Mondelēz confirms latest CoLab businesses for its Snackfutures venture

Mondelēz International has confirmed its latest intake of ten budding US businesses utilising its Snackfutures innovation and venture hub devised to back inventive new firms, writes Neill Barston.

As the company revealed, it will be offering a grant of $20,000 for each start-up brands that will be participating in its CoLab class of 2022, consisting of a 12-week learning programme.

After initial reported success with the scheme last year, Mondelez is continuing its mission to inspire a new generation of snacks businesses through its leadership and expertise, along with SnackFutures’ ecosystem of partners.

The curriculum is deliberately curated to provide emerging brands with resources and information typically needed in early stages of growth – including consumer data and innovation insights, as well as coaching and support in operational areas such as manufacturing, packaging, ingredient sourcing and marketing. In turn, Mondelēz International gains a closer pulse on trends and potential investments.

Its latest array of businesses will be presenting a broad array of products, including healthier options for the global snacks market. The selected brands include:

Bunny James Boxes: Realising that eating in the workplace was a source of major anxiety for people with diet restrictions, Lonny James created a vending machine business to help offices meet their employees’ diverse needs. That has evolved into a gifting service specializing in curating snack and wellness boxes for specialty diets, allergies and food tribes.

Every Body Eat: Founders Trish Thomas and Nichole Wilson personally understood the pain of finding delicious food they could share with the people they love, regardless of dietary restrictions or preferences. Their clean and crave-able snacks are free of the top 14 allergens, corn and sugar so every body can eat, together.

GoNanas: As banana bread became increasingly popular during the pandemic, co-founders Morgan Lerner and Annie Slabotsky saw the opportunity to modernize the classic comfort food with a delicious banana bread mix that is allergen friendly – vegan, gluten free, and nut free.

Moonshot: This climate-friendly snack brand is taking a bite out of climate change and founder Julia Collins is leading the way. She uses regeneratively grown, organic ingredients for her carbon neutral crackers to make an impact.

Nunbelievable: This ‘cookie company with a cause’ matches every purchase with a donation to fight hunger. Founders Bryan Janeczko and Kuda Biza intend to end hunger in the most delicious way.

Oat Haus: As founder Ali Bonar was recovering from an eating disorder, she made it her mission to retrain herself on how to have fun with food and created the world’s first oat-based spread to inspire others to do the same.
Pan’s: When founder Michael Pan visited Malaysia and tried a mushroom jerky his vegetarian family had been making for decades, he saw it as an opportunity to bring that flavorful funghi experience to more people trying to reduce their meat consumption.
Popcorn for the People: Founders Steven and Barbie Bier believed that something as simple as popcorn could be an opportunity to empower Autistic adults, like their son, to find pride in purposeful work. The non-profit employs more than 50 people with special needs to make its gourmet popcorn.

Wonder Monday: Candace Wu and Jonathan Weinstein set out to create a low-carb, gluten-free cheesecake that tastes just like how you remember, but with the right nutrition to eat every day.

Yolélé: Sharing food from West Africa is how founder chef Pierre Thiam achieves his social and environmental mission. He makes his craveable chips with fonio, an underutilised but highly sustainable grain from smallholder farms.

“We are thrilled to have another CoLab class that can benefit from our expertise and help us look at innovation from the ‘outside in’ to create a snacking world that is good for people, kind to the planet and deliciously fun,” said Brigette Wolf, Global Head of SnackFutures, Mondelēz International. “Last year’s program was a huge success, and we can’t wait to see what this year holds with an amazing cohort of mission driven brands.”

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