Kraft Heinz Selects First Springboard Incubator Food & Beverage Brands

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Kraft Heinz Springboard - first class of brands May 2018

The Kraft Heinz Company—the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world—announced the Springboard incubator in March to help nurture, scale and accelerate the growth of disruptive brands. It’s using its experience as a global leader in the F&B space to help shape the future of food by giving startups a leg up.

That’s in addition to refreshing its own brands and developing new brands such as partnering with chef David Chang to co-create Momofuku’s first consumer brand, with three flavors of Ssäm Sauce now available in the U.S. via Amazon.

Springboard has even partnered the Kraft Heinz Devour Foods line with the Deadpool 2 movie, being released on May 18, in an inspired and unexpected marketing tie-in for both brands.

Now Kraft Heinz has revealed the first class of brands it’s working with, selecting five startups to guide through its inaugural Springboard Incubator Program class. As detailed below, the winning startups include antioxidant lemonade, avocado-based sauces, egg-white chips, fermented kraut and South-African biltong & droëwors—any of which may become a breakout food trend with the support and expertise of the Kraft Heinz and Springboard teams.

The brands it selected are “breaking the mold, trying new things,” said Eduardo Luz, Kraft Heinz’s president of U.S. grocery, to CNBC. “As we get closer to them … we see what works,” he added.

“Hundreds of applications were carefully reviewed to select authentic propositions and inspired founders within one of the four pillars shaping the future of food: Natural & Organic, Specialty & Craft, Health & Performance, and Experiential brands,” said Sergio Eleuterio, General Manager, Springboard Brands. “We are excited to kick off our program with a group of great founders, amazing and purposeful products, that we wholeheartedly believe will succeed in the marketplace.”

Over the course of the next 16 weeks, the selected startups will participate in a dynamic program composed of learning, funding, infrastructure access, and mentorship in Chicago. Meet the first Springboard brands:

Ayoba-Yo

Ayoba-Yo introduces a high quality, nutritious, and delicious alternative to traditional beef jerky and meat sticks with Biltong and Droewors. Founders and South-African native brothers, Wian and Emile van Blommestein, introduced their 400-year-old family recipe to the market in 2017. Their 14-day air-drying process, combined with high quality meat cuts and spices deliver incredibly tender, savory, and sugar-free products with no shortage of flavor.

Cleveland Kraut

Cleveland Kraut is perfectly positioned to grow within the fermented foods market. A bold brand, grounded in and proud of its Cleveland heritage, dedicated to serving the great tasting healthy fermented foods at a fair price. The team is led by Drew Anderson who, along with his brother Mac and brother-in-law Luke, aim to be the kings of fermented foods by expanding from their kraut roots.

Kumana avocado sauce

Kumana, known for its signature Venezuelan-inspired Avocado Sauce, is a Los Angeles-based company creating original sauces representing the diverse and delicious flavors from different regions of the worlds. Venezuelan native, Francisco Pavan, and his partner Todd Vine channeled their passion for pure discovery into the core values of this brand.

Poppilu lemonade

Poppilu, a Chicago-based antioxidant lemonade brand, gives consumers permission to love lemonade again. Melanie Kahn, Poppilu’s founder, has developed a truly irresistible, mouth puckering, high-antioxidant citrus refreshment. It features Midwest-grown aronia berries, one of the highest antioxidant fruits in the world, and is one of the many reasons this brand will soar.

Quevos egg white chips

Quevos believes the days of sinful snacking are over– it’s time to munch on snacks made from real food that taste great and are even greater for you. Quevos are salty and crunchy egg-white chips, that are low in carbs and fat, and packed with protein. The disruptive brand was founded by young, ambitious University of Chicago students-Nick Hamburger and Zach Schreier.

Springboard seeks opportunities to develop brands with authentic propositions and inspired founders within one of four pillars that are shaping the future of the food and beverage space: Natural & Organic, Specialty & Craft, Health & Performance and Experiential brands.

In addition to nurturing startups, Kraft Heinz is innovating on its own: it has a new partnership with the Food Network and on May 1 launched Heinz Real Mayonnaise. Later this year, watch for the hybrid ketchup/mayo Mayochup — a concept it greenlit in response to overwhelming public feedback for the idea on social media.

It also, of course, manages and owns iconic brands including its flagship Kraft (known for its mac’n’cheese), Heinz (ketchup, beans and more), ABC, Capri Sun, Classico, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Ore-Ida, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Plasmon, Quero, Smart Ones and Velveeta.

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