Future Food-Tech’s next Innovation Challenge puts beans and pulses in the spotlight

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Kraft Heinz is on the search for a startup with a disruptive idea involving beans and pulses that will deliver tangible value for consumers. Pic: GettyImages/egal
Kraft Heinz is on the search for a startup with a disruptive idea involving beans and pulses that will deliver tangible value for consumers. Pic: GettyImages/egal

Related tags: Future Food-Tech, Kraft heinz, beans, pulses, plant-based, innovation hub, Kellogg company

The latest instalment of the Innovation Challenge series sees a collaboration with Kraft Heinz to scale up the stand-out submissions from forward-thinking startups.

The American food major has its roots in agriculture and is looking for ideas - including bakery and snack options - that will support consumer health through the addition of more beans and legumes in their diet.

Rethink Events has launched similar initiatives in the past with partners like Kellogg Company, Unilever, Roquette and Quorn Foods, designed to solve industry challenges by tapping progressive emerging talent.

This year’s challenge is open to a multitude of approaches – such as processing, boosting nutrients and improving gut health, among others – but must ultimately deliver on five key areas: namely, sustainability, health, affordability, taste and convenience. According to Kraft Heinz, it is looking for start-ups to apply their entrepreneurial and scientific skills to show how their technology could deliver tangible value to consumers.

Deadline for submissions is 20 August and the finalists will be announced on 8 September. They will then be invited to pitch their ideas to Kraft Heinz executives and a global audience during the live-streamed virtual Future Food-Tech Summit being held from 30 September to 1 October.

All finalists will be invited as guests to network at the summit.

One winner will be selected and will receive senior leadership coaching in marketing, regulatory, innovation and technology, along with access to Kraft Heinz R&D capabilities, such as the Innovation Centre and its pilot plant in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. The winner’s breakthrough innovation will also be showcased through Kraft Heinz’s media and communication platforms, and be offered help in scaling up and access to its distribution channels.

Fertile soil for innovations that address key consumer needs

“Kraft Heinz has a strong foundation in agriculture,”​ said Erik-Jan Ransdorp, international director of research and development for Better Meals & EMEA at Kraft Heinz.

“This foundation acts as fertile soil for innovations that address key consumer needs by offering affordable, tasty and nutritious products, which are convenient and environmentally friendly at the same time.

“We invite you to unleash all your entrepreneurial creativity and technological affinity to develop these revolutionary innovations.”

Oliver Katz, conference producer for the Future Food-Tech series, added, “We’re delighted to be working with Kraft Heinz to launch this Innovation Challenge and look forward to hearing from innovators who have new and exciting solutions to tackle this challenge.”

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