Greek yogurt titan Chobani—one of the nation’s largest yogurt makers—has announced the members of its spring 2018 Chobani Incubator class. The class, participating in Chobani’s third and largest Incubator to date, is comprised of companies that are disrupting and improving high-potential food categories in the U.S.
"The past few years have proven the need, value and strong desire for a food incubator that is solely focused on supporting entrepreneurs who want to challenge the food industry, improve broken systems and bring better food to all people," said Chobani Incubator Director Jackie Miller, in a press release. "Through this program, we've seen companies double their distribution, expand their teams, and launch new products—and we're just getting started. Hamdi, our Founder, hand-picked this class—our largest yet—for their unique ability to transform traditional product categories in the United States and we couldn't be more excited to get started with them."
From new and innovative snack products like simple seed-based bars or peanut butter protein puffs to healthier energy drink and smoothie options and nutritional foods that can help kids learn to love vegetables, the Incubator class is comprised of a variety of disruptive fresh-focused innovators.
According to Chobani’s press release, the company’s Incubator program is intended to help entrepreneurs with big hearts and ideas break into food and beverage industries through equity-free investment and mentorship. This year, the program received more than 650 applications for nine available spots—a 30 percent increase from last year.
Participants in the Incubator's first class have already seen a more than 250 percent increase in distribution and 2.6 times growth in annual revenue.
The class's nine inductees are spread across six states and represent a diverse set of categories.
“Chobani selected purpose-driven entrepreneurs whose products are reinventing high-potential food and beverage categories—making them more delicious, nutritious, natural, and accessible,” the company noted in its press release. “As such, this class' roster includes several brands striving to improve childhood nutrition; additionally, given the rise of millennials' snacking habits, many are making it easier to eat nutritious food on-the-go.”
Selected startups include:
The third Chobani Incubator class will run from April 2018 to July 2018, based out of a dedicated space designed for the Incubator at Chobani's sales and marketing offices in New York, NY.