Whole Foods Announces Inaugural Accelerator Cohort

Whole Foods has annouced the first cohort of brands in its Local and Emerging Accelerator Program, which provides mentorship, education, and potential financial support to promote business growth. The ten-participant cohort showcases emerging brands from across the country.

Upon completing the program, the participants will have the opportunity to become suppliers for the grocery store, gaining placement on the shelves of their home city’s closest locations.

The following brands are participating in Whole Foods’ program:

• Buns Bakery, a traditional Israeli-Jewish bakery offering babka, challah, and rugelach.

• CHKP, a non-dairy company harnessing the power of chickpeas.

• Coyotas, a Mexican-American tortilla company.

• Good Girl Chocolate, a bean-to-bar chocolate brand that uses coconut sugar.

• Numa, a taffy, and peanut candy company inspired by traditional Asian recipes.

• Onana Foods, a plantain-based tortilla maker targeting those with dietary restrictions.

• Pizzazza, a frozen pizza brand with an emphasis on local ingredients.

• Tangles & Beyond, a haircare product company specializing in infused shampoos and conditioners.

• THEO’s Plant Based, a company that makes beet jerky.

• Vamigas, a skin-care brand reclaiming Latin American Ingredients

Out of the ten brands featured in the accelerator, eight are food related.

“We are delighted to welcome 10 exceptional local producers to the first cohort of our Local and Emerging Accelerator Program,” said Will Betts, VP of local merchandising at Whole Foods, in a statement. “We look forward to sharing valuable insights into marketing best practices, strategy and channel development to help expand the cohort members’ brands while preparing to introduce their products to Whole Foods Market shoppers.”

Cohort members will participate in a 12-week curriculum taught by industry experts and members of the grocer, followed by a yearlong mentorship with a local forager and access to supplier benefits. Those who complete the program will be eligible to receive a $25,000 investment.

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