Häagen-Dazs, together with EIT Food (European Institute of Innovation and Technology), today launches The Start-Up Innovation Challenge. This global project aims to explore the potential for innovation in technology and ingredients, with a particular focus on opportunities to further increase the sustainability potential of the iconic ice cream brand.

General Mills, which owns Häagen-Dazs, recently opened a brand-new Research & Development (R&D) center in Tilloy-lès-Mofflaines (North of France), next to Häagen-Dazs’ production site. This R&D center aims to research and innovate, whilst developing the ice cream flavors and processes of tomorrow for 90 countries around the world. The Start-Up Innovation Challenge will be an important part of Häagen-Dazs’ ambition to accelerate innovation by building direct collaborations with start-up companies from all over Europe and partner countries, on five issues related to the different ways of developing, distributing, and consuming ice cream.

Häagen-Dazs launches the Start-Up Innovation Challenge

Häagen-Dazs launches the Start-Up Innovation Challenge

Start-ups can apply via the EIT Food website. Ten businesses will then be selected to take part in a demonstration day at the Häagen-Dazs R&D Center on June 13th, 2023 in Tilloy-lès-Mofflaines, where they can showcase their brilliant ideas. After this demo day, at least two winners will be given the opportunity to partner with Häagen-Dazs and develop a POC (“Proof of Concept”).

Five key challenges for Häagen-Dazs, with a strategic focus on the environment

Participating start-ups will be asked to find innovative solutions to five key challenges for Häagen-Dazs. The environment is a key strategic focus, given the growing expectations of consumers as well as the ambitions of General Mills as a group, which is committed to:

  • Reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 and reaching carbon neutrality by 2050;
  • Achieving 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025 in Europe.
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The five key challenges on which startups will be asked to pitch ideas are:

  1. Indulgent sugar reduced Ice cream;
  2. Making Ice cream more resilient towards fluctuations in temperature;
  3. Creating Ice cream with the lowest carbon footprint;
  4. Improving the energy efficiency of the refrigerated dipping cabinets for Häagen-Dazs in shops;
  5. Creating the Ice cream packaging of the future with low environmental impact​.

Start-up companies who wish to participate or find out more on the Häagen-Dazs Start-Up Innovation Challenge should visit the EIT Food website and complete the application form.