The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) has announced it has doubled the number of semi-finalists and added more than $350,000 in additional awards to the Real California Milk Snackcelerator, its dairy product innovation competition.
The CMAB said it was inspired by the number of quality ideas and products that integrate the flavor and functionality of California dairy into both sweet and savory snack formulations, and so the VentureFuel-run competition has expanded to include 16 companies competing for more than $800,000 in awards.
The Real California Milk Snackcelerator is intended to tap into the $605bn global snack food market. The competition aims to inspire innovation and investment in dairy-based snack products, packaging and capacity in California by connecting processors, producers, investors, ideas and entrepreneurs.
VentureFuel, Inc., a corporate innovation consultancy, is partnering with CMAB to run the program and identified and recruited applicants from their global network of investors, founders and academics.
“We saw a 153% increase in qualified applications from our first program with CMAB, which is a testament to the momentum we have been building together as well as the opportunity in marrying snacking innovation with dairy,” said Fred Schonenberg, founder of VentureFuel, Inc.
“We saw applications from Ghana to Oakland that included personalized nutrition, functional foods as well as unique flavor-profiles inspired by cultures around the world. Now comes the fun part of helping accelerate these products so that they are ready to pitch at the semi-finals, the finals and ultimately get to market for consumers to enjoy.”
The competition now moves to the Sweet & Savory 16 where semi-finalists will be broken into two groups, “Sweet” for those that cater to the sweet flavors and “Savory” for those palates that look for more salty and cooked flavors.