Meet the Inaugural Class of PepsiCo's Nutrition Greenhouse North America

PURCHASE, N.Y., Nov. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- PepsiCo announced the ten emerging food and beverage brands that will join its first collaborative accelerator program in North America. Each of the ten participating startups will receive $20,000 in grant funding and participate in a 6-month business optimization program. The Nutrition Greenhouse program is designed to accelerate the growth of these startups with personalized mentorship from experts at some of PepsiCo's leading and emerging brands, including Quaker, Naked, KeVita, Stacy's, Red Rock Deli and Off the Eaten Path.

The PepsiCo mentors will collaborate with the startups on areas ranging from marketing, distribution, manufacturing, supply chain, packaging, label claims, and fundraising, in addition to addressing other challenges related to growing their business.

At the end of the program, one company will receive an additional $100,000 in funding based on the company's progress, the level of collaboration and partnership with the PepsiCo mentors, and the effective use of the initial $20,000 grant. That company will also have the opportunity to continue partnering with PepsiCo.

The ten startups* are:

  • Bohana (Boston, Massachusetts) - Reinvented an ancient high-protein snack with popped water lily
  • Hapi Drinks (Austin, Texas) – Sugar-free kids drink founded with the mission to fight childhood obesity and type II diabetes.
  • IQ BAR (Boston, Massachusetts) – A nutrition bar formulated for cognitive energy, function, and health.
  • Remedy Organics (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey) – Delicious plant-based functional beverages made with potent superfoods, ayurvedic herbs and botanicals as well as protein and probiotics.          
  • Rule Breaker Snacks (Brooklyn, New York) - Innovative bean-based treats that are packed with protein and fiber, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, free from the top eight allergens and defiantly delicious.
  • Sophie's Kitchen (Sebastopol, California) - The first company to make plant-based seafood alternatives which are 100% gluten free, 100% soy free, Non-GMO Project Verified, and Kosher.
  • Too FIT (Fort Worth, Texas) - A lifestyle brand dedicated to crafting and delivering the highest quality nutritional supplements to inspire, educate, and fuel the passions and journeys of adventurers, athletes, and weekend warriors.
  • Torii Labs (Calabasas, California) - A health product company creating powerful plant-based functional beverages that balance, build and brighten your body and mind.
  • Wildway (San Antonio, Texas) - A better-for-you breakfast and snack food company that inspires others with products that provide real nutrition from real food to fuel life's wild adventures.
  • YoFiit (Toronto, Canada) - A plant-based company focusing on functional, clean and innovative meal solutions, one of which is a patent-pending high protein, high omega-3 and gum-free chickpea milk alternative with flax offering 40 grams of protein per container.

The finalists were selected by an external and internal committee of PepsiCo leaders, and were chosen based on their product and brand qualities, focus on consumer nutrition, scalability of their business model and uniqueness in the market.

"Nutrition Greenhouse was created with the intent of supporting change-making startups of the future," said Daniel Grubbs, Managing Director, PepsiCo Ventures Group. "We are very excited to collaborate with, help grow, and learn from these incredible companies. Each finalist is unique in their own way, but one thing they all share is they're mission-driven and purposeful, which is very much aligned with our own Performance with Purpose agenda."

For additional information and updates on the program, visit

*The descriptions of each startup are based on the respective company's own words. PepsiCo has not verified the accuracy of the product claims of the companies, does not endorse, and is not responsible for the content, actions, or omissions of the companies.

Quotes from Nutrition Greenhouse North America Finalists:

  • Nadine Habayeb, Co-Founder and CEO, Bohana: "The company was founded in 2017 to introduce popped water lily seeds to the US market, on the promise to always create food that is natural, nutritious, sustainable and delicious. As first-time entrepreneurs, the guidance from industry veterans who have decades of experience and access to cutting-edge innovation is invaluable. We believe Bohana has huge potential and under the mentorship of the PepsiCo team we can scale and build an impactful and successful company."
  • Karsten Idsal, President and Co-Founder, Hapi Drinks: "Hapi Drinks has the opportunity to be the leading zero-sugar food and beverage brand. By participating in PepsiCo's Nutrition Greenhouse program we would have a great opportunity to realize that goal and help establish Hapi Drinks as the leading sugar-free company. I am eager to work with our mentor and the Nutrition Greenhouse team to accelerate the growth of Hapi Drinks in its current format and develop new ideas that we may bring to market in the future."
  • Will Nitze, CEO, IQ Bar: "We are the only bar built for the brain, the only bar that hits the Keto + Paleo + Vegan trifecta, and the only bar that contains the brain-boosting Lion's Mane Extract. While we have made strides in the past year, we stand to gain a great deal of knowhow from our PepsiCo mentor, especially in the fields of supply chain and operations."
  • Cindy Kasindorf, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Remedy Organics: ""We are focused on disrupting the food and beverage industry by bringing delicious Functional Nutrition to mainstream channels in a manner that has never been done before. We applied to the PepsiCo Nutrition Greenhouse because we believe the knowledge and mentorship that we can receive from the brightest minds in the beverage industry will be pivotal for our brand and allow us to accelerate our growth."
  • Nancy Kalish, Founder and CEO, Rule Breaker: "Rule Breaker Snacks harness the power of beans along with other wholesome ingredients to create truly delicious, indulgent and guilt-free goodies that anyone can feel good about eating or feeding to their children. Over the past three years we have expanded dramatically both within the broad marketplace as a disruptor in the better-for-you treat space as well as within key niche segments. As we continue to look to the future and the inherent challenges in scaling up, we are thrilled and honored to have this opportunity to learn and collaborate with industry leaders and innovators."
  • Eugene Wang, Founder and CEO, Sophie's Kitchen: "We believe there are tremendous opportunities for plant-based foods. Coming from a family where Buddhism and vegetarian food manufacturing are deeply rooted in our DNA, I knew the time was right for the world to have access to healthier and more sustainable alternatives to real seafood. We're looking forward to collaborating with world class PepsiCo mentors to learn strategies for growing our business and making it more successful in North America, as well as globally.
  • Joshua Uptmore, CEO and Co-Founder, Too Fit: "We craft the highest quality nutritional supplements for adventurers, athletes, and anyone seeking to optimally fuel their body. When I discovered the program and read the criteria and mission of the program, I immediately knew it was a perfect fit. We are in a prime position to substantially grow and I believe the program will be an incredible opportunity to learn and gain skills that we can apply to our business."
  • Giles Hayward, CEO and Founder, Torii Labs: "Torii Labs was founded in 2016 to provide natural alternatives to the over stimulating, unhealthy products that can erode our health over the long-term.  I am committed to building the leading fortified beverage/liquid supplement company in the US and I need the right mentors and support system to help me grow efficiently and quickly."
  • Kyle Koehler, Co-founder, Wildway: "Four years ago we set out to create a company that fuels and inspires life's great adventures. We hope to learn from the experience and knowledge of those involved in the program on how we can effectively grow and shape Wildway for continued growth and expansion in order to further spread our health and wellness focused mission to as many people as possible."
  • Marie Amazan, President and CEO, YoFiit: "YoFiit was created with the mission to design plant based products that would rival their animal-derived counterparts in terms of their functionality and application.  Our company is at this tipping point where we are getting traction with our initial launch and we are ready to start scaling up, but only in an optimal fashion.  So having access to PepsiCo's leadership is a golden opportunity because such unparalleled expertise is like money to a bootstrapped company like ours, looking to stretch every dollar further."

Media Contact:
Allyanna Anglim

Back row (L-R): Giles Hayward, Torii Labs; Joshua Uptmore, Too FIT; Will Nitze, IQ Bar; Henry Kasindorf, Remedy Organics; Karsten Idsal, Hapi Drinks; Kyle Koehler, Wildway; Steve Terre and Eugene Wang, Sophie’s Kitchen Front row (L-R): Jeff Canner, Rule Breaker; Marie Amazan, YoFiit; Alex Englert, IQ Bar; Cindy Kasindorf, Remedy Organics; Nadine Habayeb and Priyal Bhartiya, Bohana; Kelli Koehler, Wildway; Nancy Kalish, Rule Breaker

PepsiCo logo (PRNewsfoto/PepsiCo)

SOURCE PepsiCo, Inc.