Chobani LLC, the second-largest overall yogurt manufacturer in the United States, announced the selection of seven new food startups to join the second class of the Chobani Food Incubator. The group comprises seven companies that are disrupting, innovating and inspiring new food categories in the United States, the Norwich, N.Y.-based company said.
“To select our second next class, we tasted hundreds of products and met with entrepreneurs across the country and the world,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO, Chobani. “These seven companies each have something special and unique.
“In selecting this class, we looked at what categories — and what teams of people — have the ability to make big changes in American supermarkets and give more people better options,” he added. “I can’t wait to have these companies at Chobani to see how we can help them on their journey and welcome them to our family.”
Since launching last year, the Chobani Food Incubator program has helped entrepreneurs with big hearts and ideas break into the U.S. food industry. Chobani said it received more than 550 applications this year for seven spots — a 20% increase from last year. The company said it seeks to partner with small food brands to provide them the resources they need to challenge big food companies, give more people access to natural, affordable food, and create a new food frontier.
For this year’s class, Chobani was searching for purpose-driven entrepreneurs whose business models are rooted in social good initiatives, who are passionate about making natural, creative food more accessible, and are doing so in a sustainable way. The inspiration for these products comes from all corners of the world — representing the history of their founders — from kitchens in Boulder to labs in Boston, from traditional Chinese practices to farms in Afghanistan, Chobani said.
The second Chobani Food Incubator class will run from September 2017 to December 2017, based out of a dedicated space designed for the Incubator at Chobani's sales and marketing offices in New York City.
This year’s class, according to Chobani, includes:
- Chloe’s Fruit, New York, www.chloesfruit.com.
- Willies, Boston, www.thefarmerwillies.com.
- Grainful, Ithaca, N.Y., www.grainful.com.
- LoveTheWild, Boulder, Colo., https://lovethewild.com.
- Pique Tea Crystals, San Francisco, www.piquetea.com.
- Rumi Spice, Chicago, www.rumispice.com.
- Snow Monkey, Santa Monica, Calif., https://snow-monkey.com.
For more information and updates from each of the participants, visit chobanifoodincubator.com