PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y., announced the 10 emerging food and beverage brands that will join its second annual North America Greenhouse program. Each of the participating startups will receive $20,000 in grant funding and participate in a six-month business program designed to accelerate their growth through personalized mentorship.
The 2020 PepsiCo North America Greenhouse program is designed to support emerging entrepreneurs and brands in the food and beverage industry. PepsiCo mentors from brands including KeVita, Stacy's and IMAG!NE will address marketing, distribution, manufacturing, supply chain, packaging, label claims, fundraising, and overall challenges related to growing a business.
"PepsiCo's Greenhouse program aims to accelerate growth for entrepreneurs who have built purpose-driven brands that are changing the way consumers eat and drink," said Daniel Grubbs, managing director PepsiCo Ventures Group, in a statement. "We provide a grant and mentorship to these companies, and we also draw great value from working closely with the entrepreneurs who are at the forefront of industry trends."
The following are the 10 startups selected for the 2020 PepsiCo North America Greenhouse program:
- Beauty Gourmet (Boulder, Colo.): A female-founded company, that places "beauty" nutrients into foods and beverages that fit seamlessly into a woman's daily life so that she can create an effortless foundation of wellness without having to do anything more than she would normally do, the company says.
- LOVE CORN (Ho Ho Kus, N.J.): Created a premium crunchy corn brand that is a healthy swap for chips, pretzels and crackers. It is vegan, plant based, gluten free and non-GMO Project Verified.
- MudLrk Snacks (LaPorte, Ind.): Crafts plant-based, crunchy, whole food snacks in three flavors of shiitake mushroom crisps (Ranch, Kansas City BBQ, Sriracha) and jackfruit crisps. All products are packaged in proprietary, innovative packaging made from compostable materials
- NUMILK (New York): Offers machines and ingredients for grocery stores that allow customers to make their own fresh, plant-based milks in reusable bottles.
- Nuttee Bean Co. (Miami): Makes whole roasted fava bean snacks in three bold flavors: wasabi and ginger, chili and lime, and salt and vinegar. They are gluten free, allergy free, vegan and certified non-GMO.
- Shindig LLC (Milwaukee): Created a juice that blends all-natural fruit and vegetable ingredients into invigorating, nutritious recipes that taste great.
- Siren Snacks (San Francisco): Created a line of delicious, bite-sized snacks that incorporate functional, superfood ingredients. A female-founded brand, Siren Snacks currently sells a line of plant-based protein bites, Rest & Relaxation bites and Organic Energy bites
- SPUDSY (Costa Mesa, Calif.): Makes the world's first sweet potato puff and comes in three flavors: Vegan Cheesy Cheddar, Bangin' Bar-B-Q and Cinnamon Churro. They are certified non-GMO, vegan, and gluten free and source ingredients in a way that reduces food waste.
- SUPERFRAU (Cambridge, Mass.): Created an electrolyte elixir made with real ingredients. It captures fresh liquid whey at the source and infuses it with flavor extracts like cucumber lime, lemon elderflower and peach mango, in order to upcycle it into a sports drinks that also aims to build a more sustainable food system.
- Synapse (Atlanta): Offers a plant-based alternative to energy drinks. With zero caffeine or artificial ingredients, Synapse is made with plants and harnesses the power of nootropics in a sparkling functional beverage
The finalists were selected by a committee of leaders within PepsiCo based on their product and brand qualities, how they integrate purpose into their offering, and meet the needs of current and future consumers, communities and/or our planet.
At the end of the PepsiCo North America Greenhouse program, one company will receive an additional $100,000 in funding based on the company's progress, level of collaboration and partnership with the PepsiCo mentors, and the effective use of the initial $20,000 grant. That company also will have the opportunity to continue partnering with PepsiCo to further their growth.
PepsiCo first launched its Greenhouse program in Europe in 2017 and expanded the program to North America in the fall of 2018, awarding Austin, Texas-based Hapi Drinks, a sugar-free kids drinks company founded with the mission to fight childhood obesity, as the winning brand in the spring of 2019. Collectively, the 10 participating companies in the inaugural North America class grew their average revenues 200 percent through the six-month program.