Launched earlier this year, the CoLab startup engagement program was created to help the multinational snacking company go "broader and deeper" into the startup community to address specific pain points growing their businesses and roadblocks that have arisen from the pandemic, Brigette Wolf, Global Head of SnackFutures, Innovation & Venture, Mondelēz International, previously told FoodNavigator-USA.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better representation of what the future of snacking holds,” said Wolf. “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 nine 2021 CoLab class participants include:
- Better Bites Bakery: An allergen-free bakery line founded by Leah Lopez to provide choices for those 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 more than 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 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.
SnackFutures will provide participating startups with tools, technologies and access to networks and industry expertise, while also gaining insights, capabilities, and prospective investment opportunities. Participants will also receive a $20,000 grant as part of the CoLab program, which kicks off in June 2021 with all programming taking place virtually, said Mondelēz.