Areas Challenge

Areas once again challenges startups from around the world to bring sustainable solutions to the on-the-road food & beverage industry

The company launches, in collaboration with Eatable Adventures, the second edition of the “Areas for Change Challenge” with the aim of enabling the international entrepreneurial community to develop real solutions to the sector’s challenges in terms of sustainability.

Following the success of the first edition, Areas, international leader in food&beverage and travel retail with global headquarters in Barcelona, is launching the second edition of the ‘Areas for Change Challenge’, an initiative aimed at startups with the goal of finding concrete and feasible solutions that respond to the company’s own challenges for the coming years and those of the Food & Beverage and Travel Retail sector, on this occasion, in terms of sustainability.

The company has launched this new edition as part of its ESG strategy ‘Areas for Change’, which focuses on people, the planet and the future of travel. Specifically, the company wants to provide sustainable and innovative solutions to reduce its environmental footprint and, in this way, help in the fight against climate change and guide the company’s activity towards a more sustainable future.

With this program, and in collaboration with Eatable Adventures, one of the world’s leading foodtech accelerators, Areas is looking for startups that provide real solutions to the following sustainability challenges:

  • Recycling & Upcycling: Solutions related to waste management generated in Areas’ restaurants (primarily organic waste such as coffee, oil, fruit, and packaging), its reappraise and recycling.
  • Economy of Water: Innovative solutions (digital, robotic, or others) designed to enhance water management, reduce water consumption, and lower operating costs through Startups with pilot capacity, international scaling and/or impact on marketing and PR, to optimize production and reputation.
  • Return & Resume packaging: Digital solutions aimed at implementing and promoting a “use and return” packaging system to minimize the overall environmental impact of packaging, being as frictionless as possible to respect convenience.

All of this will be carried out through startups with pilot capacity, international scaling and/or impact on marketing and PR, for new lines of business and to improve efficiency. In addition to the three main areas of interest, Areas is actively seeking and evaluating startups that provide solutions related to the circular economy, with a particular focus on fashion and textiles and their applications related to employee uniforms.

Oscar Vela, Areas’ CEO worldwide, pointed out that “this challenge is being launched for the second consecutive year because we understand that it is important for companies like Areas to work to find solutions that transform the industry, and help promote a greater commitment and environmental awareness, offering a better experience for travelers. Vela highlighted the firm commitment to this project because “Areas’ purpose is to generate a positive impact on the planet, on people and on the future of travel, and to do so in an innovative, creative and disruptive way, together with the best startups and partners in the world.”

After an initial analysis, the selected startups will have the opportunity to work with Areas to develop a pilot program and support the company’s marketing strategy, among other benefits. In this sense, the selected startups will also be able to collaborate, together with the Areas team, to get the project off the ground and become a supplier of the company in the future.

Interested startups can register here:


Great success of participation in the first edition


Last March, Areas selected the 3 winning startups of the first edition of the ‘Areas for Change Challenge’ project, developed in collaboration with Eatable Adventures. On this occasion, the objective was to find feasible solutions that respond to the company’s own challenges for the coming years and those of the Food & Beverage and Travel Retail sector, focusing on 3 categories: sustainability, gastronomy and digitization.

From the more than 70 applications received from startups in the United States, Europe, and Asia, Eatable Adventures selected a total of 37 finalist projects, from which 9 finalist startups were selected. From these 9, 3 winning projects were finally chosen for their positive impact on the sector. These three projects had the opportunity to work with Areas, access its international network and, ultimately, to scale their project in the market.

The three winning companies were Flax&Kale, in the gastronomy category; Alberts, in the digitalization category; and Cupffee, in the sustainability category.

In words of Itziar Ortega, Senior VP Global Operations of Eatable Adventures “The selected startups will be able to test their proposals and scale with the support of a global benchmark in the Food & Travel Retail sector, adding to the legacy of sustainable innovation of this initiative. The successful implementation of Cupffee’s edible cups, a startup selected in the first edition, in different Areas’ establishments demonstrates how open innovation can become a very efficient collaboration tool for both parties, promoting innovation and sustainability in the sector”.

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