The program’s fifth cohort, announced yesterday, includes 10 companies from around the world that promise to be “game-changers for the food industry as they look at personalization, emerging technologies and unique services and ingredients” that empower consumers to take control of their health and wellness, Daniel Grubbs, managing director, PepsiCo Venture Group, told FoodNavigator-USA.
“There’s no question that COVID-19 has renewed consumer interest in taking control of their personal health and wellness, and we continue to explore how this evolves in the food and beverage space,” he said, adding even before the pandemic pushed many people to reconsider the role of diet in health, consumers were looking for more than just great taste from their foods and beverages.
“They’re looking for technologies or ingredients that fit their own personal wellness needs. Functionality and efficacy are key elements of what consumers are looking for to enhance their day to day lives,” Grubbs said.
With this in mind, Grubbs said that PepsiCo selected the 10 finalists participating in this cohort with an eye towards “learning from their products, services and technologies on a macro level as we push ourselves to grow and evolve with changing consumer needs.”
PepsiCo’s Greenhouse Accelerator program’s fifth cohort participants
By leveraging emerging science and technology, the fifth cohort of PepsiCo’s Greenhouse Accelerator program offer consumers personalized nutrition solutions, functional foods and supplements and “new technologies that enable vitality,” according to PepsiCo.
BioLumen, a nutritional technology company that makes structured fiber to absorb sugar & fat,
Biosustain Labs, which develops sustainable functional foods with specific health benefits,
Braingaze, a tech company focused on detecting and treating cognitive dysfunction,
Canomiks, which uses an AI-based Product Superiority Platform to develop functional foods, supplements and skin care products,
Cabiotix AB, a pioneer in microbiome healthcare with gut health testing services,
LifeNome – Ask Sophie, a precision pregnancy nutrition and health companion,
Melico Science, a precision nutrition firm that uses chemical fingerprinting in urine to advise consumers on personalized nutrition,
Seqbiome, a microbiome sequencing, analysis and consultancy firm that is expanding to B2C,
Sphera Encapsulation, a company focused on creating the next generation of encapsulated products that have a meaningful social, environmental and health impact, and
ZBiotics, which uses proprietary technology to engineer probiotics with specific beneficial functions.
Likewise, because the ongoing pandemic continues to restrict travel and in-person gatherings, PepsiCo decided to make this six-month business program entirely virtual, which allowed it for the first time to open participation to companies around the world. As such, the accelerator will welcome to this cohort companies from the US, UK, Italy, Ireland, Sweden, Spain and India.
While this change may be rooted in necessity during the pandemic, it also reflects the ongoing evolution of the program, which focused on Europe for the first two cohorts before expanding to North America for the third and fourth cohorts.
As with prior cohorts, each of the companies in this cohort will receive $20,000 in grant funding and participate in a six-month business program “designed to accelerate their growth through personalized mentorship,” according to PepsiCo.
At the end of the program in June, one company will be awarded an additional $100,000 to fund future growth.