Mumbai, India, 3rd August 2023 –Mondelez International’s accelerator program CoLab in collaboration with Huddle has shortlisted five cutting-edge start-ups set to redefine the snacking industry in India. The final cohort comprising of Flyberry, TruVitals, Evolve Snacks, Happy Jars, and Nova Nova represent a diverse group of snacking brands with varied formats, well-being proposition, commercial excellence, and sound omnichannel plans. These start-ups were selected from a pool of 250+ applications spanning across categories like baked snacks, chocolates, confectionary and savoury snacks, from all over India. Through the program, Mondelez and Huddle intend to cultivate the growing entrepreneurial pool in India to drive growth, innovation, and lead the future of snacking in the country.
The 5 shortlisted start-ups will now go through the 12-week curriculum consisting of weekly virtual sessions and in-person interactions with mentors across Mondelez India as well as industry experts. This will be followed by a final showcase event wherein the selected five start-ups will get the opportunity to pitch and raise capital from Huddle and other potential investors. Thus, helping these start-ups embark on the next phase of their growth journey.
The accelerator program is set to bring more than 35 industry leaders from India and abroad as mentors for the shortlisted startups who will delve into relevant business themes like product manufacturing, packaging, designing, corporate governance, logistics, etc. The list of mentors includes leadership from Mondelez India consisting of Nitin Saini, Vice President – Marketing; Varinder Jaswal, Senior Director R&D (chocolate); Sonali Mitra, Director, Strategy; Tejas Mehta, VP, Finance; Sree Patel, Executive Director & Chief Counsel and Desmond D’souza – Senior Director – Sales, amongst others like Vishesh Khurana (Shiprocket), OmPrakash Muppirala (Fountain India), Anand Shankar (Sharp Ventures), Ashwin Bhadri (Equinox), Ankita Balotia (Fireside Ventures), and more., in addition to leadership from Huddle.
Sonali Mitra, Director- Strategy, Mondelez India said, “We’re thrilled to announce the cohort for the first class of the CoLab India Accelerator. Each of these remarkable start-ups epitomize the essence of innovation and hold the potential to reshape the trajectory of the snacking industry in India. The disruptively delicious offerings across each of the chosen five are underpinned by the customer-centric innovation approach, scalable business propositions, and inspiring journey so far by the respective founders. Working with them as part of the CoLab program is going to move the needle on their brands, support our innovation agenda, and ultimately help deliver on consumers’ desire for right snacks, for the right moment, made the right way.”
Sanil Sachar, Founding Partner, Huddle said, “There’s a playbook that has worked for several brands that have become household names, and with CoLab India, our objective as avid backers in building early-stage brands, the endeavor is to assist the selected cohort in learning and growing from this playbook. Our approach has always been driven by a shared learning across categories and with our startups here we aim to get them to cater to a larger audience available across the diverse consumer sets they are targeting. Most importantly, with CoLab India, our goal is to bring together the key stakeholders to ensure this ecosystem builds in a continuous and sustainable manner.
The five shortlisted start-ups include:
- Flyberry: A revolutionary player in the snacking industry, Flyberry redefines the way India snacks by offering nutrient-rich, good-for-you foods with honest ingredients and flavoursome profiles. Flyberry specializes in 100% natural, clean date-based products, and is known for its unique offerings such as natural date syrup and date powder. Embracing advanced technologies and sustainability practices, Flyberry aims to cultivate a new culture of consuming healthy and safe foods.
- TruVitals: Committed to providing healthier alternatives for kids’ snacks, TruVitals crafts nutri-dense bites using scientifically proven ingredients, ensuring unparalleled nutrient density. With a meticulous development process that involves rigorous sampling with children and their mothers, TruVitals creates delicious bites without compromising on nutrition or adding harmful additives.
- Evolve Snacks: A renowned provider of nutritious savoury snacks, Evolve Snacks promotes healthy eating habits by substituting carbohydrates with protein and healthy fat components. Their diverse range of over 60 SKUs includes options such as Multigrain Puffs, Oats Chips, Ragi Chips, Roasted Seeds, Makhane, and Pita Chips, offering customers a wide array of choices. Evolve Snacks also offers convenient subscription plans for their popular products.
- Happy Jars: Happy Jars stands out with its range of healthy nut butters made from natural peanuts. With flavours like crunch and jaggery, Happy Jars Peanut Butters cater to the health-conscious and are a must-have for fitness enthusiasts. The brand continues to experiment with exciting flavors and maintains flexibility in production to meet market demands.
- Nova Nova (formerly Waffle House): Nova Nova started as one of India’s first Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) outlets specializing in waffles. However, the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic prompted a swift transition to the D2C online space, introducing a unique product line called Waffle Cookies. Nova Nova has rebranded itself to reflect its expansion into multiple product categories beyond waffles, catering to a wider consumer base.”
Launched in February 2023, the program reiterates Mondelez’s commitment to fostering innovation, supporting emerging businesses, and ultimately delivering innovative, wholesome snacking options that cater to evolving consumer preferences.