NY MilkLaunch, a dairy-based product innovation accelerator focused on fueling demand for dairy among Gen-Z consumers in New York State, has selected SPYLT as the winner of its second annual competition. SPYLT has been awarded $150,000 worth of support to scale its product in the market.
Eight judges from organizations across food, beverage and venture capital including Kraft Heinz, Chobani, Giant Eagle, KeHE, UNFI, and Apex Global ranked the companies on uniqueness, taste, viability/scale, and founding team. Additionally, more than 500 Gen-Z consumers were polled via real-time research weighing in on which products they would purchase.
SPYLT offers a high-protein, low-sugar, creamy, dairy-based chocolate "energy drink" with essential nutrients like calcium, B vitamins, potassium, vitamin D and protein. SPYLT is not only focused on high-quality ingredients but is obsessed with the environment and that is why it comes in an aluminum 12 oz. can because of its environmental benefits over plastic.
"Holy Cow!!! This is amazing. I still can’t believe it. It was amazing to see all these different ideas and brands who are pushing to innovate with dairy. What an amazing program that has allowed me the chance to be part of the New York Dairy family,” said Josh Mendenhall, SPYLT founder and chief brand Officer. “I'm so excited for SPYLT to get out there in the world, and have so many people taste it for themselves and fall in love with this high protein, low sugar, caffeinated chocolate milk. We are just getting started.”
NY MilkLaunch is run by leading corporate innovation advisory VentureFuel in collaboration with the New York Dairy Promotion Order (DPO). The competition, which aims to fuel demand for dairy among Gen-Z (10-23-year-olds) gives each member of the cohort $10,000 to help them refine their offering and provides elite mentorship from global marketing, packaging, and distribution experts from companies including Cayuga Milk Ingredients, Chobani, JPG Resources, KeHE, Perksy, Highlight and more. This year’s contest had a particular focus on sustainable innovations across traditional dairy products including yogurt, liquid milk, and butter, in addition to make-up, clothing, and more.
“We saw so many creative dairy ideas and new products that will energize Gen-Z consumers, it was incredibly hard for our judges to choose just one,” said Fred Schonenberg, founder and CEO of VentureFuel. “SPYLT delivers true differentiation to seize a new market for dairy that will drive incremental demand for New York Dairy. SPYLT embraced our entire mentorship program engaging and learning from each of our industry experts. It's really cool how quickly they have developed their product. Their future is very, very bright and we are proud to have them as our winner.”