Chobani Food Incubator hosts food startups

Greek yogurt maker Chobani, L.L.C. has selected six food start-ups to participate in the inaugural class of the Chobani Food Incubator, a program launched to mentor and support entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry.

From October to March, participants will have access to Chobani’s plants, research and development and sales offices throughout the country, as well as a dedicated incubator space based in the Chobani SoHo office in New York City. Resources include a $25,000 grant to help grow the business, plus support from Chobani teams, top executives and experts. Programming will cover a range of pertinent topics, including brand and marketing, packaging and pricing, sales and retail strategy, innovation and manufacturing, food quality and safety, and more. The program culminates at Natural Products Expo West, where participants may showcase their products.

Chobani received more than 400 applications for the first class and chose the final six based on their business ideas and shared values.

“We’ve learned a lot in the past nine years about what it takes to shake things up and give people better options,” says Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and chief executive officer of Chobani. “Our incubator is all about sharing what we’ve learned, and the first six start-ups are very passionate, innovative and really want to help fuel the food revolution. I don’t think there’s ever been a better time for food start-ups to make a difference in this country, and I can’t wait to start our new journey together.”

The six start-ups selected for the Chobani Food Incubator Class of 2017 are:

• Banza, a maker of chickpea-based pasta noodles.

• Chops Snacks, which offers a variety of jerky snacks using premium beef brisket and natural spices.

• Cissé Cocoa Co., a U.S.D.A. approved and Fair Trade organic chocolate company supporting small-scale farmers in the Dominican Republic.

• Jar Goods, a creator of specialty pasta sauces.

• Kettle & Fire, a maker of U.S.D.A. organic grass-fed bone broth.

• Misfit Juicery, which makes cold-pressed juices with recovered fruits and vegetables leftover from the production of fresh-cut produce, such as carrot sticks and watermelon cubes.