CAMDEN, N.J. — Campbell Soup Co. is partnering with Foodworks Brooklyn, a kitchen incubator, to mentor early-stage food entrepreneurs. The mentorship program offers Foodworks members an ongoing opportunity to tap into the company’s expertise on branding, marketing, product development and packaging.
|Emily Waldorf, vice-president of corporate strategy at Campbell Soup|
“The mentorship is two-fold; it helps Campbell employees think differently and challenge the conventional way we go to market, and it gives Foodworks members a chance to gain insights from Campbell experts on business challenges,” said Emily Waldorf, vice-president of corporate strategy at Campbell Soup Co. “It is a great learning for both sides leveraging the best of big and small.”
As part of the partnership, Campbell Soup launched the Real Food Innovation Challenge earlier in July to identify and award funding to innovative concepts. The judging panel included Carlos Abrams-Rivera, president of Pepperidge Farm; Bethmara Kessler, senior vice-president of Campbell Soup’s shared services organization; Mike Paul, vice-president of marketing and innovation at Campbell Soup; Susan Westmoreland, food director of Good Housekeeping; and Maxine Builder, associate editor of Extra Crispy.
Winners were selected based on four criteria, including:
- Did the product or concept use recognizable and desirable ingredients?
- Did the entrepreneurs outline a sound growth plan with understanding of the market and consumer dynamics?
- Did the product taste good and meet a consumer need in a compelling way?
- Did the entrepreneurs present the concept in a clear, concise and engaging manner?
Selected as the winning concept and awarded a $10,000 credit toward its Foodworks membership was Red Velvet NYC, a gourmet do-it-yourself baking kit featuring pre-measured ingredients with detailed recipe cards.
Runners-up were awarded $5,000 and included Watermelon Road, a brand of fruit and vegetable jerky snacks, and Better Almond Butter, an organic sprouted almond spread featuring Marcona almonds from Spain. Other participating concepts included Keepers, a sparkling citrus-infused coffee beverage; Zesty Z, a Mediterranean za’atar spread and condiment; and BoonBox, a range of ready-to-eat meals combining meat jerky, seasoned vegetables and dried fruit.“We believe that supporting the next wave of food entrepreneurs is critical to cultivate the future of real food,” Ms. Waldorf said. “Working with Foodworks is an opportunity for Campbell to empower industry disruptors, have a window into entrepreneurs and their thinking, and apply it to the way we approach innovation.”