Kraft Heinz Picks 5 Startups for Springboard Program


The Kraft Heinz Co. has revealed the inaugural incubator class for its new Springboard program. The selected startups will head to Chicago for a four-month program designed for learning, funding, infrastructure access and mentorship.

Launched in early March, Springboard aims to nurture and develop disruptive brands in the food and beverage sector and track new ideas and consumer trends, the company said.

“Hundreds of applications were carefully reviewed to select authentic propositions and inspired founders within one of the four pillars shaping the future of food: natural and organic, specialty and craft, health and performance, and experiential brands,” said Sergio Eleuterio, general manager of Springboard Brands. “We are excited to kick off our program with a group of great founders, amazing and purposeful products, that we wholeheartedly believe will succeed in the marketplace.”

Here are the brands in the program …

1. Ayoba-Yo


Ayoba-Yo produces South African meat products such as biltongs, droewors and boerewors, which the company refers to as alternatives to traditional beef jerky and meat sticks. The Oakton, Va.-based company was founded in 2009 and debuted its 400-­year-­old family recipes in the meat-snack market in 2017. Its products are sugar-free and air-dried for 14 ­days for ideal tenderness, the company said. “Ayoba” is a term used by South Africans to express amazement, agreement and approval.

2. Cleveland Kraut

cleveland kraut

Cleveland Kraut offers raw, unpasteurized, lacto-fermented sauerkraut in seven varieties: Gnar Gnar (similar to kimchi), Classic Caraway (traditional), Beet Red, Whiskey Dill, Cabbage & Cukes, Roasted Garlic and Curry Kraut. The Cleveland-based company, led by founders Drew and Mac Anderson, aims to provide great-tasting, healthy fermented foods “like grandma made” at a fair price.

3. Kumana Foods


Los Angeles-based Kumana Foods manufactures Venezuelan-inspired avocado sauce in three varieties: Be Original, Be Sweet and Be Hot. The sauces use real vegetable and fruit purees for a base, positioning the products in the better-for-you category, the company said. Kumana’s sauces are non-GMO, gluten-free and contain no added sugars. The company was founded in 2016 by Venezuelan native Francisco Pavan and his partner Todd Vine.

4. Poppilu


Poppilu is a lower sugar, high-antioxidant lemonade made with Midwest-­grown aronia berries, one of the highest-antioxidant fruits in the world. The Chicago-based beverage company has three Poppilu flavors: Original, Blueberry Lavender and Passionfruit, all free of artificial flavoring.

5. Quevos


Quevos are high-protein, low-carb and low-fat egg-white chips. Each bag of chips contains four egg whites and is vegetarian-friendly. Quevos come in three flavors: paprika, cheese and sour cream. The brand was founded by University of Chicago students Nick Hamburger and Zack Schreier.