Kraft Heinz Company is debuting its newest platform, Springboard, which seeks to develop and accelerate the growth of disruptive food and beverage U.S.-based brands. The brands the company is focused on with this platform fall into one of four fields: Natural & Organic, Specialty & Craft, Health & Performance, and Experiential. The company will support companies by sharing its expertise in go-to-market capabilities, research and development, and consumer insights.
“We are committed to support and partner with teams that will impact the future of our industry,” said Sergio Eleuterio, General Manager of Springboard Brands, in a recent Kraft Heinz press release. “We are actively searching for emergent, authentic brands that can expand into new categories, and are looking to build a network of founders to help shape the future of foods and beverages.”
In a vigorous 16-week pre-valuation stage based in Chicago, Springboard will hone in on food and beverage startups with its newly launching Incubator Program.
To be granted access into the Program, the business platform is accepting applications from first-to-market disruptive food and beverage startups now through April 5th, and once admitted, companies will have an opportunity to gain financial support to build their brands, as well as guidance on how to raise additional funding. Also, while engaged with the Program, participating companies will work in a collaborative setting, where they will gain access to business resources like dedicated workspace, state-of-the-art pilot plants, and commercial kitchens at the Glenview, Illinois-based Kraft Heinz Innovation Center. Making the Program even more invaluable are the lessons on world-class management practices, global operating scale, and extensive food safety and quality capabilities to which the companies will become privy.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Morningstar analyst Erin Lash expressed that this is a trend seen among several packaged goods companies. And Jim Slama, President of FamilyFarmed, said that healthy ingredients are getting all the love these days, with smaller companies focusing on this trend leading the pack.
“I think (the move by Kraft) is indicative of just how dynamic the space is,” said Salma said. “That’s what Big Food is looking for—it’s growth.”
While not all industry experts agree on whether this decision for Kraft Heinz is the best it has up its sleeves, most are on the same page that this pushes the industry forward with thoughtful consideration of trends and smaller companies creating them.
Companies wanting more information on Kraft Heinz’s new business venture, Springboard, and to apply for the Springboard Incubator Program, visit www.springboardbrands.com.