CHICAGO – The Kraft Heinz Company is launching Springboard, a new platform “dedicated to fostering, scaling and accelerating the growth of disruptive American brands within the food and beverage sector,” the company said.
The Springboard platform seeks to help brands grow 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 protein, locally sourced, farm-to-table and nutrient-dense superfoods.
“Consumers are increasingly looking for a more balanced and healthy lifestyle to meet the needs of their families,” the company said. “A fundamental platform for the future of food.”
The Web site states that products in the Specialty & Crafts category are super-premium, “expertly crafted” products, often made using traditional methods and artisan techniques. The range also includes authentic ethnic and regional cuisine.
Health and performance products are those that are “the fuel for a healthy and active lifestyle,” Kraft Heinz said. These can 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 else,” said Kraft Heinz. “Experiential brands are using food as a platform for these experiences and production activities to change how and what we eat.”
Springboard’s partners will have access to Kraft Heinz resources, including its innovation center, management practices, operational scale and food safety and quality capability programs.
“We are actively searching for emerging, authentic brands that can expand into new categories and are looking to build a network of founders to help shape the future of food and beverage.” — Sergio Eluterio, Springboard Brands
“We are committed to supporting and partnering with teams that will impact the future of our industry,” said Sergio Altuterio, General Manager, Springboard Brands. “We are actively searching for emerging, authentic brands that can expand into new categories and are looking to build a network of founders to help shape the future of food and beverage.”
Additionally, Springboard is launching an incubator program focused on nurturing food and beverage start-ups in the pre-evaluation phase. The infrastructure of the 16-week program 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 who accept the Incubator Program will receive $50,000 in funding upon acceptance, with an opportunity. Earn up to $50,000 in funding during the program.
“The program was created to transform businesses with disruptive products and brands into thriving companies in the food and beverage industry,” said Kraft Heinz. “Companies invited to the Incubator are given a unique opportunity, with abundant tools and resources, to help them realize their goals.”