Kraft-Heinz announces latest Springboard qualifiers

7 Mar 2019

Springboard, a platform launched by Kraft Heinz in 2016 to nurture, scale, and accelerate growth of disruptive brands, announced its second Incubator Program class.

Kraft-Heinz announces latest Springboard qualifiers

Springboard, a platform launched by Kraft Heinz in 2016 to nurture, scale, and accelerate growth of disruptive brands, announced its second Incubator Program class. The program was created to help nurture and develop the next generation of food & beverage brands, while staying close to entrepreneurs, new ideas and consumer trends. The second Incubator class continues the vision and includes Blake’s Seed Based, BRAMI, Ka-Pop! Ancient inGRAINed Snack Co, Origin Almond®, and Tiny Giants.

All Incubator teams fall within at least one of the Springboard committed growth pillars: natural & organic, specialty & craft, health & performance, and experiential brands. Over the course of the next 16 weeks, the selected startups will participate in a dynamic program composed of learning, funding, infrastructure access, and mentorship in Chicago, IL.

Springboard is also announcing the application period for the third incubator class is open now until June 14th for the fall program which will take place August 5th through November 22nd.

According to Kraft-Heinz, the following are to be kept an eye out for:


Growing up with a deathly nut-allergy, Founder, Blake Sorensen, was frustrated with the lack of allergen-free snack options on the market. So, he began to make bars in his kitchen, using seeds instead of nuts. Blake quickly realized people with and without food allergies enjoyed them. Blake’s Seed Based mission is to make seed based, Top 8 Allergen-Free snacks accessible to everyone. Blake’s Seed Based products are not only delicious and safe for most eat, but they also donate a bar to a school in need for every box purchased. All great reasons to try Blake’s today!


In their Brooklyn test-kitchen, BRAMI reimagined lupini beans, a fresh legume snack beloved in the Mediterranean since Ancient Roman times. BRAMI beans are packed with plant protein and fiber with a fraction of the calories, carbs, fat and sugar of other snacks, so you can satisfy your hunger without compromising your diet. Marinated and packaged fresh out of the pickling barrel, BRAMI offers one of the few shelf-stable snacks that isn’t baked, dried or fried, and something totally differentiated to the growing functional snack category.


Ka-Pop! Ancient inGRAINed Snack Co has the mission to always be tasty, nutritious, and satisfying. Founder, Dustin, was tired of compromising taste for boring, empty, better for you snacks, so he created his own. Ka-Pop! is delicious and powered by ancient grains to bring fun and nutrition together. Ka-pop! wants you to save your snack time from boring “good for you” snacks that don’t deliver on taste and to replace those empty calories with protein, fiber, omega-3s, potassium, and vitamins.


Origin Almond believes the first step to better health is the reduction of excess sugars, especially the hidden sugars found in perceived healthy foods such as fruit juices. Founder, Jake Deleon, had a unique solution: Juice almonds instead of sugary fruits! Origin Almond uses cold-press technology to extract the liquid essence of almonds. This Cold-Pressed Almond Juice offers the fresh & lightly sweetened taste of premium fruit juices minus the excess sugar & carbs. Each flavor contains as low as 1g of sugar per bottle and is infused with a rainbow of superfoods and adaptogens to provide added functional benefits. Origin Almond is a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE).


Danielle Calabrese, mom of two and CPG entrepreneur, enlisted help from friend and Chef, Gregg Drusinsky to create a delicious and sustainable plant based snack brand for future-forward kids and parents. Together, they built a fun and empowering brand to fuel the superheroes of tomorrow. Their first product is a plant based yogurt that is certified organic and non GMO with no added sweeteners. Tiny Giants believes that healthy bellies equals happy kids and they are on a mission to change the way kids snack.


“We had an incredibly competitive group of applicants. All five companies in our second Incubator class offer delicious products that cater to the better-for-you offerings consumers are demanding,” said Kelly Reinke, Springboard Incubator Lead. “Springboard exists to help shape the future of food, and we are confident our next class does just that.”

Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business and Smet, a leading Belgium-based supplier of chocolate and sweets decorations to the food service and confectionary markets, have announce their intent to bring together their global gourmet chocolate activities.

“The proposed acquisition emphasizes Cargill’s commitment to its customers in the gourmet segment, building on the strengths of both organisations and enhancing complementary capabilities. We will broaden our product portfolio and services to artisans and chocolatiers, bakery, hospitality businesses and food service industries,” said Inge Demeyere, managing director of Cargill’s chocolate activities in Europe, “Smet enjoys great market recognition. As their brand joins Cargill’s existing brand portfolio, their unique entrepreneurial capabilities will be leveraged to allow for a dedicated focus on gourmet customers.”

“Together we intend to further strengthen our customer relationships and we look forward to continuing to serve customers’ chocolate needs, today and in the future.”

The combined business will provide significant opportunities to accelerate growth in the gourmet segment, Cargill said, and customers will benefit from increased intimacy and high speed-to-market with new decoration technology, enhanced production capabilities and a wide-ranging product portfolio. Smet has a global distribution network for gourmet products, two fully owned manufacturing sites in Belgium and Poland, and almost 90 employees.

“For over five decades, Smet is driven by a passion for chocolate and stands out with a relentless problem-solving attitude, innovative mindset and great flexibility,” said Theo Graban, executive member of the Board of Smet. Johan Smet, CEO of Smet.: “Cargill provides us with a unique opportunity to serve our customers with a globally integrated cocoa and chocolate supply chain, a renowned sustainability approach and deep chocolate expertise.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2019.

Related tags

Innovation and R&D

Related news