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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.
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:
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.
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.