Today, we welcome The Kraft Heinz Company as the latest strategic partner of StartLife. StartLife will help Kraft Heinz connect with startups and drive innovation to meet consumer expectations for taste, nutrition and the planet. The partnership was announced today at the Future Food Tech event in London.
Although Kraft Heinz already works with startups through various platforms, this partnership marks the first time the company has collaborated with an accelerator program. 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 agrifoodtech 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.
“As we continue to transform Kraft Heinz into an agile, insight-led company with scale, we see startups as key partners in helping us learn, innovate and adopt new technologies or channels even faster, so we can give our consumers and partners the products, flavors and brand experiences they want the most.”
Seeking innovation for taste, health and sustainability
The company is looking for novel technologies to produce healthier, tastier and more sustainable products in areas like clean label ingredients, sugar and salt reduction, waste reduction, as well as new delivery channels and acquisition opportunities. The company also aims to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.Among other key challenges, Kraft Heinz is targeting ways to ensure security of supply, and to tackle cost pressures as raw material prices have increased across the global food industry.
"We see startups as key partners in helping us learn, innovate and adopt new technologies or channels even faster" ~ Miriam Ueberall, Kraft Heinz
“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.”
Bringing global markets and R&D facilities within reach
Startups also have much to gain from collaboration with Kraft Heinz, including access to its global network, expertise and market intelligence, as well as R&D facilities to test concepts on a pilot scale.
StartLife’s partnership with Kraft Heinz will give startups 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.
"Kraft Heinz will give startups the tools they need to scale their business." ~ Jan Meiling, StartLife
“Many startups in foodtech are first-time entrepreneurs trying to navigate a complicated value chain. 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.”
StartLife provides significant coaching to around 40 startups a year, but also works with around 400 more each year from all over the world.
Startups interested in partnering with Kraft Heinz should contact StartLife to arrange an introduction.
About The Kraft Heinz Company
We are driving transformation at The Kraft Heinz Company (Nasdaq: KHC), inspired by our Purpose, Let’s Make Life Delicious. Consumers are at the center of everything we do. With 2021 net sales of approximately $26 billion, we are committed to growing our iconic and emerging food and beverage brands on a global scale. We leverage our scale and agility to unleash the full power of Kraft Heinz across a portfolio of six consumer-driven product platforms. As global citizens, we’re dedicated to making a sustainable, ethical impact while helping feed the world in healthy, responsible ways.