The brand will join the Kraft Heinz Springboard, a platform introduced earlier this year aimed at partnering with disruptive food and beverage brands.
Read more here
The Kraft/Heinz Springboard Incubator is headed into its second year after a successful first round launch in 2018. Graduates of the first cohort - including Melanie Kahn, founder of Poppilu; Drew and Mac Anderson, co-founders of Cleveland Kraut; and Nick Hamburger, founder of Quevos - were on site at Tuesday night’s CFBN Start-Ups networking event to share testimonials and insight into the resources and access that the Kraft Springboard program affords. Kelly Reinke, Springboard’s Incubator Lead, shared a deep dive into this year’s plans - including the exciting announcement that the Springboard team intends to offer greater opportunity by running two separate cohort cycles in 2019.
The room was full of Midwest start-up founders - from the greater Chicagoland community - and conversations dove heavy into the innovation spaces around beverage, nutrition, and the powdered supplement categories. All category sectors had interest and representation amongst the night’s gathering of entrepreneurs and founders.
Kraft/Heinz’s Springboard program provides access to their R&D facility and team, led by Tim Downey, during their incubation and he was on hand during Tuesday’s event and was heavily sought out by guests during the night’s networking. The program’s ability to offer early stage companies access to prototyping, product formulation feedback, and nutritional and component analysis is a major advantage of the incubator’s partnership with Kraft/Heinz and their state-of-the-art facilities in the Chicago area.
CFBN will be launching a monthly networking program for early stage and start-up ventures as part of its’ 2019 programming in partnership with local incubators and accelerators, and organizations in the entrepreneurial space. Reach out for more information and stayed tuned for programming announcements in the new year.
Bader-Rutter’s gorgeous conference center overlooking the Wrigley building and the Chicago river, hosted our final content program of 2018 with a panel that tackled, The New Rules of Food Marketing.
The panel’s conversation, moderated by CFBN Executive Director Alan Reed, ranged across topics from brand identity and loyalty in this new digital age, to relationship building with the consumer, and the changing role of innovation and adaptability in the new marketplace. The “New Rules” offered by the panelists and guests own experience, ranging from B2B to start-up ventures, offered an engaging conversation into how standard marketing tactics will have to and are changing for companies globally.
The panel’s New Rules of Food Marketing…
Ned Brown, CCO, Bader Rutter
1. Authenticity is the new price of entry.
2. Brands create IP through ideas not ingredients.
Michelle Lorge, VP Marketing, Simple Mills
1. It’s a relationship, not a one-night stand.
2. Innovation doesn’t require perfection.
Janet Garetto, Partner/Intellectual Property Law, Nixon Peabody
1. Your brand is intellectual property – it’s more important than ever.
2. Your brand isn’t just your logo or trademark – it’s the experience.
Kristin Kroepfl, VP of Marketing & Sales Strategy, Kellogg
1. It’s about the experience, not a media plan.
2. Don’t fight the brand.
Thank you again to all of our panelists for their insight, and all of our attendees for making this a great and well attended event. We are looking forward to the conversations of 2019, with a new range of topics to explore. Stay tuned for updates on our 2019 calendar, coming in January!
For four years, SnackNation grew its business by delivering boxes of bars, chips, beverages and other foods to subscribers that now number tens of thousands of homes and more than half a million people working in about 5,000 offices, it said. All the while, the Culver City, Calif.-based company has built a secondary revenue stream: collecting insights on products and selling this data to the food companies that created them.
"We test over 100 brands per month through very discerning palates," said Sean Kelly, CEO and co-founder of SnackNation. "This is really important data and insights to get back to the brands. We, at the end of the day, are a brand builder. We want to help these emerging brands succeed and win."
Food makers betting on pets to make up for falling sales to people are facing some familiar problems. Pet foods with fancier ingredients are eating away at market share for mainstream brands. Snacks for dogs and cats are selling faster than meals. And a flood of new products is putting pressure on prices.
Read the full article here
Two years ago, CPG giant Campbell’s greenlit a somewhat audacious project: to support four employees seeking to launch the Soulfull Project, a mission-driven brand that would operate with limited autonomy. However, despite having enjoyed growth while under Campbell’s auspices, the breakfast brand announced this week it would spin-off as a unique entity due to recent shifts in Campbell’s focus.
In the two years since its inception, the Soulfull Project has grown its distribution from 14 stores to close to 3,000 retailers — including Wegman’s, ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Shaw’s, Central Market, Fred Meyer and, most recently, Sprouts Farmers Market. The company has a give back model where For every hot cereal purchased, the company donates an equivalent amount to a local food bank and, to date, has donated over 1 million meals.
Katlin Smith, CEO of our member Simple Mills, Diane Sayler, Associate Director with our member Kellogg and Jake Stewart, Head of Commerce Sales at Kraft Heinz, have all been recognized in Ad Week's "20 Rising Brand Stars Changing the Landscape of Chicago." Read about their personal experiences and insights here.
Read the full article from FoodDive here
More than four in five firms in the industry are raising wages or boosting signing bonuses, according to a survey of about 400 executives by Deloitte LLP and the National Association of Manufacturers. More than two-thirds said compensation had a moderate to very high impact on retention, while 32% said it had low or no impact.
Raises are showing up in U.S. data: October marked the first month of annual wage gains above 3% since 2009. There are nearly half a million job openings in manufacturing, even after a strong pace of hiring that’s added almost that many to payrolls over the past two years, Labor Department data show. Pay raises should help to attract and retain people as the hiring pool shrinks.
Read this full article from Industry Week here
While Chicago is known for its pizza, what might not be common knowledge is that the city is home to 4,500 food manufacturing companies.
And like the rest of the manufacturing world, they are having trouble finding qualified workers for job openings. Not a city to sit idle, it created The Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network (CFBN). The group’s goal is to tap into the collective knowledge of local industry food & beverage players -- big and small – to help identify curriculum needs to train a workforce.
Read the full article from Industry Week here
Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network
1 W Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603
Tel (312) 525-9653