CHICAGO – This March, Kraft Heinz announced a new company venture: Springboard—an independent platform focused on finding and developing brand growth, specifically looking at young brands to stay closer to the “pulse of innovation.”
As part of its incubation period to nurture small brands, Springboard has announced a partnership with five food start-ups, including Ayoba-Yo meat snacks, Cleveland Kraut fermented food, Kumana avocado-based sauces, Poppilu antioxidant lemonade and Quevos egg-white snacks.
Kraft Heinz will still sell its staples like ketchup and Oscar Mayer cold cuts, but has adopted a strategy that other big food companies are adopting. The new program does not take an initial stake in the five companies, but will provide funding and access to company scales, kitchens and tips. The program lasts 16 weeks and takes place in Chicago.
“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 of 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.”
There are already three Kraft Heinz brands operating through Springboard: Boca, a plant-based protein brand; Jell-O; and Devour, the frozen meal brand Kraft Heinz launched in 2016. Springboard is also partnering with David Chang's Momofuku to bring its Ssäm sauce to retailers.