PepsiCo has announced the winner of its second annual North America Greenhouse programme: Spudsy. Based in California, Spudsy is a female-owned company that makes sweet potato puff snacks with ingredients sourced in a way that reduces food waste. PepsiCo’s Greenhouse accelerator aims to support emerging entrepreneurs and brands in the food and beverage industry through personalised mentorship. Beginning in February, this year’s programme saw ten brands partner with PepsiCo over six months as they looked to scale their businesses. According to PepsiCo, participants grew their average revenues more than 240% over the course of the programme. Spudsy was chosen as this year’s winner by a committee of leaders within PepsiCo, based on its business results during a challenging environment, engagement in the programme and strong brand purpose. The brand’s ‘Save the Spud’ mission involves upcycling imperfect sweet potatoes to create its sweet potato flour, helping to reduce food waste. The brand claims that it is on track to save one million sweet potatoes by 2021. “Our mentors really supported us in expanding our subscription business and overall strategy for expansion,” said Ashley Rogers, founder of Spudsy, which is being awarded a $100,000 grant to continue its expansion. “They also helped us navigate the changing consumer landscape during a tricky time. We’re ecstatic to be able to use the $100,000 grant to continue to grow our internal team and support our key retailers.” Daniel Grubbs, vice president, PepsiCo Ventures Group, added: “We are so proud of all of the finalists in this year’s Greenhouse programme who persevered during a time that has forced companies big and small to rethink and adjust their business strategies. “The Spudsy team was able to not only show tremendous growth in a few short months, but importantly was able to continue to build a strong purpose-driven brand. We look forward to seeing what they do with the $100,000 grant.” PepsiCo first launched its Greenhouse programme in Europe in 2017 and expanded it to North America in the autumn of 2018, awarding Texas-based Hapi Drinks, a sugar-free kids drinks company founded with the mission to fight childhood obesity, as the winning brand in the spring of 2019.
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