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Friday 18 October 2019

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John Lewis Partnership reveals JLAB finalists

Written by Peter Walker
09/07/18

The John Lewis Partnership has announced it has selected three finalists to join its retail tech innovation programme JLAB.

The first JLAB pitch day of 2018 whittled down over 100 start-ups and established businesses to a shortlist of 11, which then pitched to a panel of six senior leaders from across John Lewis.

Businesses were invited to pitch customer-facing, digital propositions which could provide Waitrose customers with advice and inspiration to make it easier for them to lead healthy lifestyles and eat better. The three businesses selected to now enter the JLAB programme are:

• Kafoodle - a food tech business that combines personalised meal planning with dietician dashboards to monitor nutritional needs.
• OME Health - offers personalised, science-based health plans built on a person’s gut microbiome, genetics blood markers and other health data.
• Best in Bag - an app that helps customers with unique dietary needs to make the right food choices by giving personalised nutritional advice.

The three finalists will now have access to expert advice from Waitrose senior leaders, as well as product validation from customers and possible financial investment.

John Vary, futurologist at the John Lewis Partnership and one of the pitch day judges, said: “The businesses we’ve selected in the health and wellbeing space are truly innovative and we’re looking forward to helping them make their ideas part of our customers’ experiences.”

As JLAB is now running throughout the year, rather than as a one-off 12-week programme, the next challenge launches today, with submissions welcomed on the theme of reducing plastic waste impact.

Waitrose and John Lewis already have a commitment that all own brand packaging and consumables will be widely recycled, re-usable or home compostable by 2025 and this new JLAB challenge - which closes on 5 August - complements this ongoing work.


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