Brands of plant-based seafood alternatives and bean-based snacks are among the ten start-ups selected to take part in PepsiCo’s North American Nutrition Greenhouse.
Each of the ten participating brands will receive $20,000 in grant funding and participate in a six-month business optimisation programme.
The PepsiCo mentors will collaborate with the start-ups on areas ranging from marketing, distribution, manufacturing, supply chain, packaging, label claims, and fundraising, in addition to addressing other challenges related to growing their businesses.
At the end of the scheme, one company will receive an additional $100,000 in funding based on the company’s progress, the level of collaboration and partnership with the PepsiCo mentors, and the effective use of the initial $20,000 grant. That company will also have the opportunity to continue partnering with PepsiCo.
PepsiCo revealed in September plans to introduce its Nutrition Greenhouse start-up accelerator programme in the US, following the success of the initiative in Europe.
The ten selected brands
- Bohana (Boston, Massachusetts) – said it has reinvented an ancient high-protein snack with popped water lily seed
- Hapi Drinks (Austin, Texas) – sugar-free drink brand founded with the mission to fight childhood obesity
- IQ Bar (Boston, Massachusetts) – a nutrition bar formulated for cognitive energy, function, and health
- Remedy Organics (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey) – plant-based functional beverages made with superfoods, herbs and botanicals as well as protein and probiotics
- Rule Breaker Snacks (Brooklyn, New York) – bean-based based treats with protein and fibre
- Sophie’s Kitchen (Sebastopol, California) – plant-based seafood alternatives which are 100% gluten free and 100% soy free
- Too Fit (Fort Worth, Texas) – makes nutritional supplements targeted at adventurers, athletes, and weekend warriors
- Torii Labs (Calabasas, California) – creates plant-based functional beverages
- Wildway (San Antonio, Texas) – a breakfast and snack food company
- YoFiit (Toronto, Canada) – A plant-based firm focusing on functional, clean and innovative meal solutions
The finalists were chosen by an external and internal committee of PepsiCo leaders, and were chosen based on their product and brand qualities, focus on consumer nutrition, scalability of their business model and uniqueness in the market.
PepsiCo Ventures Group managing director Daniel Grubbs said: “Nutrition Greenhouse was created with the intent of supporting change-making startups of the future.
“We are very excited to collaborate with, help grow, and learn from these incredible companies. Each finalist is unique in their own way, but one thing they all share is they’re mission-driven and purposeful, which is very much aligned with our own performance with purpose agenda.”
YoFiit CEO Marie Amazan said: “Our company is at this tipping point where we are getting traction with our initial launch and we are ready to start scaling up, but only in an optimal fashion. So having access to PepsiCo’s leadership is a golden opportunity because such unparalleled expertise is like money to a bootstrapped company like ours, looking to stretch every dollar further.”
Eugene Wang, founder and CEO of Sophie’s Kitchen, added: “We believe there are tremendous opportunities for plant-based foods. Coming from a family where Buddhism and vegetarian food manufacturing are deeply rooted in our DNA, I knew the time was right for the world to have access to healthier and more sustainable alternatives to real seafood. We’re looking forward to collaborating with world-class PepsiCo mentors to learn strategies for growing our business and making it more successful in North America, as well as globally.”
Last month, FoodBev spoke with Karen Scott, PepsiCo’s head of healthy snacking, innovation and incubation for West Europe and South Africa, to find out more about how Nutrition Greenhouse operates.