into more details -- you have to watch the show to see -- he said it's definitely interesting to see all the bright enterpeneurs who are thinking outside the box.
"There's a lot going on in the food world right now," he said. "With ideas you've never seen or thought of before."
Coming up April 6 at 10 p.m.: A pitch on a breakfast treat that's caffeinated, a line of unusual flavored sodas, a frozen take on a hometown favorite, a coffee franchise that serves edible cups, and a cooking school that's delivered right to your door.
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