Niagara College hosts inaugural Niagara Food & Beverage Innovation Summit

Looking into the future of the food and beverage industry in Canada

The Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre, part of Niagara College’s Research & Innovation division, will bring together several big names in the food and beverage industry at the first annual Food & Beverage Innovation Summit on October 23 at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus. 

Product developers, food innovators and business owners in the food space and cannabis industry will learn trendsetting concepts and forecasted trends from experts in relation to flavours, colours, and packaging. Attendees will also learn about strategies to de-risk new product introductions, taste modification, and exploring cannabis from a higher education perspective.

The one-day event will also feature one of the hottest topics of the day: the integration of cannabis into the food and beverage chain. In the second phase of legalization, cannabis-infused edibles gained legal status by Health Canada on October 17, one year after legalizing recreational marijuana in the country on the same date in 2018. Experts at the summit will focus on the integration of cannabis into the food and drink world, the trends, food safety and regulatory challenges in the edibles industry.

In September 2018, Niagara College launched the first postsecondary Commercial Cannabis Production program of its kind in Canada. In June of this year, NC’s Research & Innovation division received a hefty grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) to support the purchase of a cannabis product research space, outfitted with specialized equipment to support applied research trials for the cannabis industry.

The Food & Beverage Innovation Summit will include keynote speakers, expert panelists and interactive sessions, as well as tours of the research labs at the CFWI Innovation Centre, and the College’s Teaching Winery and Teaching Brewery. Its diverse audience will include food innovators, growers looking for new revenue streams, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the food and beverage and cannabis industries.

“We are pleased to be collaborating with industry experts and innovators to drive growth and development in the food and beverage sector,” said Lyndon Ashton, centre manager, CFWI Innovation Centre. “The event is an opportunity for thought leaders, product developers, marketers, entrepreneurs, and innovators in the food and beverage sector to learn from each other and other world-renowned experts.”

Sponsors for the event include Food in Canada magazine, Invest Hamilton Niagara, Niagara Industrial Association, Food and Beverage Ontario, Two Sisters Vineyards, and Ontario Craft Brewers. Funding support is provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

For registration info and to view the event agenda visit

Celebrating 20 years of research excellence, Niagara College’s Research & Innovation Division provides real-world solutions for business, key industry sectors and the community through applied research and knowledge transfer activities. They conduct projects that provide innovative solutions, such as producing and testing prototypes, evaluating new technologies, and developing new or improved products or processes for small- and medium-sized businesses. With funding support from various regional, provincial and federal agencies, students and graduates are hired to work alongside faculty researchers to assist industry partners leap forward in the marketplace. For more information, visit

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit