Albertsons Cos. has begun its Second Annual Innovation Launchpad competition as it seeks emerging brands representing food, beverage and pet products.
Independent specialty and natural food brands between $2 million and $8 million in net retail sales are encouraged to apply for the opportunity to compete March 12 at the Natural Products Expo West in California. An award ceremony will be held the following day.
As part of Albertsons’ competition, 50 applicants will be chosen to present their emerging products and brands to a panel of judges. The products should reflect areas such as functional beverage, hydration, low sugar or carb, high protein, global flavors, healthy snacking and prepared meals and premium pet items.
The top three will receive prizes valued at more than $300,000, including cash and industry services.
Last year, the competition drew more than 900 applicants, with 47 selected to present before the judges. The three grand-prize winners were Like Air Baked Puffcorn, Evive Smoothie Cubes and Dream Pops Plant-Based Ice Cream, each of which received prizes valued at $170,000, including cash, services and industry recognition.
In addition, 10 brands received appointments with Albertsons Cos.’ national team and data and consultation packages.
“The inaugural Albertsons Cos. Innovation Launchpad competition was such a fun, engaging and lively way for us to connect with new brands, and we had a tremendous response from entrepreneurs hoping to have their products spotlighted,” said Jennifer Saenz, EVP and chief merchandising officer at Albertsons Cos.
“We are so excited to host this event once again. The competition not only opens doors for these emerging brands, but also gives us the opportunity to discover new, innovative products for our customers.”
The brands selected in this year’s competition will also be considered for distribution in Albertsons Cos. banner stores, including Albertsons, Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, ACME, Pavilions, Kings Food Markets, Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market, Market Street and Haggen.
Applications for are being accepted through Jan. 19. For more information, visit launchpad2024.powerappsportals.com.
About Albertsons Cos.
Albertsons Cos. operates 2,272 retail food and drug stores with 1,726 pharmacies, 401 associated fuel centers, 22 distribution centers and 19 manufacturing facilities.
In 2022, along with the Albertsons Companies Foundation, the company contributed more than $200 million in food and financial support, including more than $40 million through its Nourishing Neighbors Program.
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