BROOKLYN, N.Y., Aug. 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — NY MilkLaunch, a dairy-based product innovation accelerator focused on fueling demand for dairy among Gen-Z consumers in New York State, has selected SPYLT as the winner of its second annual competition. SPYLT has been awarded $150,000 worth of support to scale its product in the market.
Eight expert judges from top organizations across food, beverage and venture capital including Kraft Heinz, Chobani, Giant Eagle, KeHE, UNFI, and Apex Global ranked the companies on uniqueness, taste, viability/scale, and founding team. Additionally, over 500 Gen-Z consumers were polled via real-time research and data partner Perksy weighing in on which products they would purchase. Together, this criteria resulted in the selection of the grand prize winner, SPYLT.
SPYLT offers a high-protein, low-sugar, creamy, dairy-based chocolate “Energy Drink” loaded naturally with essential nutrients like calcium, B vitamins, potassium, vitamin D, and protein. SPYLT is not only focused on high-quality ingredients but is obsessed with the environment and that is why it comes in an aluminum 12 oz. can because of its environmental benefits over plastic.
NY MilkLaunch is run by leading corporate innovation advisory VentureFuel in collaboration with the New York Dairy Promotion Order (DPO). The competition, which aims to fuel demand for dairy among Gen-Z (10-23-year-olds) gives each member of the cohort $10,000 to help them refine their offering and provides elite mentorship from global marketing, packaging, and distribution experts from companies including Cayuga Milk Ingredients, Chobani, JPG Resources, KeHE, Perksy, Highlight and more. This year’s contest had a particular focus on sustainable innovations across traditional dairy products including yogurt, liquid milk, and butter, in addition to make-up, clothing, and more.
“Holy Cow!!! This is amazing. I still can’t believe it. It was amazing to see all these different ideas and brands who are pushing to innovate with dairy. What an amazing program that has allowed me the chance to be part of the New York Dairy family,” said Josh Mendenhall, SPYLT Founder and Chief Brand Officer. “I’m so excited for SPYLT to get out there in the world, and have so many people taste it for themselves and fall in love with this high protein, low sugar, caffeinated chocolate milk. We are just getting started.”
“We saw so many creative dairy ideas and new products that will energize Gen-Z consumers, it was incredibly hard for our judges to choose just one,” said Fred Schonenberg, Founder and CEO of VentureFuel. “SPYLT delivers true differentiation to seize a new market for dairy that will drive incremental demand for New York Dairy. SPYLT embraced our entire mentorship program engaging and learning from each of our industry experts – it’s really cool how quickly they have developed their product. Their future is very, very bright and we are proud to have them as our winner.”
The other 5 finalists included:
- True Scoops: shelf-stable ice cream and topping mixes crafted with the home user in mind for an easier ice cream making experience – no ice cream maker required.
- Mochidoki: premium mochi ice cream with elevated flavors, packaging, and ingredients.
- Elite Sweets: makers of a better-for-you donut that is delicious, keto-friendly, low sugar, gluten-free, and packed with protein from milk and eggs.
- Crème and Cocoa Creamery: Brooklyn-born, Caribbean-inspired ice cream & sorbet.
- Novel Foods’ Shay: a protein powder upcycled from upcycled cheese whey or Greek yogurt whey, and recovered nitrogen from dairy farm waste, providing an excellent source of amino acids while reducing the environmental impact of the dairy and yogurt industry.
Founded in 2014, VentureFuel is an independent innovation advisory that helps the world’s best organizations ignite change through startup collaboration. Its innovation programs include Diagnostics, Corporate Accelerators and Commercial Pilots; and focus on solving clients’ biggest challenges by driving greater efficiencies across their supply chains; closing strategic capability gaps; and identifying emerging business models. VentureFuel provides organizations like Hershey’s, Comcast, Dick’s Sporting Goods, AARP Foundation and the States of California and New York the tools to drive transformative change with less risk, more speed, and greater proximity to the consumer than traditional innovation models. Learn more at: www.venturefuel.net, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. You can listen to The VentureFuel Visionaries podcast on Apple, Spotify or Simplecast.
The Dairy Promotion Advisory Board consists of ten New York milk producers appointed by the Commissioner of the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, who serve a three-year term. The first New York State Dairy Promotion Advisory Board was appointed in May 1972 at the request of dairy producers. The board advises the Commissioner on the disposition of approximately $15 million a year in funds collected from milk producers under the producer approved DPO. It also makes recommendations on promotion and nutrition education programs and various dairy product and research projects. Learn more at https://agriculture.ny.gov/dairy/dairy-promotion-order.