Springboard, a platform launched by Kraft Heinz in March to nurture, scale, and accelerate growth of disruptive brands, announced its inaugural Incubator Program class. The program was created to help nurture and develop the next generation of food & beverage brands, while staying close to entrepreneurs, new ideas and consumer trends.
“Hundreds of applications were carefully reviewed to select authentic propositions and inspired founders within one of the four pillars shaping the future of food: Natural & Organic, Specialty & Craft, Health & Performance, and Experiential brands,” said Sergio Eleuterio, General Manager, Springboard Brands. “We are excited to kick off our program with a group of great founders, amazing and purposeful products, that we wholeheartedly believe will succeed in the marketplace.”
Over the course of the next 16 weeks, the selected startups will participate in a dynamic program composed of learning, funding, infrastructure access, and mentorship in Chicago. 
Ayoba-­Yo introduces a high quality, nutritious, and alternative to traditional beef jerky and meat sticks, known as Biltong & Droewors. Founders and South-­African native brothers, Wian and Emile van Blommestein, introduced their 400-­year-­old family recipe to the market in 2017. Their 14-­day air-­drying process, combined with high quality meat cuts and spices deliver incredibly tender, savory, and sugar-­free products. 
Cleveland Kraut is positioned to grow within the fermented foods market. A bold brand, grounded in and proud of its Cleveland heritage, dedicated to serving healthy fermented foods at a fair price. The team is led by Drew Anderson who, along with his brother Mac and brother-­in-­law Luke, aim to be the kings of fermented foods by expanding from their kraut roots. 
Kumana, best known for its signature Venezuelan-­inspired Avocado Sauce, is a Los Angeles-­based company creating original sauces representing the diverse and flavors from different regions of the worlds. Venezuelan native, Francisco Pavan, and his partner Todd Vine channeled their passion for pure discovery into the core values of this brand. 
Poppilu, a Chicago-­based antioxidant lemonade brand, gives consumers permission to love lemonade. Melanie Kahn, Poppilu’s founder, has developed a high-­antioxidant citrus refreshment. It features Midwest-­grown aronia berries, one of the highest antioxidant fruits in the world. 
Quevos are salty and crunchy egg-­white chips,that are low in carbs and fat, and packed with protein. The disruptive brand was founded by ambitious college students Nick Hamburger and Zack Schreier. 
The Kraft Heinz Company

Product Spotlight: Poppilu Antioxidant Lemonade

Poppilu, an antioxidant lemonade boosted by a Midwest superfruit, has been selected for Kraft Heinz’s inaugural Springboard Incubator Program.  Founder Melanie Kahn is the only female business owner chosen to participate. Kraft Heinz and Springboard see the strong potential in Poppilu and are giving the company a jumpstart to creating a successful brand. 
Kraft Heinz’s Springboard initiative is dedicated to nurturing, scaling and accelerating disruptive US brands’ growth within the food and beverage industry. The new program will give startups invaluable opportunities for learning, funding, infrastructure access and mentorship over the next 16 weeks. 
Poppilu Founder Melanie Kahn is building a business based on her pregnancy craving for a healthy citrus beverage. Before becoming a mom-preneur, she had a successful career in consumer packaged goods, including developing and nationally launching fairlife milk which revolutionized the dairy industry and is now a joint venture with The Coca-Cola Co. Building on that start-up experience, Kahn created Poppilu, an antioxidant lemonade made with the aronia berries, one of the highest antioxidant fruits in the world and the only superfruit native to the Midwest. It also contains a fraction of the sugar of most lemonade, giving consumers one more reason to love lemonade again.

“It’s a great honor to represent female food and beverage entrepreneurs in the Springboard Incubator Program,” says Kahn. “I’m thrilled that Kraft Heinz believes in me and Poppilu and I’m looking forward to all the expertise they can bring to help the brand continue its expansion.“