Chobani, LLC, a natural food company, announced the six food start-ups for the inaugural class of the Chobani Food Incubator. Chobani’s founder and CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya, launched the program to mentor and support food entrepreneurs to challenge the food industry—and to build a community of people who want to improve broken systems and make a difference. For its first class, the company received more than 400 applications for six spots.
“We’ve learned a lot in the past nine years about what it takes to shake things up and give people better options,” said Ulukaya. “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."
Each of the participants were chosen based on their business ideas, shared values and commitment to provide better food for more people, a founding mission that led Chobani to become the #1 Greek Yogurt brand in America and transform an entire food category. When Chobani first began selling its cups in 2007, Greek Yogurt sales amounted to 0.8% of the total spoonable yogurt category. Today, it represents more than 50%.
The inaugural class of the Chobani Food Incubator will run from October 2016 to March 2017, based out of a dedicated space designed for the Incubator at the Chobani SoHo office in New York City. They’ll also have access to our plants, R&D and sales offices throughout the country.
A closer look at the food start-ups selected for the Chobani Food Incubator Class of 2017: