Campbell Soup Company announced a partnership with Foodworks Brooklyn designed to assist up-and-coming food innovators with a passion for real food. Foodworks Brooklyn is a kitchen incubator dedicated to growing early-stage retail and wholesale food businesses. The partnership includes a Real Food Innovation Challenge and a mentorship program between Campbell experts and Foodworks members.
Campbell hosted the Real Food Innovation Challenge at Foodworks’ commercial kitchens in Brooklyn on July 25. The Challenge identified three innovative food entrepreneurs and awarded them funding to pursue their concepts at Foodworks. The winners were selected based on four criteria:
• Did their product/concept use recognizable and desirable ingredients?
• Did the entrepreneurs outline a sound plan to grow their business, with an understanding of the market and consumer dynamics?
• Was the product delicious and meet a consumer need in a compelling way?
• And finally, did the entrepreneurs present their concepts in a clear, concise and engaging manner?
Red Velvet NYC, a gourmet DIY baking kit designed to simplify home baking via a delivery of pre-measured local and recognizable ingredients and detailed recipe cards to make impressive desserts, was selected as the winning concept and awarded a $10,000 credit toward their Foodworks membership. Watermelon Road, a natural, clean snacks company with fruit and vegetable jerkies, and Better Almond Butter, an organic sprouted almond spread that uses Marcona almonds from Spain, were selected as runners-up. Each was awarded $5,000 to be used toward their Foodworks membership. Zesty Z, Keepers, BoonBox and Hany’s also participated in the pitch session, sharing beverage and snack concepts.
The Challenge began earlier this month when Campbell invited Foodworks members to participate in an idea pitch session. Nearly 40 entries were received and seven finalists were selected by Campbell to present their ideas to judges in front of a live audience.
“We believe that supporting the next wave of food entrepreneurs is critical to cultivate the future of real food,” said Emily Waldorf, Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Campbell Soup Company. “Working with Foodworks is an opportunity for Campbell to empower industry disruptors, have a window into entrepreneurs and their thinking, and apply it to the way we approach innovation.”
“Foodworks is excited to be working with Campbell on this fantastic partnership,” said Foodworks CEO and co-founder Nick Devane. “Campbell’s roots are embodied in their long-lasting commitment to aligning with purpose and innovation, and we're thrilled to have them work collaboratively to help empower the next crop of great food entrepreneurs.”
The judging panel included: Carlos Abrams-Rivera, President, Pepperidge Farm, Bethmara Kessler, Senior Vice President of Campbell’s Shared Services Organization, Mike Paul, Vice President, Marketing & Innovation at Campbell, Susan Westmoreland, Food Director, Good Housekeeping and Maxine Builder, Associate Editor, Extra Crispy.
The second part of the partnership is a mentorship program that offers Foodworks members the ongoing opportunity to tap into Campbell experts for counsel on topics such as branding, marketing, product development and packaging.
“The mentorship is two-fold, it helps Campbell employees think differently and challenge the conventional way we go to market, and it gives Foodworks members a chance to gain insights from Campbell experts on business challenges,” Waldorf said. “It is a great learning for both sides leveraging the best of big and small.”