To help find the next innovative food and beverage brand, Kraft Heinz has launched a startup incubator to connect with early-stage companies that are looking to disrupt everything from lemonade to beef jerky. And it recently announced the first crop of startups that will participate in its inaugural program.
In March, Chicago and Pittsburgh-based Kraft Heinz announced the launch of Springboard, a program that looks to help food entrepreneurs turn their young businesses into thriving CPG brands. Through the incubator program, Kraft Heinz said it plans to provide startups with business training, workspace, access to mentors and other resources. Each company selected to the incubator program receives $50,000, with the potential to receive an additional $50,000 during the program.
Last week Kraft Heinz unveiled the specific startups that will participate in the 16-week program in Chicago. Here are the five companies selected to the first-ever Springboard program:
Poppilu: Chicago-based Poppilu is an antioxidant lemonade with no preservatives, no artificial flavors, and less sugar than other top lemonade brands. The company uses aronia berries, which are locally grown super-fruits that look like black blueberries and naturally turn the beverage pink. Poppilu sells in Jewel Osco and other regional grocery chains.
Quevos: Quevos is a high-protein snack chip that recently won first place at the University of Chicago’s College New Venture Challenge. Free from the carbohydrates and fat found in traditional potato chips, Quevos has developed salty and crunchy egg-white chips that are packed with protein.
Kumana: LA-based Kumana makes Venezuelan-inspired avocado sauces. Created by Venezuelan native Francisco Pavan and his partner Todd Vine, Kumana says it has developed the first shelf-stable avocado sauce. The sauces are available in hundreds of Safeway and Albertsons locations across Northern California and Portland.
Cleveland Kraut: Cleveland Kraut—based in, you guessed it, Cleveland—makes sauerkraut and other fermented foods. The company, led by Drew Anderson, along with his brother Mac and brother-in-law Luke, aim to be the “kings of fermented foods” by serving healthy fermented foods at reasonable prices.
Ayoba-Yo: Founded by South-African native brothers Wian and Emile van Blommestein, Ayoba-Yo has developed a beef jerky alternative called Biltong. It’s a high-protein snack made with cuts of beef that are air-dried for over fourteen days, rather than cooked like regular jerky, the company says. The end result is a product that has less sugar and artificial ingredients than traditional jerky.