Mondelēz International announced today a partnership with The Hatchery Chicago, a non-profit food business incubator, as it ramps up its innovation efforts to lead the future of snacking. The partnership is one of several investments the company is making as part of SnackFutures, the company’s innovation and venture hub aimed at unlocking snacking growth opportunities around the world.
Through the new partnership, Mondelēz International and the SnackFutures team will be able to connect with the local food and beverage start-up community and work together to accelerate and scale innovation. Mondelēz International will work with The Hatchery Chicago to offer educational opportunities and mentorship to entrepreneurs active in Chicago’s thriving food and drink scene.
“We are truly impressed with the talented start-ups coming out of The Hatchery and are excited to be part of this journey. As the world's snacking leader, it is increasingly important for us to collaborate with the best and brightest talent in advancing the future of snacking,” said Tim Cofer, Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer of Mondelēz International. “With SnackFutures, we want to disrupt the food industry by testing new ideas and scaling what works. Working with The Hatchery food entrepreneurs will help us push the boundaries of what is possible in snacking as we continue to build our ecosystem of partners while also giving back and offering guidance to new companies.”
As one of the largest food incubation spaces in the U.S., The Hatchery helps local entrepreneurs build and grow successful food and beverage businesses through three major areas of need: access to production space, financing and resources. Housed in 67,000-square-foot facility in the East Garfield Park neighborhood in Chicago, it provides job training and placement programs, creating sustainable economic growth and new job opportunities.
"At The Hatchery Chicago, we believe collaboration accelerates innovation and increases the rate of success for companies - big and small," says Natalie Shmulik, CEO of The Hatchery Chicago.
"Through this partnership with Mondelēz International, we’re creating even more opportunities for our entrepreneurs and community members to access the mentorship and industry expertise that will help them take their business to the next level."
A key pillar of the company’s consumer-centric growth strategy, SnackFutures is designed as an independent hub that brings three core tenets of growth under one umbrella to accelerate innovation: invention of new brands and businesses; reinvention of small-scale brands with large-scale potential, and venture investments with start-up entrepreneurs to bring emerging brands and strategic capabilities.
Supported by an unconventional ecosystem of best-in-class internal experts and external partners around the globe, SnackFutures seeks to collaborate in three key strategic areas: well-being snacks, premium snacks, digital platforms and capabilities.