CHICAGO — Mondelez International Inc. on Nov. 10 announced a seed investment in Torr FoodTech, an early stage company based in Israel that has developed proprietary technology Mondelez said “brings real, simple ingredients together to offer multi-textural, sensorial experiences.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Mondelez said it made the investment through SnackFutures, an innovation hub launched two years ago. At the time, Mondelez said SnackFutures would focus on three areas — the creation of new brands and businesses, reinvention of some of the company’s smaller brands, and the funding of startup entrepreneurs.
Mondelez is investing in Torr alongside The Kitchen Hub, a foodtech incubator associated with the Strauss Group, a global food and beverage company based in Petah Tikvah, Israel.
“Our investment in Torr validates Mondelez International’s venture approach that began almost two years ago with the launch of our SnackFutures model,” said Rob Hargrove, executive vice president of research, development and quality for Mondelez International. “Ventures and partnerships with new, innovative organizations enable us to secure future growth, and we will continue to expand our SnackFutures approach into new markets in the future.”
Torr was founded by food scientists and culinary experts Gil De Picciotto and Yoel Benesh, and Roy Naaman, who is the company’s chief executive officer and is a former Mondelez executive.
Before joining Torr earlier this year, Mr. Naaman was vice president of growth markets and corporate development for SodaStream International Ltd., acquired by PepsiCo, Inc. in 2018. Prior to joining SodaStream, Mr. Naaman was managing director for Western Africa at Mondelez and managing director of Cadbury Nigeria, beginning in November 2014.
“Through The Kitchen’s & SnackFutures’ investment, we have the opportunity to accelerate our technology platform and expand its application,” Mr. Naaman said. “We are committed to develop innovative products that are based on simple and healthy ingredients you can see and taste for consumers around the world.”
The SnackFutures investment in Torr emanated from an April 2019 partnership with The Kitchen, which was established in 2015 as part of the incubators program of Israel Innovation Authority. The Kitchen is addressing global food challenges by investing in cutting-edge technology startups focused on areas ranging from supply chain technologies to smart packaging and sensors for food safety and quality.
“The Israeli FoodTech sector is one of the most dynamic and exciting innovation ecosystems in the world,” said Jonathan Berger, CEO of The Kitchen. “Through our ongoing collaboration with SnackFutures and Mondelez International, we are able to provide unparalleled access and visibility into one of the world’s leading food tech ecosystems.”