Big Food is Fostering Innovation

Large corporations have been noticing how consumers have been favoring products made by independent startup food companies, since a good chunk of those provide craft, high-quality, niche, and, a lot of times, healthier products.

Needless to say, big food wants in. Especially, since this specialty food segment has a tremendous growth potential.

So, how is big food seeking innovation?

Companies like Campbell Soup, Chobani, Kellogg, Kraft Heinz, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Tyson Foods are creating innovation centers and/or partnering with existing incubators to help niche brands grow and flourish.


Pepsico’s new center for innovation is called “The Hive.”

According to Food Dive, “this incubator will be a separate entrepreneurial group outside of the core headquarters that will help nurture niche products already in the portfolio,” like for example Stubborn Soda.

As Foodable has reported in the past, PepsiCo also partnered with a Chicago-based, food and beverage incubator, The Hatchery, in order to look at other startup brands that have the potential of becoming a possible venture for the beverage giant.

Tyson Foods

Earlier this year, Tyson Foods announced that it will be working with two incubators—Plug and Play and 1871—linking the food giant to innovation hailing from Silicon Valley and Chicago.

That’s not the first time Tyson showed it’s commitment for innovation. In fact, the company launched a venture capital fund in late 2016 “to invest in companies developing breakthrough technologies, business models and products to sustainably feed the growing world population,” according to the company website.

Since then, Tyson has invested in brands like for example Beyond Meat, that promote sustainability and others that promote the internet of food, like FoodLogiq.

Tyson is spearheading innovation through its own brand, ¡Yappah!, which aims to fight food waste by utilizing “forgotten” ingredients like rescued vegetable puree and spent grain to make protein crisps, and investments in companies like Future Meat Technologies, an Israel-based “biotechnology company aiming to transform global meat production through distributive manufacturing of fat and muscle cells, increasing food safety and reducing ecological impact worldwide,” as stated in the company’s website.


Chobani is another company looking to foster innovation through its Food Tech Residency. The company set out specific challenges in the food and agriculture value chain they would like to tackle (like food waste, food safety, water conservation, logistics, etc.) and invites like-minded, early-stage tech and agriculture startups to apply for funding.

Currently, the brand is hosting it’s fourth incubator class, since it launched the program in 2016, with companies developing products like tea, hummus and allergen-free baking ingredients. Alongside the food startups, two tech companies will be participating in Chobani’s inaugural Tech Residency Program—CinderBio and Skyven Technologies.

Watch the video above to learn more and stay tuned to other Industry Pulse episodes to keep up with all the innovation happening around your business! To learn about other consumer trends involving sustainability like plant-based meals, watch the video below:

Meat Giant Tyson Foods Invests In Startup Growing Meat From Animal Cells

Meat Giant Tyson Foods Invests In Startup Growing Meat From Animal Cells

When a meat giant like Tyson Foods invests in a lab-grown startup like Memphis Meats, people pay attention.

Tyson Ventures announced earlier this week that it has secured a minority investment in the startup that is growing meat out of animal cells.

This is not the first time Memphis Meats makes headlines, though. The startup also has high-profile investors like Bill Gates and Richard Branson.

Memphis Meats’ mission is “to change the way meat gets to your plate,” with the goal to produce authentic meat without having to feed, breed and kill real animals. They aim to achieve this by developing a way to produce real meat in a lab from animal cells.

Read More

Google-Backed, Veggie Milk Could Have Lowest Eco-Footprint in Dairy Industry

Google-Backed, Veggie Milk Could Have Lowest Eco-Footprint in Dairy Industry

You’ve heard of alternative milk made from soy, almond, coconut and rice… but have you heard of a plant-based milk made from yellow peas?

That’s right!

Ripple, a startup backed by $44 million from Google and venture capitalists from Silicon Valley is selling alternative milk that not only has a clean taste, but also has just as much protein as that made from cows, reports “Bloomberg.”

It’s perfect timing since Foodable recently reported that there may be a milk shortage, or at least a milk price hike, due to globalization.

Alternative milk might just be the solution, especially if it’s eco-friendly and high in protein.

Read More

Techies and Farmers Co-create the Future of Food at Hack//Meat

Photo Credit: Huffington Post

Photo Credit: Huffington Post

Food, "Meat" Technology.

We've all heard of hackathons before. These meet-ups most commonly consist of hordes of tech nerds collaborating together on some kind of computer programming, usually somewhere in Silicon Valley. With so much knowledge in one room, it became apparent that these meet-ups could be used for the greater good, things like the sustainable meat industry. Ah.

Enter the meat-up.

At the end of June - in Silicon Valley, of course - Food+Tech Connect partnered with GRACE Communications Foundation and Applegate to host Hack//Meat Silicon Valley, where, for 48 hours, 250+ food industry leaders, technologists, creatives and entrepreneurs from across the US "gathered to co-create the future of food innovation." By bringing these completely different mindsets together, all with different skills, they were able to develop 24 tech and business models that tackled the main issues of the sustainable meat industry.

Read all the details here