USA – The Kraft Heinz Company has partnered with agri-food tech accelerator StartLife to help it connect with startups and drive innovation to meet consumer expectations for taste, nutrition, and the planet.
The partners announced their collaboration at the Future Food Tech event that was held in London.
Miriam Ueberall, VP R&D International at Kraft Heinz, said the company was impressed with StartLife’s ambition, the strength of its network, and its track record in developing successful partnerships in the agri-food tech sector.
“We maintain and grow skills in our core capabilities, but with our portfolio expanding and as consumer needs become more demanding, startups play a very important role,” she said.
The company is seeking unique technology in areas like clean label ingredients, reducing sugar and salt, reducing waste, as well as new delivery routes and acquisition opportunities, to make healthier, tastier, and more sustainable goods.
By 2050, the corporation also wants to have net-zero carbon emissions. The global food business is facing several significant problems, and Kraft Heinz is focusing on solutions to address economic pressures and supply security.
“We are looking for solutions across our entire value chain to make sure the global population is able to buy healthy, affordable food at an appropriate price point,” Ueberall said.
“We need to re-stitch the value chain in new ways, and that’s where we can benefit from the unique approaches and diverse thinking most startups have.”
Startups can benefit greatly from working with Kraft Heinz, including having access to its extensive network, knowledge, and market research, as well as its R&D facilities, which can be used to test ideas on a small scale.
StartLife, the premier agri-food tech start-up accelerator in Europe, was developed in partnership with Wageningen University & Research.
Its goal is to enable entrepreneurs to create and expand start-ups using ground-breaking technologies that influence a sustainable food system.
The Netherlands-based firm offers a wide range of services, such as access to a global network of start-ups, investors, corporates and specialists, non-equity finance, and top industry business mentors.
StartLife has aided more than 400 start-ups since its founding in 2010, and they have so far raised more than €320 million (US$308) in follow-on funding.
“StartLife’s partnership with Kraft Heinz will give start-ups the tools they need to scale their business, which can be a knowledge-intensive and capital-intensive process,” said StartLife’s Managing Director Jan Meiling.
He noted that many start-ups in food tech are first-time entrepreneurs trying to navigate a complicated value chain and at some stage in their development, they need an existing player, either for access to raw materials, to the market and their brands, or to certain facilities.
“Our partnership with Kraft Heinz brings together the world of startups with the corporate world and we have already shown that we know how to make this formula work.” He added.
Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE