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Chobani Opens Applications for Second-Ever Incubator

Chobani Opens Applications for Second-Ever Incubator

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

One of the nation’s largest yogurt manufacturers, Chobani, has announced the launch of a second food incubator class, following up on the success of its inaugural program last year. Applications will be accepted through June 4, 2017.

Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO, Chobani"People are rejecting the way Big Food is doing things," said Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO. "It's creating a special moment for food start-ups with big hearts and big ideas to challenge how things are done. We're searching for entrepreneurs who are passionate about getting more natural, more accessible, and more creative foods out there, and who are driven by a purpose and mission to make the world better."

Ulukaya launched the Chobani Food Incubator in 2016 to support food entrepreneurs that aimed to challenge the food industry, improve what he saw as a broken systems, and bring better food to more people—principles upon which Chobani was founded.

Features of the program include:

  • Four-month incubator from September 2017 to December 2017, online and on-site
  • Two to three team members participating on-site with key Chobani team members
  • Monthly programs at Chobani locations across the U.S., including manufacturing facilities and a dedicated space in Chobani's New York offices
  • Access to Chobani teams, top executives, and experts
  • Exposure to food industry thought leaders and top retail partners
  • Networking with Chobani Food Incubator peers
  • Digital support and community engagement between on-site programs
  • Regular remote program check-ins

Applicants who are accepted into the program will also be given a $25,000 grant to help grow their business; they will have travel, hotel, and other expenses covered and have access to equity-free capital.

Chobani Food Incubator Class of 2016

The program will cover a variety of topics including:

  • Building a sustainable business
  • Team building and scaling
  • Brand and marketing
  • Packaging and pricing
  • Sales and retail strategy
  • Innovation and manufacturing
  • Food Quality and Safety
  • Nutrition and Food Labeling

The inaugural edition of the Chobani Food Incubator concluded its sixt month program this March. Six startups graduated: Banza®, Chops Snacks, Cissé Cocoa Co, Jar Goods®, Kettle & Fire, and MISFIT Juicery. Over the course of that half-year, the group registered an increase of 60% in distribution, expanded their product portfolios, increased employee headcounts, established new relationships with national retailers, and earned a combined total revenue of $3 million in 2017 alone (YTD).

Applications and additional information is available at Applicants are asked to electronically submit information about their products along with a short video and biographical information by June 4, 2017. Accepted applicants will be notified in mid-July.

For more on product innovation in the dairy, deli, and bakery industries, check out Deli Market News.