Kraft Heinz looking for a few good 'ankle-biters'

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Kraft Heinz looking for a few good 'ankle-biters'

By Gina Acosta - 03/07/2018
The Kraft Heinz Company is launching Springboard, a platform dedicated to nurturing, scaling, and accelerating growth of disruptive U.S. brands within the food and beverage space.

In a sign of the changing landscape of the CPG world, Kraft Heinz is launching an incubator for smaller, disruptive brands in the food and beverage space.

The Kraft Heinz Company is launching Springboard, a platform dedicated to nurturing, scaling, and accelerating growth of disruptive U.S. brands within the food and beverage space.

The Springboard platform is seeking opportunities to develop brands with authentic propositions and inspired founders within one of four pillars that are shaping the future of the food and beverage space: Natural & Organic, Specialty & Craft, Health & Performance and Experiential brands. Founders will be encouraged to continue leading their businesses with support and expertise from Kraft Heinz in go-to-market capabilities, research and development and consumer insights.

“We are committed to support and partner with teams that will impact the future of our industry,” said Sergio Eleuterio, General Manager, 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.”

Consumers inclined to buy smaller or mid-tier brands are causing a major headwind to large CPG companies’ growth that shows no signs of dissipating. The emergence of these smaller challenger brands has given rise to the phrase “ankle-biters,” which tends to be used with derision as thought the small brands are a nuisance to larger established brands. One major impact of this new market dynamic has been a flurry of acquisition activity and large CPG companies look for a faster path to growth.

Starting today through April 5, Springboard will accept applications for first-to-market, disruptive food and beverage startups. Companies selected to participate in the Springboard Incubator Program will have the opportunity to receive financial support to build brands and guidance to raise additional funding. 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, IL. 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.

The Kraft Heinz Company is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. The company's iconic brands include Kraft, Heinz, ABC, Capri Sun, Classico, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Ore-Ida, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Plasmon, Quero, Smart Ones and Velveeta. 

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