CHICAGO — The Kraft Heinz Co. is launching Springboard, a new platform “dedicated to nurturing, scaling and accelerating growth of disruptive U.S. brands within the food and beverage space,” the company said.
The Springboard platform seeks to partner with and help develop brands within one of four pillars: natural and organic; specialty and craft; health and performance; and experiential brands.
Natural and organic products, according to the Springboard web site, may fit the following descriptions: certified organic, plant-based proteins, locally sourced, farm-to-table and nutrient-dense superfoods.
“Terms consumers are increasingly looking for when fulfilling their family needs for a more balanced and healthy lifestyle,” the company said. “A fundamental platform for the future of food.”
Products in the specialty and craft category are super-premium, “expertly-crafted” products, often made using traditional methods and artisan techniques, the web site says. The category also includes authentic ethnic and regional cuisines.
Health and performance products are those that “are fuel for a healthy and active lifestyle,” Kraft Heinz said. These may be superfoods with antioxidants or products that support digestive health with pre- and probiotics.
Experiential brands are those created by more out-of-the-box thinking.
“When brands create memorable, innovative experiences, food becomes something more,” Kraft Heinz said. “Experiential brands are using food as a platform for these experiences and producing activities to change how and what we eat.”
Springboard partners will have access to Kraft Heinz resources, including its innovation centers, management practices, operating scale and food safety and quality capabilities programs.
“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.” — Sergio Eleuterio, Springboard Brands
“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. “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.”
Additionally, Springboard is launching an incubator program that is focused on nurturing food and beverage start-ups at a pre-valuation stage. The 16-week program’s infrastructure includes business consulting, mentorship from Kraft Heinz leadership and access to pilot plants and culinary kitchens at the Kraft Heinz Innovation Center in Glenview, Ill. Those accepted to the incubator program will receive $50,000 funding upon acceptance with a chance to earn up to $50,000 more in funding during the program.
“The program was created to turn businesses with disruptive products and brands into thriving companies in the food and beverage industry,” Kraft Heinz said. “Companies invited to the Incubator are given a unique opportunity with an abundance of tools and resources to help make their goals a reality.”