Startups are pushing big companies to think outside the box

Jul 9, 2019 | Buyers, Suppliers |

Recently, Food TankSeeds & Chips, and Mondelēz International co-hosted a panel in Milan, Italy, featuring Danielle Gould, Founder and CEO of Food+Tech Connect; Pashon Murray, Founder of Detroit Dirt; and Brigette Wolf, Global Head of SnackFutures Innovation at Mondelēz. Food Tank President Danielle Nierenberg moderated the discussion on ways to create sustainability in the food system, consumer habits around snacking, and if businesses can be kind to the planet while still producing delicious foods.

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According to Wolf, consumers are now actively seeking out healthier snacking options—foods that are higher in fiber and lower in sugar, for example. She says that Mondelēz’s mission is to listen and deliver on what consumers want: “I think an example for us is the move toward whole grains. In the past three years, whole grain consumption increased in our product portfolio by over 20 percent…The standard way of eating three meals a day has changed, and we have to figure out how to eat healthily with those changes.”

She also discussed the virtues of mindful eating and that snacking should not replace balanced meals. “Mindfulness is not about defining snacks and foods as good or bad. It’s thinking about snacking in the context of the daily diet, fitting snacking into the overall diet and maintaining a good balance of nutrients.” According to the company, SnackFutures’ mission is aligned with Mondelēz International’s purpose of empowering people to snack right by offering the right snack, at the right time, in the right way.

Through its innovation and venture hub SnackFutures, Mondelēz is pairing startups with experts to help cultivate innovation in this space. “It’s critical that Mondelēz and other big companies interact with entrepreneurs to keep learning and get stronger together.”

SnackFutures is identifying delicious, nutritious, and environmentally sustainable ingredients that would otherwise be passed off as waste and are creating new brands with them. As part of this mission, Mondelēz hosted a Seeds & Chips startup competition, collecting hundreds of submissions from across the globe. One winner, Denmark-based Kaffe Bueno, upcycles spent coffee grounds into nutritious ingredients used in foods and wellness products. The other winner, IN-Code Technologies, is developing edible, in-product traceability markers designed to improve food safety and increase consumer trust in the food supply…Read more…