When it comes to the food industry, being big has its perks: Economies of scale drive down costs for producers and consumers alike. But as the pace of food innovation accelerates to match changing consumer tastes and meet fundamental sustainability requirements, Big Food is becoming painfully aware of the benefits that come with being small — namely, rapid iteration and nimble operations.
The savviest names in Big Food are trying out a novel solution: launching venture capital arms to leverage the best of both models. By investing in and acquiring cutting-edge startups, legacy brands are borrowing innovation from young companies while lending the resources necessary to scale.
Kraft Heinz’s Springboard Brands is a prime example — and Kelly Reinke from Springboard’s incubator program stopped by the GFIdeas Entrepreneur Group monthly call to recruit top talent for its first cohort
[First time you’re hearing about this GFIdeas meeting? You can find the deets here.]
In addition to seeking new external opportunities, Springboard has already evaluated its in-house brands for reinvention. And what was the brand deemed worthiest of Springboard’s resources? In a testament to the newly bright future of plant-based meats, classic veggie burger brand Boca was crowned the winner. Kraft debuted the newly reformulated and freshly branded Boca Burger at Natural Products Expo West, where I witnessed a group of Millennials innocently ask: “So when will this new product hit shelves?”
Oh Boca, you trendy thing, you!
So, think you could partner with Springboard to become the next good-food great? The program is seeking emerging brands for partnerships and pre-seed startups for incubation with a strong product, strong story, and strong founding team.
If selected for the incubation program, here’s what you can expect:
- Education on all the food-biz basics
- Mentorship from dedicated team members and access to experts from Kraft-Heinz
- Funding in the form of a $50,000 safe, with no interest rate or maturity date
- Access to lab space, basic ingredients, a pilot plant, and a culinary kitchen
See if your idea or startup fall within Springboard’s four pillars and get going on your application!
In the meantime, apply to join our group of good-food entrepreneurs. We have an Innovation Department available to help you launch your idea!
To learn more about The Good Food Institute’s work, click this link.