CHFA Launch Pad is where brands in our industry go head-to-head to compete for big prizes and bragging rights to launch their product ahead of the rest.

Deadline to apply: February 17, 2023
It's Free to Apply!

How It Works

We accept applicants from brands that launched new and innovative products within the last year.

We select eight finalists who get two minutes to pitch to our lineup of judges at CHFA NOW Vancouver. The pitch is all yours to create with, whether you use a video or a slideshow presentation, this is your opportunity to wow the judges. Our panel of judges will have four minutes to ask you questions to help them make their final decision on the winner of the title Most Innovative Product and who gets to take home the prize package.

Friday March 31 at 5:00 p.m.

Vancouver Convention Centre
Room: 217-219

Are You Ready to Launch?

Meet Our Finalists!


by Genuity Natural Health Technology Corp.
Booth #215

Plant-based California Roll with Avocado and Pickled Cucumber

by Indigo Natural Products/Konscious Foods Canada Inc.
Booth #2034


by M2 Brand Management, Inc. / ATTITUDE
Booth #432

Plant-Based Ravioli

by Natural Products Canada / Living Tree Foods Ltd.
Booth #1249A

Cove Gut Healthy Soda

by Propel Brands / Cove Gut Healthy Drinks
Booth #623

Thrive Provisions Wagyu Beef Bar

by Purity Life Health Products / Thrive Provisions
Booth #753

Rainfed Milk

by Rainfed Foods.
Booth #1244B

Watch the Launch Pad Pitches

Friday March 31 at 5:00 p.m.

Vancouver Convention Centre
Room: 217-219

Winner Announcement at the CHFA Industry Achievement Awards

Saturday, April 1 at 5:00 p.m.

Vancouver Convention Centre
Ballroom A

Are You Ready to Launch?

What’s up for Grabs? A Prize Package Worth $25K!

$5,000 cash to help support your business

$10,000 worth in advertising in alive magazine

A booth at the next CHFA NOW show

Free promotion across CHFA channels: show guide, social and email

This Commerce Life Podcast Feature*

*All finalists will get air time but the winner gets a full episode feature.

One year complimentary CHFA membership*

*From Jan 1, 2024 to Dec 31, 2024 Note: CHFA membership value is dependent on your company revenue. Differences in membership price from the prize package value may not be exchanged for cash.

Who the Finalists Have to Win Over

About Ryan Benn

ryan benn

Ryan Benn became President of Alive Publishing Group in 2005. Ryan’s accomplishments have been recognized with many honours including the John Holtmann leadership award.

Alive Publishing have introduced numerous new products and services through the years. With the launch of alive USA, alive@work, alive connect, the alive Summit and the acquisition of delicious living magazine and CNHR, Ryan and team have transformed alive into a global powerhouse with an audience of over 30 million readers.

About Shelley King

shelley king

Shelley King is a strategic, decisive, and highly respected leader in the Canadian technology commercialization, innovation, and investment space. For 25 years, she has married her scientific background in academia with her in-depth knowledge of entrepreneurship and industry to help Canadian innovations go from a bright idea to a market-ready product. As founding CEO of NPC, Shelley has positioned Canada as a global pioneer and trailblazer in the natural product sector. NPC has made connections with more than 800 organizations nationally, involved more than 600 companies in its development pipeline, invested in 10 early stage enterprises, and experienced two exits.  

Previously, Shelley was VP, Research and Business Development for Genome Atlantic, where she catalyzed industry-academic relationships, putting Canadian genomics research on the international map.

Shelley holds an MSc in medicine specializing in neuroscience and an MBA from Memorial University. She currently sits on the board for the Metabolomics Innovation Centre and Smart Landing Program Canada.

About Brenda Kirk

brenda kirk

Brenda Kirk began her career as a cashier at Overwaitea Foods in Nanaimo, B.C. in 1980. She quickly advanced through a variety of progressively senior leadership positions in retail operations, including the development, launch and store manager of the industry-leading automated supermarket concept, Smart Market™, in Vancouver, B.C. in the early 1990s. From there, Brenda added key strategic roles to her portfolio, including regional manager of Save-On-Foods, director of front-end operations and general manager of centre of store merchandising for Save-On-Foods, before joining the company’s senior leadership team as vice president of centre of store merchandising in 2015.

As part of Save-On-Foods’ team of vice presidents, Brenda has held a number of titles, including vice president of innovation and strategic initiatives (2018), senior vice president of health, wellness and our brands (2019), and effective October 1, 2020, her current title of senior vice president of merchandising, where she is an instrumental part of the senior leadership team of Save-On-Foods and the Pattison Food Group: Canada’s largest Western-based provider of food and health products. Over more than 42 years in the grocery industry, Brenda has honed her reputation as a dynamic, strategic and committed leader who’s focused on achieving results and doing what’s right for her team and customers.

A key contributor to the development of the company’s evolving innovation strategy and execution as well as the company’s overall strategic plan, Brenda was named Save-On-Foods’ 2014 Business Leader of the Year—the organization’s highest accolade. She is also the recipient of a 2015 Star Women in Grocery Award from Canadian Grocer Magazine and is a member of the merchandising committees for both United Grocers Inc. and the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers. Brenda is also on the Board of Directors for GS1 Canada and an active member of the Food Executives Club of Vancouver.

As a founding member and now executive sponsor of Save-On-Foods’ Inspire Network, which is aimed at developing future leaders, Brenda is a strong advocate for embracing and promoting diversity in the workplace.

About Kenny Vannucci

kenny vannucci

"I’ve spent my life in retail. I worked front line retail in customer service and retail management, in the warehouses picking and packing orders, and I have worked in corporate office as a merchandise manager buying for numerous and varied categories within grocery and drug.  I know how a buyer thinks and what the triggers are. I know how to spot emerging and how to maintain/grow existing categories.

I’ve spent 40+ years in retail, 26 years at London Drugs before striking out on my own. Now I help small CPG companies and retailers with sales and operating fundamentals.

Helping you get and understand the mechanics of business right so you can turn a profit and scale up your business.  I love retail, love CPG and love working with and helping entrepreneurs and founders grow by using This Commerce Life – The Podcast as a platform to reach as many as I can."

Ryan Benn
President, Alive Publishing Group
Shelley King
CEO, Natural Products Canada
Brenda Kirk
Senior Vice President, Pattison Food Group
Kenny Vannucci
Co-host of This Commerce Life

All finalists are invited to the CHFA Member Reception for a special toast!

Past Winners

Sunset and boats

Dream Pops
NOW Toronto 2022
Sunset and boats

Aeryon Wellness
NOW Vancouver 2022
Sunset and boats

CHFA Connect - Fall 2021
A windmill

Save da Sea Foods
CHFA Connect - Spring 2021
nuts for butter

Nuts for Cheese
CHFA Connect 2020
a river in the snow

Level Up Superfoods
CHFA West 2020
Sunset and boats

LOOP Mission
CHFA East 2019
a hot air balloon shaped like a dog

The Green Beaver Company
CHFA West 2019
a hot air balloon shaped like a dog

Partake Brewing
CHFA East 2018

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Ready to Launch?