Makers of ready-to-drink lattes with collagen and dairy-based dessert beverages are among the nine finalists selected for the California Milk Advisory Board’s (CMAB) dairy start-up competition.
Called the Real California Milk Accelerator, the programme is designed to inspire ideas integrating the values of fluid milk into contemporary products and provide resources to help bring them to market.
The competition aims to inspire innovation and investment in fluid milk products within California by connecting manufacturers, producers, investors, ideas and entrepreneurs for sustainable dairy beverages.
Each of the nine innovators will receive up to $25,000 of support to develop prototypes while receiving mentorship from marketing, packaging, and distribution experts.
The final competition will take place on 7 November in the San Francisco Bay Area, culminating in a grand prize winner, which will receive up to $250,000 worth of additional support to deliver its new product to market.
The nine finalists:
“The number and quality of entries received is a testament to the vibrancy of the beverage category and proves the desire of product developers to tap into the unique natural goodness of milk to meet consumer cravings for beverages that are not only healthy but taste great,” said John Talbot, CEO of the CMAB.
Innovation consultancy VentureFuel is working with the board to find, identify and mentor the best emerging start-ups from its global network of investors, founders and academics to drive first-to-market innovation for the dairy space.
“This competition has created an opportunity for cutting-edge technologies and dynamic entrepreneurs to drive innovation for a product that has been a household staple for generations,” said Fred Schoenberg, CEO and founder of VentureFuel.
“CMAB’s vision, combined with the ingenuity of the nine selected pioneering start-ups, sets the stage to educate the public regarding milk’s true nutritional benefits, and re-introduce it to the marketplace in inspired and engaging ways that connect with the public’s current and evolving tastes.”
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