It is with great excitement that the eight finalists selected to participate in the 5th Real California Milk Excelerator competition have been named by the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) in partnership with VentureFuel. The competition was created to search for, identify, curate, and accelerate the very best dairy-based products that have unique benefits and used milk and dairy from the Golden State, and this year's theme is Open Innovation.
"The Open Innovation theme is exciting because of the variety of applications we received, and the myriad of ways startups and established brands are innovating with real milk and dairy ingredients," said John Talbot, Chief Executive Officer of the CMAB. "We continue to see themes of global flavors and ingredients, a focus on sustainable sourcing and packaging, and products that go deep on the functional benefits inherent in dairy to address specific consumer needs from protein to gut health. Each member of the cohort brings something new and exciting to the marketplace and we're looking forward to supporting their journey and ultimately seeing these products in the market with the Real California Milk seal."
This year's competition attracted dozens of applications from a total of five countries, a release stated. The goal being to secure a spot as one of the three participants in the three-month program that provides access to non-dilutive funding, mentors, investors, and buyers. They will also gain access to CMAB's specialized network of resources.
The eight members of the 2023 Real California Milk Excelerator cohort are:
"The Real California Milk Excelerator is a testament to the dairy community's commitment to forging novel connections with consumers and unexplored markets," said Fred Schonenberg, Founder and CEO of VentureFuel. "We've seen incredible displays of innovation and ingenuity from participants over the past four years, and our 2023 cohort continues to underscore the boundless possibilities within the dairy sector. VentureFuel is proud to be working with the California Milk Advisory Board for the fifth year of this program, and to continue working together to push conventional boundaries and influence transformative change in the market."
To read more about the competition and the finalists, click here.
Who will take home one of the three coveted spots? Stay tuned to Deli Market News to find out.