With supporters like the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) on the frontlines, the specialty industry will continue to expand and diversify. Recently, Peekaboo Organic’s ice cream featuring hidden vegetables was named the grand prize winner of the Real California Milk Snackcelerator dairy snack innovation competition created by CMAB and VentureFuel. Alongside three other finalists, Peekaboo was judged on uniqueness or innovation, taste, the ability to scale, and the founding team.
“This was a tough decision, as all four of these finalists presented products that fit the needs of our current consumer, and each with their own unique take on snacking. Peekaboo just had a slight edge because of its unique concept marrying two things that normally don’t go together like ice cream and vegetables, and then executing the producer perfectly in terms of creative flavor combinations,” said John Talbot, CEO of the CMAB. “Not only are we excited to grow the dairy snack portfolio offered with Real California Milk by helping to expand distribution for Peekaboo ice creams, [but] we look forward to continuing our relationship with all of our finalists and semi-finalists to see what they are able to achieve.”
According to the press release, Peekaboo is one of four innovators selected from a field of 16 sweet and savory semi-finalist competitors to present to a field of judges from the CPG, retail, venture capital, and food science world representing such companies as Clorox, Mondelēz, Whole Foods, CircleUp, and more in a live pitch (and sample) event tapping into future technologies and emerging startups like OS Studios, Perksy, and more to transform what was an in-person sampling experience into a state-of-the-art virtual event.
Peekaboo’s products are currently available in pints at select retailers, but Founder and CEO Jessica Levison is looking forward to introducing the single-serve snack line and expanding distribution with Real California Milk at the core.
“Like many of our fellow startups, we confronted what seemed like insurmountable challenges this year. This win validates our innovation, our mission, and our team’s hard work and resilience,” said Levison. “We learned so much from this Snackcelerator experience and cannot wait to launch Peekaboo minis into the market—made with Real California Milk, of course! Much gratitude to everyone involved.”
The competition will provide Peekaboo with $200,000 in resources and funding to bring a snack-sized version of their innovative products to market and expand the overall market for their products. Yummy Industries came in second place with its Cheese-Bits premium snacking cheese packs and will receive $100,000 in support for growth and distribution.
“Innovation is the ultimate growth accelerator for any business or category, and this competition continues to deliver a flywheel of new ideas, new products, and new ways to think about dairy from a consumer perspective,” said Fred Schonenberg, CEO and Founder of VentureFuel.
CMAB’s Real California Milk Snackcelerator competition was designed to inspire innovation and investment in dairy-based snack products, packaging, and capacity within California by connecting manufacturers, producers, investors, ideas, and entrepreneurs for high quality, sustainable products. As noted in the release, the competition received 76 entries, which inspired expansion from the original eight finalists to 16 representing both sweet and savory snacking startups in the Sweet & Savory virtual semi-finals.
All 16 semi-finalists received $10,000 worth of support each, to develop an edible prototype while receiving a suite of resources including graphic design, lab or kitchen time, and elite mentorship from global marketing, packaging, and distribution experts. The total value of competition prizing is over $800,000.
For more information on the event and companies involved, click here for the full release.
How will the specialty category continue to change as more movers and shakers pick up the pace in new innovations? Find out as Deli Market News brings you the latest.