Chobani is a smart business; a model food company. They have a tremendous product, the story of their humble beginnings is inspiring, their recent comprehensive brand repositioning and identity development effort represents a bold move by a fearless category leader, and they’ve experienced an unprecedented amount of success in a relatively short timeframe.

The company also gives back. The Chobani Incubator program is a meaningful manifestation of their “Better food for more people” mission. Prospective companies apply for the program, and if selected, receive an equity-free capital infusion in the form of a $25,000 grant, as well as mentorship, and other perks. Their goal is to “help small companies with big hearts and ideas challenge the food industry, improve broken systems, and make a difference” – meaningful, brilliant, and absolutely on-target for the brand.

From more than 650 applicants, Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya selected 9 food startups for the Spring 2018 class. The brands seem very promising, and we at Upstart Food Brands are always excited to see great food brands with new opportunity.

But what of the 641+ applicants that didn’t make the cut?

We’re not at all suggesting that Chobani take 650 companies under their wing. Chobani is doing their part, and their efforts are generous and commendable. They’ve given companies opportunity, and selected the brands that they feel best align with their mission. They’re investing in the success of these companies (both financially and personally), which alone is significant, but more importantly, they’re doing it for all the right reasons.

Presumably, though, the other 641+ brands have really interesting products and their own unique stories to tell. When we hear announcements of companies selected for these honors, our interest immediately turns to those left behind. These are the businesses that Upstart Food Brands is committed to helping. We’re inspired by the underdogs, and have geared our business model to support their unique challenges. Our mission is to offer food and beverage companies a better brand than their budgets allow. By helping to make the dreams of food and beverage companies a reality, we hope to elevate small market products to premium brands. We offer high-end brand services that you won’t typically find at startup prices, and we leverage the expertise of our comprehensive network of partners – who share our passion and values – to go beyond brand development to actual market penetration and business growth.

If you’re one of the many small and startup food brands out there looking for an advantage, get in touch. Whether you’re the Chobani applicants left at the altar, or you’re simply a company that can relate, we would LOVE to hear about your business, and see what we can do to help.

Josh Schipkowski

Owner of Upstart Food Brands, Josh is dedicated to helping food brands realize their potential.