Applications are now open for Barilla’s new accelerator program for startups with sustainable food products and processes. The Italian CPG company’s venture arm, BLU1877, announced this week the launch of Good Food Makers, an eight-week program it is running in collaboration with San Mateo, CA-based food incubator KitchenTown.
Startups chosen for the program will first meet with Barilla’s team to identify challenges in their area of focus that are most in need of solutions, be that a new food item or an improved manufacturing process. From there, companies will set goals for the eight-week program and collaborate with Barilla on them throughout the program. According to a press release sent to The Spoon, applicants to Good Food Makers should already have a product or solution in market.
They should also be working in one of the three areas the program will focus on: the circular food economy, which is all about minimizing waste and making the supply chain more efficient; personalized meal solutions; and healthy snacks.
Participants need not relocate to take part in the program. Besides one week at Barilla’s pilot plant and testing facility in Parma, Italy, all work can be done remotely. While there’s no financial investment for startups participating in Good Food Makers, chosen companies get mentorship and collaboration opportunities with Barilla, as well as access to a wider industry network.
Barilla is just one of the many major CPG brands out there now hosting their own startup accelerator or incubator programs, from Chobani, which runs one of the most well-known programs of any CPG, to Mars, which launched the first-ever cohort for its accelerator this past summer. Linking up with younger, leaner startups is a way for these big-name brands to access both new technologies changing the food world as well as tap into the changing demands from consumers in terms of their relationship to food, whether that’s healthier snacks or curbing food waste in the home.
While Good Food Makers is BLU1877’s first official program, Barilla’s venture arm has worked with startups in the KitchenTown setting before, including sustainable snack company ReGrained and ingredient-tech company Planetarians.