Mondelēz names nine US start-ups for its SnackFutures innovation venture

Nine ambitious US start-up businesses have been selected by Mondelēz International for its debut SnackFutures innovation and venture hub initiative, writes Neill Barston.

As the global confectionery group revealed, each of the chosen firms in its scheme will be part of a 12-week support programme including receiving $20,000 grants towards kick-starting their respective enterprises.

Launched in February, the initiative has been developed to drive further growth within the industry – which has during the past year witnessed expansion as consumers around the world have sought out greater volumes of favourite treats, as well as an increasing array of healthier options.

As Mondelez, noted, the programme, which stemmed from work over the past three years, will provide participating start-ups with tools, technologies and access to networks and industry expertise, while also gaining insights, capabilities and prospective investment opportunities. Its mission is is one of being environmentally aware and creating a sense of fun in offering a collaborative hub brining the best ideas from smaller businesses and enabling them access to resources of a major company.

As the company noted, the diverse group of businesses within its initial pool of nine include ventures started by a number of women and people of colour, each possessing a strong story behind their brands. The initial training will take place virtually, given present business trading conditions amid the pandemic.

The 2021 CoLab class participants are:

Better Bites Bakery: an allergen free bakery line founded by Leah Lopez to provide choices for her son 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 over 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 plant-based crisps are like 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.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better representation of what the future of snacking holds,” said Brigette Wolf, Global Head of SnackFutures, Mondelēz International. “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.”


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