Female-owned Poppilu, an antioxidant lemonade boosted by a Midwest superfruit, has been selected for Kraft Heinz’s inaugural Springboard Incubator Program. Entrepreneur and 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 U.S. 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.
Kahn is building a business based on her pregnancy craving for a healthy citrus beverage. Before becoming a mompreneur, 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 startup 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,” Kahn said. “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.”
The Springboard program was created to help nurture and develop the next generation of food and 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 and Organic, Specialty and Craft, Health and 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.”
The four other selected startups include:
Ayoba-Yo introduces a high quality, nutritious, and delicious 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 with no shortage of flavor. www.ayoba-yo.com
Cleveland Kraut is perfectly positioned to grow within the fermented foods market. A bold brand, grounded in and proud of its Cleveland heritage, dedicated to serving the great tasting 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. www.clevelandkraut.com
Kumana, best known for its signature Venezuelan-inspired Avocado Sauce, is a Los Angeles-based company creating original sauces representing the diverse and delicious 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. www.kumanafoods.com
Quevos believes the days of sinful snacking are over-- it’s time to munch on snacks made from real food that taste great and are even greater for you. 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 young, ambitious college students - Nick Hamburger and Zack Schreier. www.quevos.com