EIT Food, in collaboration with Häagen-Dazs, an American ice cream brand, announced on Monday that it has launched ‘The Start-Up Innovation Challenge.’
The initiative aims to explore the potential for innovation in technology and ingredients to enhance the sustainability potential of the iconic ice cream brand.
The announcement comes after General Mills, which owns Häagen-Dazs, opened a brand-new Research & Development (R&D) centre in Tilloy-lès-Mofflaines (North of France), next to Häagen-Dazs’ production site.
Based out of Minneapolis, USA, General Mills is a global food company with a brand portfolio that includes more than 100 brands globally, including Häagen-Dazs, Old El Paso, Nature Valley, and Fiber One. In 2022, General Mills generated fiscal net sales of $19B.
This new R&D centre aims to research and innovate while developing ice cream flavours and processes for 90 countries.
During the ‘ The Start-Up Innovation Challenge ,’ participating startups will be asked to find innovative solutions to five key challenges for Häagen-Dazs. They are:
- Indulgent sugar-reduced Ice cream
- Making Ice cream more resilient to fluctuations in temperature;
- Creating Ice cream with the lowest carbon footprint
- Improving the energy efficiency of the refrigerated dipping cabinets for Häagen-Dazs in shops
- Creating the Ice cream packaging of the future with low environmental impact.
Interested startups can apply via the EIT Food website.
Ten businesses will be selected to take part in a demonstration day at the Häagen-Dazs R&D Center on June 13, 2023, in Tilloy-lès-Mofflaines, where they can showcase their ideas.
After this demo day, at least two winners will have the opportunity to partner with Häagen-Dazs and develop a POC (“Proof of Concept”).
EIT Food: Building future-fit food system
EIT Food is a food innovation community, driving innovation to build a future-fit food system that produces healthy and sustainable food for all.
Supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union (EU), the structure invests in projects, organisations, and individuals that share its goals for a healthy and sustainable food system.
Through a variety of programmes, the organisation equips entrepreneurs and professionals with the skills needed to transform the food system and put consumers at the heart of their work, helping build trust by reconnecting them to the origins of their food.