Kellogg established eighteen94 in 2016 to invest in companies pursuing next-generation food innovation.
Kellogg Co. wants to fuel food innovation via plant-based pitches tailored to digestive health.
The company announced that its collaboration with Future Food-Tech includes an Innovation Challenge, “giving new talent in the industry a chance to shine on a big virtual stage,” Kellogg said. “Wellness is a major area of focus for Kellogg, and through this challenge, the company is seeking pitches on unique plant-based ideas that support digestive wellness.”
D'Anne Hayman, VP of global innovation and nutrition at Kellogg, will judge the finalist entries alongside Simon Burton, managing director of eighteen94 Capital, in a live virtual pitch event in March.
Kellogg established eighteen94 in 2016 to invest in companies pursuing next-generation food innovation, bolstering access to cutting-edge ideas and trends.
"Staying healthy is a priority for many of us now like it's never been before. And we know that good health — whether our own health or the health of our planet — begins with the choices we make about food," Hayman said. "As the original wellbeing company and one of the largest plant-based food companies, we're excited to help make the best ideas out there a reality. No doubt, we're stronger together than any of us is alone."
Research has provided a better understanding of the gut's impact on our mental and physical wellbeing. New plant fibers, valorized fibers from waste streams, prebiotics, postbiotics, fermented ingredients and new non-spore food stable probiotics all have the potential to improve digestive wellness — and thus, our mental and physical wellbeing. The challenge is to develop a new microbiome-based solution that improves gut wellness.
The Innovation Challenge will be hosted at the virtual Future Food-Tech summit (March 11-12), one of the biggest innovation conferences of the year, where innovators, global food brands, ingredient providers and investors will come together virtually with the intention of growing ideas from concept to reality.
Kellogg is looking for startups to apply their entrepreneurial and scientific skills to show how their technology could help solve the problem and deliver tangible value to consumers.
The judges will select a winner and determine the most appropriate way to work together, depending on where the winner is in its innovation journey.
"We have a passion for identifying and investing in great ideas," Burton said. "We're thrilled about the opportunity to seek out technologically-oriented, creative solutions for improving the health of the microbiome, and to help bring them to life."
Through its plant-based foods, Kellogg is driving growth through purpose — addressing food security and creating Better Days for 3 billion people by the end of 2030. Kellogg is focused on the interconnected issues of wellbeing, hunger relief and climate resiliency to drive positive change for people, communities and the planet.