Springboard, the platform launched in March by Kraft Heinz, is revealing its first incubator class. Springboard’s purpose is to scale, nurture and accelerate the growth of disruptive brands. Its new incubator program class was created for just that. The program will help nurture and develop the next generation of food and beverage brands.
In addition, this program allows Springboard to nurture and be close to entrepreneurs whilst staying on top of consumer trends. The program is composed of funding, learning, infrastructure access and mentorship and is based in Chicago, IL. The five chosen disruptive bands will participate in this program for 16 weeks.
The five start-ups selected for this program are Kumana, Ayoba – Yo, Cleveland Kraut, Poppilu and Quevos.
Kumana is a Los Angles-based company that creates original sauces. They are well known for their signature Venezuelan-inspired Avocado Sauce. Their products represent diverse flavors from different areas of the world. The passion behind these products is supplied by Francisco Pavan and partner Todd Vine.
The second brand, Ayoba, is a start-up that’s introducing an alternative to the traditional Biltong & Droewors beef jerky and meat sticks. In 2017, Wian and Emilie Van Bloomstein, founders of Ayoba, introduced their nutritious and high-quality 400-year-old family recipe for meat snacks to the market.
Cleveland Kraut is a brand dedicated to serving healthy and fermented foods at a reasonable price. Drew Anderson, his brother Mac and brother-in-law Luke lead the team. The fourth brand, Poppilu, is an antioxidant lemonade brand. Poppilu’s founder Melanie Kahn developed a high-antioxidant citrus beverage which allows consumers to enjoy a healthier version of lemonade. Lastly, Quevos, founded by Nick Hamburger and Zach Schreier, markets salty and crunchy egg-white chips. These chips are low in carbohydrates and fat and are also full of protein.
The one thing evident in all of these selected start-ups is that they are all marketing healthy foods. Why is that Springboard chose these ones in particular? Definitely not by coincidence. It probably has something to do with the fact that shoppers today are more health-conscious. A study conducted in 2016 showed that 66 percent of consumers claim to avoid unhealthy ingredients. It was found that 22 percent are worried the food they are eating is not nutritious enough and around 26 percent of consumers are looking for products that are nutritionally advanced.
Investing in healthier companies will help Heinz ride this trend train to the top. However, they are not the only manufacturers that have caught on to this. In 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods and PepsiCo acquired KeVita kombucha. The list of healthy food company acquisitions doesn’t stop there; In 2017 Mars invested in Kind, the healthy fruit and nut snack.
Investing in other companies isn’t the only way companies are trying to make a healthier change. Coca-Cola is trialing their no sugar, stevia sweetened coke in the New Zealand market. Even Nestle is aiming to cut more sugar, salt and saturated fats from its products.