Chobani Australia kicks off first Food Incubator class
Five up-and-coming food start-ups were selected to join the first Australian cohort of the CFI, originally launched in the United States to give food start-ups the resources they need to challenge big food companies and bring better food to more people.
“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.”
Chobani said the first class consists of five small companies with big hearts and big ideas that are disrupting, innovating, and inspiring the Australian food industry. The products chosen include a high-protein jerky, a range of no nasties seasoning, Australia’s first matcha beverage powder with 137 different antioxidants of green tea, a range of bake mixes which make healthy living easy and a sustainable take on nut butters.
The yoghurt maker said one of the companies, 99th Monkey, makes nut butters, using all ethically sourced, minimally processed ingredients in the belief that delicious food should be good for your health and good for your planet. The company delivers the finest nut butters with standout taste and quality. They started selling from farmers markets before expanding into independent health-food and fine food stores, with the product now stocked in 700 stores around Australia.
The final five were chosen from over 100 applications to the program across a broad range of categories. All applications were assessed by a cross-functional team from Chobani Australia which included taste testing and one-on-one meetings with food entrepreneurs. Each of the companies share Chobani’s commitment to making delicious, nutritious and accessible food and offer standout products that will expand the Australian food market.
Over the next four months, the cohort will spend time at Chobani’s Melbourne factory and at Monash University’s recently launched $3 million food incubation facility, located at the Food Innovation Centre (FIC).
The curriculum combines Chobani’s experience in sales, marketing and customer engagement with FIC’s facilities to support new product development, innovation and quality, providing the startups with the resources, expertise and mentorship they need to scale and transform the local food landscape.