After part of the recent and seemingly ongoing mass exodus away from the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Kraft Heinz is pivoting toward smaller brands with the launch of Springboard Brands, an incubator of sorts for organic, natural, and “super-premium” food brands the company says are the future of the food industry.
The new platform, Kraft Heinz says, will “shape the next generation of food.”
“We are committed to support and partner with teams that will impact the future of our industry,” Sergio Eleuterio, general manager of Springboard Brands, said in a statement. “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.”
The company says Springboard will focus on four key pillars of the food industry: “certified organic, plant-based proteins, locally sourced, farm-to-table,” and “nutrient-dense superfoods,” Springboard says on its website.
Springboard will “springboard” itself into production with a 16-week “sprint” in Chicago for brands accepted into the program (applications open till April 5th for companies with under $10 million in revenue).
“The incubator’s infrastructure will provide program participants with a collaborative work environment and invaluable business resources including dedicated workspace, state-of- the-art pilot plants and commercial kitchens at Kraft Heinz Innovation Center in Glenview, Illinois,” the company said. “Each participant will have the opportunity to learn from The Kraft Heinz Company’s world-class management practices, global operating scale, and extensive food safety and quality capabilities.”
Business Insider notes that the move comes as Whole Foods, which was long known for a focus on local companies and building brands, has begun to shift away from that model after its acquisition by Amazon.
“Whole Foods has long been a key launching pad for new players in the industry,” reports Business Insider, “but some suppliers say that’s no longer the case due to new fees and policies”.
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