Five start-ups begin Chobani's Food Incubator Class

Tuesday, 20 February, 2018

Five start-ups begin Chobani's Food Incubator Class

Like all industries, the food industry is continuously innovating and creating healthier, more sustainable and more accessible products for a wider audience. But in order to disrupt the more established companies, start-ups need support and access to resources, which is why the Chobani Food Incubator (CFI) has come to Australia.

Following the successful class in the US in 2016, Chobani (maker of a fast-growing yoghurt brand) has selected five Australian food start-ups it will help develop new products that challenge the food industry through the inaugural CFI.

The company has partnered with the Food innovation Centre (FIC), Monash University’s $3 million food incubation facility, to develop the incubator program. Based out of both Chobani’s Melbourne manufacturing facility and Monash’s FIC, the start-ups will have access to Chobani’s expertise in sales, marketing and customer engagement.

The four-month program will run from February to April 2018, and the start-ups will also receive a $10,000 grant.

“We love what Australian entrepreneurs are doing and think they have something special to offer food lovers,” said Chobani Australia Managing Director Peter Meek. “The Chobani Food Incubator is our way of paying forward the success we’ve had and the lessons we’ve learned along the way. We’re excited about giving these small companies an opportunity to break through and make a difference.”

Over 100 applicants took part in a number of assessments including taste testing and one-on-one meetings with food entrepreneurs, but the final five were selected as they share Chobani’s vision to create innovative new products that will expand the Australian food market.

Among the chosen companies is 99th Monkey, which uses ethically sourced, minimally processed ingredients to create healthy and sustainable nut butters that are currently available in 700 stores around Australia. Chobani also praised Matcha Maiden for creating Australia’s first matcha beverage powder with 137 different antioxidants of green tea; the company aims to position it as a caffeine source and a superfood.

Other products in the program include: organic and nutritional ingredients for baking (Bake Mixes), a range of seasoning without added salts and sugars (Mingle Seasoning) and a high-protein jerky (Kooee! Snacks).

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