CHICAGO, US – SnackFutures, the Mondelēz International, Inc. innovation and venture hub, today announced the nine start-ups selected for the inaugural class of the CoLab start-up engagement program. Each of the well-being snack brands will participate in a 12-week program designed to help them accelerate their growth. Participants will also receive a $20,000 grant.
The CoLab program, which launched earlier this year, is deliberately designed to be a collaborative effort between entrepreneurs and the Mondelēz International ecosystem to drive mutual growth. SnackFutures will provide participating start-ups with tools, technologies and access to networks and industry expertise, while also gaining insights, capabilities and prospective investment opportunities. It’s also yet another demonstration of SnackFutures’ mission to create a snacking world that is good for people, kind to the planet and deliciously fun by bringing “big and small” together to push the boundaries of what’s possible in well-being snacking.
The application and interview process resulted in a diverse group of snack brands with different formats, well-being propositions, revenue and distribution footprint. These exciting companies also represent a diverse founders’ group, including a number of women and people of color, each with their unique and authentic story behind the brand.
The 2021 CoLab class participants are:
- Better Bites Bakery: An allergen free bakery line founded by Leah Lopez to provide choices for her son who had life-threatening food allergies
- Chasin’ Dreams Farm: A popped sorghum snack founded by Sydney Chasin who is reviving an ancient grain to bring more options and flavors to gluten-free snacking
- Elite Sweets: A Keto donut brand run by founders Amir and Amin Bahari who each lost over 100 pounds and wanted to keep the weight off with a healthy version of their favorite treat.
- LOVE, CORN: A crunchy corn brand made with simple, non-GMO ingredients founded by family members Jamie, Gavin & Missy McCloskey.
- Numa: Numa, which means daughter and mother in Chinese, was created by “Numa” duo, Jane Xie and Joyce Zhu, to honor heritage through healthier versions of their favorite childhood candies from Asia.
- NuSkool: A low-sugar snacking platform co-founded by Joe Christensen and Kevin Healy after seeing friends and family members struggle with obesity and heart disease.
- Snacklins: Founded by former radio personality and chef Samy Kobrosly, Snacklins are plant-based crisps are like a vegan take on pork rinds.
- Sourse: With the goal of making supplements accessible, Jenne Moore and Andrew Remlinger came up with vitamin-infused candy, starting with dark chocolate.
- 12 Tides: A nutrient-dense, ocean-friendly snack founded by Pat Schnettler and Lindsey Palmer made from kelp sourced from regenerative ocean farms.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better representation of what the future of snacking holds,” said Brigette Wolf, Global Head of SnackFutures, Mondelēz International. “The founders are so inspiring and passionate about what they are doing. Working with them as part of the CoLab program is going to move the needle on their brands, support our innovation agenda, and ultimately help deliver on consumers’ desire for people and planet-friendly snacking.”
The CoLab program will begin in June with initial programming taking place virtually. For more information and for latest updates from the program, visit www.snackfutures.com.