NEW YORK — Online grocer FreshDirect here has launched a crowdsourcing initiative to look for — and help finance — a new food-related innovation.

The company is encouraging consumers to submit their ideas for "The Next Big Food Thing" competition for a chance to win $10,000 and the opportunity to partner with FreshDirect. Finalists will be announced in November. All finalists will get the opportunity to crowdfund their ideas through FreshDirect technology partner RocketHub.


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The winner, and two runners-up ($2,500 each) will be selected by a panel of judges based on money raised, crowdfunder engagement and idea quality.

Potential ideas for The Next Big Food Thing could include a new food product, a farm or garden innovation, a food-focused community project, a food-related business idea, or a “must-have” kitchen item, according to suggestions from FreshDirect in an announcement on its website.

The judges will include Geoff Bartakovics, chief executive officer, Tasting Table; Natasha Case, CEO, Coolhaus; Sarah Copeland, food director, Real Simple; John Craven, founder, BevNet; David McInerney, co-founder, FreshDirect; and Viraj Puri, co-founder and CEO, Gotham Greens.

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