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PepsiCo launches start-up program

Pepsi cansGlobal soft drinks company PepsiCo has launched the Nutrition Greenhouse accelerator program in North America.

The beverage company said the new initiative will discover and support emerging brands in the food and beverage sector, following its success in Europe.

“Nutrition Greenhouse is part of our commitment to open innovation and collaborating with the changemakers of the future,” said Jim Andrew, PepsiCo executive vice president, Corporate Strategy and chief venturing officer.

“In line with our “Performance with Purpose” vision, we want to find and support entrepreneurs who are helping transform the food and beverage industry with nutritious, natural and sustainable products. We’re very excited to bring this program to the US and Canada and hope to expand it throughout the rest of the world.”

In 2017 there were eight start-ups in the European program which delivered an estimated combined sales growth of over €10 million. The drinks company is looking for 10 start-ups based in the US or Canada that aligns with its “Performance with Purpose” vision.

Those selected will receive $20,000 grant funding and will have the opportunity to undergo a 6-month business optimisation program to accelerate growth. It includes mentoring from some of the company’s experts from Quaker, Naked, KeVita, Stacy’s, Red Rock Deli and Off the Eaten Path. One start-up will be awarded an additional $100,000 grant at the end of the program to continue its business expansion and will be given an opportunity to continue its partnership with PepsiCo.

“The program helped us grow our business and expand into the US market,” said Irina Turcan, founder of Erbology and winner of the 2017 European Nutrition Greenhouse. “It was more than the prize money – our mentor gave us valuable insights on retail and consumer marketing as we extended our ‘powerful plants’ concept into a unique range of snacks. As a result, our revenues grew over four times last year and we launched Erbology in US retailers in June this year.”

Brands with a demonstrated consumer sales track record but no more than $5 million are invited to apply at by October 12 2018.

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