From grain-free tortillas made from nopales to repurposing wastewater: The 10 Hispanic startups to join PepsiCo’s Juntos Crecemos mentorship series

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

PepsiCo is helping to fuel the growth of Hispanic small businesses with access to top-of-the-line mentorship and business resources. Pic: GettyImages
PepsiCo is helping to fuel the growth of Hispanic small businesses with access to top-of-the-line mentorship and business resources. Pic: GettyImages

Related tags PepsiCo Frito-Lay Juntos Crecemos Greenhouse Accelerator Programme Hispanic and latino americans startups Snacks Sustainability mentorship Wastewater market analysis

For the first time in its history, the snacking giant’s Greenhouse Accelerator Programme is focused on supporting emerging Hispanic businesses that have the potential to bring forth transformative solutions to improve consumer experience, sustainability and efficiency across the F&B industry.

The 10 Hispanic-owned startups selected to participate in PepsiCo’s Greenhouse Accelerator Programme: Juntos Crecemos (Together We Grow) Edition ​represent a diverse range of startups in the categories of snacks,  beverages, market analytics, sustainable packaging solutions, environmental impact and waste reduction.

PepsiCo's 2023 Hispanic Greenhouse Programme
PepsiCo's 2023 Juntos Crecemos cohort

This edition of the accelerator has partnered with PepsiCo Juntos Crecemos - a multifaceted platform part of  PepsiCo's Racial Equality Journey designed to provide short and long-term support to Hispanic small businesses over five years.

The finalists were announced at a launch event in Plano, Texas, where they had the opportunity to present an overview of their mission and then paired with a PepsiCo mentorship team skilled in R&D, supply chain and design.

Fuelling growth

“We’re excited to continue helping to fuel the growth of these Hispanic small businesses, not only through financial support, but also by providing them access to top-of-the-line mentorship and business resources,”​ said Esperanza Teasdale, VP and GM of PepsiCo’s  Hispanic Business Unit.

“Through this Greenhouse Accelerator Programme, we’re committed to helping even more businesses grow faster and sustain their long-term performance.”

“Each company truly represents the Hispanic community’s strong entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity.”​ - Antonio Escalona, senior VP and GM, Hispanic Business Unit, PepsiCo Beverages North America

In addition to receiving a $20,000 grant and the six-month mentorship, each finalist will have an opportunity to secure even more funding throughout the year. In August, they get the  opportunity to showcase the progress they’ve made as a result of the support received from the accelerator. Then in November, an expert selection committee will award the business with the highest potential an additional $100,000 to continue its expansion and opportunities to work with PepsiCo and Juntos Crecemos.

This year's cohort

PepsiCo launched its Greenhouse Accelerator Programme in 2016 in Europe, expanding it to North America two years later. The dynamic programme is designed to evolve to keep its pulse on changing market trends and consumer needs, including sustainability and nutrition solutions.

This is the 8th​ Greenhouse Accelerator programme, and the objective remains the same: to support entrepreneurs in their growth.

Juntos 2023
Some of the participants

Tia Lupita​ (Los Angeles, California) is the first brand in the US to introduce nopales (cactus) as an alternative functional and sustainable ingredient in its line of grain-free tortilla chips and tortillas. Nopales are high in antioxidants, fibre, iron, calcium and potassium. They are also touted for their antiviral and anti-flammatory properties and promoted for treating diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and hangovers. Tia Lupita’s line of low glycaemic snacks also come with a sustainability story, helping to reduce wastewater and with a low production carbon footprint.

Chuza​ (San Diego, California) is spicing up the snacking scene with typical Mexican flair. Its range of spicy fruit and veggie snacks are infused with 100% Mexican spices and contain no added colours or artificial flavours.

Date Better Snacks​ (Los Angeles, California) is a feel-good chocolate bar, made with Medjool dates and rainforest alliance certified 85% organic chocolate. The vegan and gluten-free candy bars have less than 1g of added sugar per serving and no artificial ingredients.

Pisqueya​ (Brooklyn, New York) - pronounced pees-keh-yah - is a woman-owned Latinx-American startup that creates a line of hot sauces and seasonings. The company was founded to celebrate Latin culture and tradition while filling the gap in Hispanic Caribbean representation in the global food market.

I Eat My Greens​ (San Diego, California) provides chef-crafted plant-based soups that make eating veggies accessible and irresistible. The ready-to-eat soups help consumers meet their daily intake of nutrient-rich vegetables while practicing sustainable agricultural practices that reduce food waste.

Katrina Brewing Co​ (Miami, Florida) is the first to bring an authentic artisanal Mexican option to the emerging non-alcoholic beer sector. The light and crisp beer brand adopted the Aztec sun pattern in its logo to connect consumers with the culture.

True Spirit Beverage Company (Tucson, Arizona): The PARCH​ brand is the world’s first line of non-alcoholic, vegan, gluten-free, all-natural agave cocktails infused with desert botanicals and adaptogens. The ready-to-drink line of beverages is a modern and credible alternative to traditional alcohol for the mindful adult drinker.

Hyfé​ (Chicago, Illinois) repurposes food supply chain wastewater. The company uses the nutrients washed away in trillions of gallons of manufacturing wastewater to power the creation of carbon-negative essential goods like foods, materials and chemicals to improve their eco-back story and profitability.

Dathic​ (New York, NY) is an AI-powered platform that provides Hispanic market insights and analytics. The company provides actionable data to help brand owners understand market opportunities and create authentic cultural connections with multicultural consumers.

FoodWare​ (Bay Area, California) is powering the circular economy via a tech-enabled reusables tracking system & impact accounting platform. Its mission is to eliminate all single-use food packaging - one of the biggest causes of climate change and environmental pollution.

“We are inspired by each of the finalists selected for this year’s PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator cohort,”​ said Antonio Escalona, senior VP and GM of the Hispanic Business Unit.

“Each company truly represents the Hispanic community’s strong entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity.

“We look forward to seeing the progress made during each step of the six-month mentorship journey and setting each business up for long-term success.”

The Greenhouse Accelerator Programmes are aligned to pep+ (PepsiCo Positive), the strategic end-to-end transformation that puts sustainability and human capital at the centre of how PepsiCo creates value. The Lay’s Doritos and Cheetos makers products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world, generating more than $86bn in net revenue for the company in 2022.

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