Russia is not lagging behind though. One of the leading international companies, PepsiCo, has launched a unique program for food startups – business accelerator PepsiCoLAB. Mabius, a center for food startups, became an operator for the food track. Around twenty teams that come top at the final of the selection process will be able to launch their products with PepsiCo, and only after three months of this acceleration program those products will come up to a completely different scale while the best teams will be able to continue their business in a partnership with PepsiCo.
PepsiCoLAB received around 200 applications for participation, and we realised that our opinions as the project’s experts and the ideas of the startups creators are very similar. Nearly every second startup’s idea comes with a healthy food product concept, including those with the functional products. These products include yoghurts with probiotics and without sugar, energy capsules, healthy snacks with granola, sport drinks based on organic ingredients.
It is interesting how entrepreneurs come up with their ideas about healthy food products. During out meeting with the startup teams, we heard a lot of similar stories – many stated that they gained weight while studying due to an unhealthy diet or while working in a stressful office environment, but then decided to do more sports, lost weight, significantly developed their physical conditions and then, inspired by all that, came up with their own business that would contain functional nutrition ideas.