BOISE, IDAHO — Albertsons Companies announced a new competition — Albertsons Cos. Innovation Launchpad — seeking small and independent brands with emerging food, beverage and pet products. The competition will be hosted at the Natural Products Expo West on March 8 in California.

“We envision the Albertsons Innovation Launchpad competition to be a fun and engaging way to connect with up-and-coming entrepreneurs and brands,” said Jen Saenz, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Albertsons Cos. “We’re always looking to provide our customers fresh, innovative products and new meal ideas. Through this process, we are hoping to discover unique items that can be considered for distribution in any one of our banner stores.”

During the competition, 50 companies will pitch their brands to a panel of judges. Companies will be evaluated on their products that address growing consumer interests in low-sugar and -carb, natural, plant-based, functional and healthy prepared foods and beverages, as well as premium pet products.

Three winners will be chosen to receive $170,000 in prizes, including cash, services and industry recognition. The winners will also be considered for distribution opportunities at Albertsons, ACME, Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Pavilions and other Albertsons Cos. stores.

Applications for the competition close on Jan. 31. Apply for Albertsons Cos. Innovation Launchpad here.

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