Israeli plant-based yogurt maker Yofix, one of the ten finalists in PepsiCo’s European Nutrition Greenhouse programme, has been awarded the final €100,000 grant after “significantly scaling up its operations”.
Yofix, which makes clean-label, plant-based fermented dairy alternatives, impressed PepsiCo’s selection committee with its strategic launch and retail growth during the initiative.
Last year, the start-up was announced – along with nine other breakthrough brands in the food and beverage sector – as a finalist in the second edition of PepsiCo’s Nutrition Greenhouse in Europe.
Over the past six months, each start-up has received dedicated mentorship from a PepsiCo expert to help them overcome market challenges and address important early-stage business issues such as corporate structuring, marketing positioning and branding.
PepsiCo also gave each finalist a €20,000 grant to kick-start the programme and help them accelerate their business to the next level. Sales of the collective group during the programme increased by 145% compared to the same period last year.
Yofix was chosen as the recipient of the €100,000 prize after an extensive review and assessment period. During the programme, the company opened a new manufacturing facility, carried out a nationwide product launch in Israel, and completed the strategic development of an international go-to-market plan.
David Schwartz, senior director of innovation at PepsiCo Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, and leader of the programme, said: “It has been a privilege to partner with another stand-out group of exciting, innovative entrepreneurs in the second year of our Nutrition Greenhouse incubator programme in Europe. Our vision remains steadfastly the same as when we launched in 2017; to support forward-thinking food and beverage start-ups deliver great-tasting, nutritious products to people around the world.
“Using our industry expertise, we’ve helped accelerate the growth of ten impressive new businesses, marking another successful year of learning and collaboration for both the start-up class and our PepsiCo mentors.”
Steve Grun was appointed CEO of Yofix in 2018, supporting Ronen Lavee, COO and founder. As part of the Nutrition Greenhouse, Grun used the initial €20,000 grant and access to PepsiCo’s experts for guidance on branding and to conduct market research in preparation for the company’s launch outside of Israel. The business intends to use the €100,000 prize to explore opportunities in European markets.
Celebrating Yofix’s success, Grun said: “It’s been an honour to have been part of this year’s Nutrition Greenhouse programme and I’m delighted to receive the €100,000 grant for Yofix. It’s been a truly memorable experience, and I’ve personally taken so many learnings from our PepsiCo mentor and the experts in the wider business.
“The company’s achievements over the last six months wouldn’t have been possible without that guidance – along with the wider support network of my fellow 2018 Greenhouse finalists. I look forward to seeing how the programme evolves in the future and wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it to other budding entrepreneurs and start-ups.”
UK start-up Erbology received the €100,000 grant in the first edition of PepsiCo’s Nutrition Greenhouse in Europe.
The company, which offers nutrient-rich, plant-based products, such as oils, shots, crackers and energy balls, achieved more than 400% growth during the initiative.
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