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Target, the US retailer, has launched an accelerator programme aimed at “disruptive” food and beverage manufacturers.

The Minneapolis-based grocer – a top ten US retailer by size – said its Target Takeoff Food and Beverage 2021 programme is “perfect for mature retail companies looking to scale and learn what it takes to get their products into Target retail stores”.

It will take place from 19 July until 20 August and applications need to be in by 10 May.

Target, which has close to 2,000 stores, said: “Part accelerator, part boot camp, Target Takeoff Food and Beverage is a five-week, consumer product start-up accelerator that is designed to help you build the knowledge and connections to take your brand to the next level. You’ll learn the ins and outs of mass retail while working with a team of mentors and Target leaders to better position your brand.”

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Participants will be selected based on team, assortment, innovation pipeline, traction and potential growth at Target stores.

During the programme, the chosen companies will work virtually with mentors, collaborate with other entrepreneurs and participate in skill-building sessions, culminating in the opportunity to pitch to Target category buyers.

A US$3,000 stipend will be provided to cover expenses such as samples and equipment.

Read just-food's guide - Hatching new ideas - Big Food's incubator and accelerator programmes