JAS, a Dallas-Based Alcohol-Free Botanical Cocktails Startup, Named as a PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator Finalist

JAS is one of eight CPG and beverage brands startups selected for PepsiCo's Greenhouse Accelerator Program: Juntos Crecemos (Together We Grow) Edition. The five-month accelerator kicked off recently at Frito-Lay's HQ in Plano—and the winning startup will snag $100,000.

PepsiCo has announced the eight finalists who’ll be taking part in the second year of its Greenhouse Accelerator Program: Juntos Crecemos (Together We Grow) Edition. And one of the startups hails from right here in North Texas.

This year’s Greenhouse Accelerator “focuses on elevating high-potential consumer packaged food and beverage brands and products inspired by Hispanic flavors and culture that are better for people and the planet,” PepsiCo said. 

One of the eight participating startups is Dallas-based JAS, which crafts alcohol-free cocktails with adaptogens, botanicals, and “real ingredients.” Co-founded by New York-based Jaymee Mandeville and Dallas-based CEO Cecilia Rios Murrieta, the brand features products like the Paloma Libre—a canned drink infused with Ashwaganda and packed with “vibrant flavor, functional benefits, and a signature ‘Mexican pink’ hue.” JAS embodies a “Be Bold, Be Free,” lifestyle celebrating individuality and authenticity, PepsiCo noted.

Eight emerging businesses were selected as finalists to participate in the second year of PepsiCo’s Greenhouse Accelerator Program: Juntos Crecemos (Together We Grow) Edition, a five-month mentoring initiative designed to accelerate the growth of consumer packaged goods and beverage brands. [Photo: PepsiCo]

The accelerator kicked off with a launch event at Frito-Lay’s headquarters in Plano, where JAS and the other seven finalists were introduced to their mentors—”experts across research and development, supply chain, design, and more”—who will support them during this five-month program.

The startups—which received $20,000 each to help boost their businesses, and will compete for a $100,000 grand prize—”were assessed for their potential to introduce innovative products to the food and beverage industry, scalability and demonstrated commitment to quality, sustainability and community engagement,” PepsiCo said.

At the end of the five-month program, “each finalist will present the progress they’ve made, demonstrating how they’ve successfully implemented the learnings from their mentors to identify solutions to accelerate the growth of their business,” PepsiCo said. The expert selection committee will then choose one of the eight finalists to receive an additional $100,000 “to continue their forward progress.”

Besides JAS, the other startups in this year’s accelerator are:

JaziLupini – (Rochester, New York) JaziLupini provides plant-based, gluten-free pasta, dedicated to satisfying cravings with its low-carb, protein-rich formula. Crafted from premium organic ingredients and inspired by the flavors and culinary techniques of Latin American cuisine, it’s free from eggs, dairy, nuts, gluten and soy, and packed with functional nutrients for a nourishing meal option.

Mayawell – (Austin, Texas) Mayawell offers Mexican-inspired prebiotic sodas sweetened with organic agave and Active Agave™ inulin, serving as both a prebiotic and low-glycemic sweetener. With flavors like strawberry ginger with hibiscus and pineapple mango with turmeric, Mayawell provides a delicious and guilt-free refreshment.

Nemi – (Chicago, Illinois) Nemi Snacks offers delicious, crunchy sticks made with nopales, seeds and mercado-fresh spices. With five distinct flavors and whole food ingredients, these snacks elevate authentic Mexican flavors.

PAKTLI – (Cincinnati, Ohio) Paktli Foods crafts artisan super snacks with organic puffed amaranth, quinoa, millet, chocolates, dried fruits and nuts. Inspired by 16th-century Mexican alegrías, these snacks are organic and gluten-free, with vegan and soy-free options.

Pricklee – (New York, New York) Pricklee is a natural hydration beverage made from real prickly pear cactus, sourced from Mexico, packed with electrolytes, antioxidants and vitamin C. Its low-sugar formula uses 80% less irrigation than traditional crops, offering delicious and sustainable refreshment.

TOAST-IT – (Miami, Florida) TOAST-IT offers gluten-free, Latin American staples like arepas and pandebono bites made with authentic ingredients such as yuca root and baked plantains. Celebrating traditional flavors, their ready-to-toast products bring a taste of Latin American culture to the United States.

¡Ya Oaxaca! – (Austin, Texas) ¡Ya Oaxaca! crafts artisanal mole sauces adobos and salsas with premium, natural, non-GMO, gluten-free and vegan ingredients, capturing the essence of Oaxaca’s gastronomic heritage while prioritizing quality, sustainability and ethical sourcing practices.

“We have such an exciting cohort of finalists this year representing a diverse range of food, flavors and cultures,” Antonio Escalona, SVP of Emerging Business for PepsiCo Foods North America, said in a statement. “With access to quality mentorship, resources and a platform designed for growth, this program not only supports the expansion of these innovative ventures but also brings forth products that meet consumers’ evolving tastes for unique and dynamic offerings, driving forward both their success and industry innovation as a whole.”

You can learn more about the accelerator by going here.

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