Chobani Launching Food Incubator

Next Spring, Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya will be launching the brand’s first food incubator in New York City. The company has been doing very well with sales increasing from $3 million in revenues in 2007 to over $1 billion by 2012. The newly launched six-month program will be offering up office space and contacts with potential clients. Chobani will also be allocating up to $2 million in early-stage investment for the first group of about 10 companies. Ulakaya has had the idea to launch a food incubator for some time now, expressing that they, “have learned a lot about the space, about the food, and we’ve proved our model works. The founding mission we had was better food for more people–why does yogurt have to be exclusive?”

The program will be putting emphasis on branding, positioning and pricing. Chobani knows that these factors are crucial to food startups as they too have made important strategic decisions to get them to where they are now. Ulakaya will ensure that the startup’s products are tasty and affordable so as to appeal to mainstream consumers in the same way  Chobani’s products have. According to Ulakaya, “Some of the [issues with obtaining this food] is that it’s a lifestyle, but a majority of it is also availability, and if it is available, it’s not affordable. We can start from a better position and make it better as we go.”

There is a webpage where Chobani urges new entrepreneurs to apply and the class will be announced in the next few weeks. The entrepreneurs will have access to a host of resources such as marketing and distribution, and will be mentored directly by Ulakaya. To read more about the launch of Chobani’s first food incubator in New York City, click here

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