USA – Kraft Heinz has joined a number of US food manufacturers shifting to healthier options by launching Springboard brands, with an aim to grow organic, natural food brands.

The program seeks to support food and beverage start-ups with a focus on developing brands with a shift toward customers who are conscious of their health and wellbeing.

Smaller, independent brands will take full advantage of the company’s distribution and marketing expertise, research and development and consumer insights while learning from start-up innovations.

Kraft Heinz said that it will receive and review applications from food and beverage start-ups and brands, which will eventually receive financials to build their brands and guidance on how to secure additional funding.

Sergio Eleuterio, general manager of Springboard Brands commenting on the matter said that they were searching for emergent, authentic brands that could expand into new categories while building a network of founders to help shape the future of foods and beverages.

Springboard will work based on four pillars that is natural and organic, specialty and craft, health and performance, and experiential brands.

“It will take time to effect change at a company this size, and the Springboard initiative itself will not be sufficient. Nevertheless, it is a step in the right direction,” Jason Benowitz, a senior portfolio manager at Roosevelt Investment Group, told Reuters.

Kraft Heinz is joining global brands such as Whole Foods which have in the recent past established themselves through start-ups.

Campbell Soup company invested US$10 million in Chef’d, a bet on a meal-kit start-up.

On the other hand, General Mills are already ahead of the game, leading in start-ups investments since 2015 ranging from plant-based food and beverage, healthy snacking to other food start-ups including granola and cereal makers.