The competition will provide Peekaboo with $200,000 in resources and funding to bring a snack-sized version of its products to market and expand the overall market for its products.
This is the second event of its kind by the California dairy industry designed to inspire ideas integrating the values of fluid milk and dairy ingredients into snacks to meet growing consumer demand and providing resources to help bring them to market.
As presented by founder and CEO, Jessica Levison, Peekaboo’s mission is to solve the parental dilemma of getting children to consume more vegetables by putting them into a format they can’t get enough of – ice cream.
As the owner of an ice cream scoop shop in Miami, she turned her frozen dairy knowhow into ice creams hiding nutritious vegetables. The products are currently available in pints at select retailers but Levison is looking forward to introducing the single serve snack line and expanding distribution with Real California Milk at the core.
"Like many of our fellow startups, we confronted what seemed like insurmountable challenges this year. This win validates our innovation, our mission and our team's hard work and resilience,” said Levison.
“We learned so much from this Snackcelerator experience and cannot wait to launch Peekaboo minis into the market – made with Real California Milk, of course! Much gratitude to everyone involved."
Alongside three other finalists, Peekaboo was judged on uniqueness or innovation, taste, the ability to scale and the founder team. Yummy Industries came in second place with its Cheese-Bits snacking cheese packs and will receive $100,000 in support for growth and distribution.
The Real California Milk Snackcelerator competition was designed to inspire innovation and investment in dairy based snack products, packaging and capacity within California by connecting manufacturers, producers, investors, ideas and entrepreneurs for sustainable products. The competition received 76 entries.
“This was a tough decision, all four of these finalists presented products that fit the needs of our current consumer and each with their own unique take on snacking. Peekaboo just had a slight edge because of its unique concept marrying two things that normally don’t go together like ice cream and vegetables and then executing the producer perfectly in terms of creative flavor combinations,” said John Talbot, CEO of the CMAB.
“Not only are we excited to grow the dairy snack portfolio offered with Real California Milk by helping to expand distribution for Peekaboo ice creams, we look forward to continuing our relationship with all of our finalists and semi-finalists to see what they are able to achieve.”
“Innovation is the ultimate growth accelerator for any business or category and this competition continues to deliver a flywheel of new ideas, new products and new ways to think about dairy from a consumer perspective,” said Fred Schonenberg, CEO and Founder of VentureFuel.
“When my family begged me for more samples between the semi-finals and finals, I knew we had chosen four winners all, of which can make an impact on-shelf. Peekaboo’s cotton-candy with beets flavor dominated the pre-judge chatter as one of the most delicious and unique desserts the judges had ever tasted, meanwhile Cheese-Bits was the product everyone was snacking on behind the scenes. They are making premium cheese easy to snack on and introducing new styles and flavors that will stand out.”
You can hear an interview with John Talbot, CEO of the CMAB, Fred Schonenberg, CEO and founder of VentureFuel, and Jessica Levison, founder and CEO of Peekaboo, on this week’s Dairy Dialog podcast, which will go live on Wednesday.