SnackFutures recently announced its inaugural cohort of snack companies that will participate in their startup engagement program, CoLab. The program strives to accelerate the growth of companies focused on healthy and environmentally friendly snacks.
SnackFutures, the innovation and venture hub of snack company Mondelēz International, created CoLab, they say, to give startups with resources and support to expand their businesses.
“I have to say it was quite humbling and inspiring to receive almost 200 applications from start-ups that wanted to be part of our mission to create a snacking world that is good for people, kind to the planet, and deliciously fun,” Brigette Wolf, Global Head of SnackFutures, Mondelēz International, tells Food Tank.
The cohort, consisting of nine companies, will participate in a 12-week program that includes workshops and mentorship opportunities. Each company will also receive a US$20,000 grant.
All represent a forward-thinking approach to snacking by prioritizing personal and environmental health in their business model.
The company 12 Tides, for example, hopes that their products will provide eaters with a more sustainable way to snack. According to Co-founder, Lindsey Palmer, their puffed kelp chips are the first regenerative organic snack from the ocean.
“Kelp is a zero input crop that requires no pesticides, no fertilizers, no arable land, and no freshwater, making it one of the most resource efficient foods on the planet. It also removes carbon dioxide from our oceans,” Palmer tells Food Tank.
Other businesses in the cohort include Snacklins, a meat-free pork rind company; Chasin’ Dreams Farm, whose products are made from regeneratively grown, popped sorghum; and LOVE, CORN, which makes dry-roasted corn snacks while giving back to their community.
The company founders are particularly excited about the opportunity to develop relationships.
Samy Kobrosly, founder of Snacklins, tells Food Tank, “As a self-manufacturing start-up, we hope to lean on our cohort and Mondelez’s extensive knowledge of production and supply chain to not only help scale our own manufacturing, but also build a proper framework for product development.”
Sydney Chasin, Founder of Chasin’ Dreams Farm also looks forward to building a support network they can draw on for years to come. “The possibilities for future collaborations with both Mondelēz and our peers is endless,” she says.
Wolf believes there is much to learn from the cohort. “Within the group we chose for this inaugural class there are some really unique sustainability-centric brands that can benefit from our expertise and also teach us new ways of thinking about, and innovating in, planet-forward snacking.”
Photo courtesy of SnackFutures