Big Food Races Toward Startups

Startups are shaping the future of food. Since 2015, global food giants from Tyson Foods to Land O’Lakes have launched venture funds and incubator program to attract early-stage startups. Startups will be shaping the future of food. Some examples of global food companies establishing venture funds and startup incubator programs are Campbell Soup with Acre Venture Partnerships ($125M Fund, Kellogg’s with Eighteen 94 Capital ($100M funds, Chobani has a food incubator providing $25K grants and AB In Bev with ZX Ventures. Food funds operate with various structures. For example, General Mills’ 301 Inc. are managed internally by the Corporation. ¬†Campbell’s Acre Venture Partners are managed by external investors with the Campbells as the sole limited partner.

FYI Chobani, associated with New York State and the second-largest yogurt maker in the USA, has picked Idaho, not NYS, as the site its new $21 million research center. This Greek yogurt giant was founded by a former UAlbany student, Hamdi Ulukaya, and has its headquarters in New Berlin, NY about 100 miles west of Albany. Chobani grew rapidly after first arriving on store shelves in 2007. It has now grown to $2 billion in annual sales. Governor Cuomo has bragged about Chobani being in New York State. Now Idaho Governor Butch Otter said Chobani’s expansion is evidence that the company has strong roots in Idaho.

Future oriented people should look to creating new food products for success.