Chobani Incubator
photo courtesy of Chobani

Chobani and PepsiCo have announced the members of their respective spring 2020 incubator programs—a total of 18 food and beverage startup companies.

The sixth Chobani Incubator class to date is made up of eight food startups that are disrupting and improving high-potential food categories in the United States. The program provides equity-free investment and a strong focus on mentorship. The incubator class is a three-month program consisting of guest speakers, workshops, mentor rotations, and more based out of a dedicated space designed for the incubator at Chobani’s sales and marketing offices in New York City.

The Chobani Incubator’s sixth class is made up of the following eight companies:

  • A Dozen Cousins makes convenient meals and sides that are inspired by traditional Creole, Caribbean, and Latin American recipes. Its first product is a line of ready-to-eat beans that are cooked in avocado oil and seasoned with real vegetables and spices.
  • Sherpa Foods is a South Burlington, Vt.-based family food supply business that produces and supplies traditional Nepalese foods such as Momos (Nepalese dumplings) and Momo Sauce (Himalayan-style hot sauce) to various health food stores and supermarkets.
  • Soñar! is a Latina-owned organic food company that makes organic grain-free tortilla chips. The company provides at least 1% of annual sales to advance the mission of the Latino Community Foundation, an organization investing in leaders, youth, and changemakers working to create a more just, equitable future for all.
  • Bread SRSLY’s makes delicious, wild-fermented sourdough bread that is gluten-free, top 8 allergen-free, Kosher, and made with organic ingredients.
  • Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce is an applesauce product that offers “unparalleled flavor and quality through zero artificial additives” and a chunky texture. All items are vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and contain Non-GMO ingredients.
  • American Vinegar Works makes vinegars from select American ciders, wines, sakes, and beers. It combines traditional production methods and great ingredients to deliver novel vinegars for cooking and cocktails.
  • Pescavore is a portable protein made with responsibly caught wild fish. The Ahi Tuna Jerky Strips are made using premium marinades and whole cuts, then applying the age-old tradition of natural wood smoking. The small-batch process maintains flavor, texture, protein, and nutrients, with less residual salt and sugar than traditional jerky.
  • Big T Coastal Provisions uses family recipes that feature 100% real crabmeat or shrimp in a variety of dips perfect for just about every occasion.

PepsiCo has announced the 10 finalists in its second North America Greenhouse program, an initiative designed to support emerging entrepreneurs and brands in the food and beverage industry. The startups are granted $20,000 in funding and will participate in a six-month business optimization program designed to accelerate growth. The program includes personalized mentorship with experts across PepsiCo functions and from some of its emerging brands, such as Stacy’s, IMAG!NE, and KeVita, to help address critical early-stage business operations like strategic planning, corporate structuring, and fundraising. Guidance on brand optimization, product development, supply chain management, customer acquisition, and distribution will also be provided.

At the end of the program, one startup will be awarded an additional $100,000 in funding to continue its expansion and an opportunity to continue partnering with PepsiCo to further its growth.

The 10 finalists in PepsiCo’s Greenhouse program are as follows:

  • Beauty Gourmet places “beauty” nutrients into foods and beverages that fit into a woman’s daily life so that “she can create an effortless foundation of wellness without having to do more than she would normally do.”
  • Love, Corn is a premium crunchy corn brand that is offering a healthier alternative to chips, pretzels, and crackers. It is vegan, plant-based, gluten-free, and Non-GMO Project Verified.
  • Mudlrk Snacks makes plant-based, crunchy, whole food snacks in three flavors (Ranch, Kansas City BBQ, and Sriracha) of shiitake mushroom crisps and jackfruit crisps.
  • Numilk offers machines and ingredients for grocery stores that allow customers to make their own fresh, plant-based milks.
  • Nuttee Bean Co. makes whole roasted fava bean snacks in three flavors: Wasabi and Ginger, Chili and Lime, and Salt and Vinegar. They are gluten-free, allergen-free, vegan, and certified non-GMO.
  • Shindig LLC created a juice that blends all-natural fruit and vegetable ingredients into nutritious recipes that taste great.
  • Siren created a line of bite-sized snacks that incorporate functional, superfood ingredients. The company currently sells a line of plant-based protein bits, Rest & Relaxation bites, and Organic Energy bites.
  • Spudsy makes a sweet potato puff that comes in three flavors, including Vegan Cheesy Cheddar, Bangin’ Bar-B-Q, and Cinnamon Churro. They are certified non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free.
  • Superfrau created an electrolyte elixir made with real ingredients. It captures fresh liquid whey at the source and infuses it with unique flavor extracts like cucumber lime, lemon, elderflower, and peach mango, to upcycle it into sports drinks.
  • Synapse offers a plant-based alternative to energy drinks. With zero caffeine or artificial ingredients, Synapse is made with plants and harnesses the power of nootropics in a sparkling functional beverage.

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