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Mondelēz wants to support startup snack brands

The SnackFutures CoLab program is seeking "disruptively delicious" brands for its spring 2023 cohort.


Inside the Mondelēz CoLab program. (Courtesy photo)

The maker of Oreo, Ritz and Trident will offer support to emerging snack brands through a four-month program in 2023.

Mondelēz International recently opened applications for CoLab, a startup engagement program that provides funding, education and mentorship to startup brands. The company said it created the program to bring “big and small” together in the interest of promoting growth for all.

SnackFutures, which is the innovation and venture hub of Chicago-based Mondelēz, is set to hold the third cohort of the CoLab program in spring 2023. Applications are open through December 2022.

This year’s theme for the CoLab program is “disruptively delicious.”

“The team is looking for brands that are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in making a snack delicious – from flavors, to experience, to sustainability to packaging - as well as grabbing the attention of retailers and getting consumers coming back for more,” Mondelēz writes.

The program shows how CPG companies are applying the accelerator model popularized by software startups to create points of convergence with up-and-coming brands that often start by selling and marketing through digital channels.

Emerging brands that are selected receive a $20,000 grant. The 12-week program offers in-person workshops, hands-on experiences, virtual curriculum sessions and 1-on-1 mentorship. Participants also get access to Mondelēz International experts and partners. Mondelēz oversees a portfolio of brands including Oreo, Ritz, Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Trident.

“To be launching a third class of CoLab demonstrates Mondelēz International’s commitment to thinking and behaving as a consumer-centric, future forward leader in snacking,” said Brigette Wolf, VP and Global Head of SnackFutures, in a statement. “The startups that participate in this program tell us they are blown away by the access and attention they get from our experts and ecosystem; and our leaders and employees are inspired by the drive and discipline of these entrepreneurs.”

Startups must be based in the U.S., generating at least $1 million in revenue and have “high growth potential,” the company said. The startups must also align with the Mondelēz International innovation priorities and be in position to benefit from working with the company.

Find an application at the SnackFutures website.
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