NEW YORK — A new class of innovators in food and beverage are ready to showcase their progress at AccelFoods’ Demo Day III, held on October 27, 2015 in New York City. The selected entrepreneurs will present their companies to industry insiders, tastemakers, and investors. Co-hosted by United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI), the nation’s leading distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods, AccelFoods’ Demo Day III will feature a keynote speech from UNFI’s President and CEO, Steven Spinner.
AccelFoods’ mission is to provide game-changing packaged food startups with operational support, strategic partnership, mentorship, and capital. Companies are selected for investment based on key factors including: taste, category and financial opportunity, team, and innovation. AccelFoods’ hands-on operating team partners with founders to implement strategic changes to their existing models, designed to focus the businesses on long-term scale and success.
Providing access to key distribution channels is an essential part of the AccelFoods partnership with brands; and as the largest natural, organic, and specialty food distributor in the country, UNFI is the quintessential gatekeeper for these start-ups. The UNFI / AccelFoods alliance has grown even stronger in recent months as UNFI rolls out new programs designed to drive innovation in the food industry.
“UNFI is proud to partner with AccelFoods, fostering the growth of companies poised for success. Supporting innovative companies like those in the AccelFoods portfolio, allows us to gain a unique perspective and build relationships with promising, early stage companies,” said Spinner.
“Our partnership with UNFI brings incredible value to our portfolio companies by opening doors and imparting a wealth of industry knowledge,” said Jordan Gaspar, Managing Partner of AccelFoods. “We are so pleased to be working with UNFI and all our generous sponsors.”
“The development we have seen from AccelFoods’ Class III companies has been exceptional,” said Lauren Jupiter, Managing Partner of AccelFoods. “Each brand is smartly conceived and serves a specific need in the marketplace. We are excited for others to see their progress and look forward to Class III’s continued growth.”
Other key sponsors of Demo Day supporting the growth of emerging food and beverage start-ups include: 301, Inc., a division of General Mills; Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP; Avendra; The Co-Op Agency; Davis Wright Tremaine LLP; Dentons; Force Brands; Ignite Sales and Marketing Management; Rabobank; Leblon; Oskar Blues; and OTG.
ABOUT ACCELFOODS:Â AccelFoods is an early-stage investment platform committed to creating outsized returns for founders and investors through an operating team, industry engagement and impact capital. For a full list of AccelFoods’ mentors and strategic partners, and to keep track of its portfolio companies, visit the AccelFoods website at http://www.accelfoods.com.
ABOUT UNFI:Â United Natural Foods, Inc. (http://www.unfi.com) carries and distributes over 80,000 products to more than 40,000 customer locations throughout the United States and Canada. The Company serves a wide variety of retail formats including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators and the food service channel. For more information on United Natural Foods, Inc., visit the Company’s website at www.unfi.com.