Nestlé USA has revealed a partnership with three start-ups which, it says, “represent the future of food” as part of the Terra Food & Agriculture Accelerator founded by RocketSpace and Rabobank.
The world’s largest food company is working with: Here, a manufacturer of cold-pressed juices, dips, spreads and salad dressings; Jackson’s Honest, which makes tortilla chips and potato crisps; and Miyoko’s, which makes cheese and butter from plants.
Nestlé said each of the brands is creating on-trend foods focused on plant-based nutrition, simple labels and fresh ingredients.
The Terra scheme was launched last year and sees around 20 start-ups supported over the duration of two six-month programmes. Nestlé hopes the initiative will provide fresh thinking from outside the company to keep it at the
forefront of the rapidly-changing food market.
Ashlee Adams, Nestlé head of open innovation, said: “These companies represent the future of food. Our open innovation efforts are focused on meeting companies where they are in their stage of growth and designing win-win partnerships that accelerate that growth.
“We look forward to working with these companies to share learnings, develop new capabilities and create something better together as we bring people more options in categories that are in high demand – healthy snacking and plant-based foods.”
Nestlé said its innovation strategy focuses on reinvigorating its base brands, using new internal incubation models to launch products quickly, and leveraging strategic partnerships with emerging growth brands – like those in the Terra programme.
Nestlé has come under increasing pressure from activist investor Third Point to overhaul its business and quickly respond to shifts in consumer behaviour after it bought a 1.25% stake in the company last year.
In July, Nestlé highlighted the “swift and decisive” action it is taking to deliver results. It drew attention to the acquisition of nutritional health product supplier Atrium Innovations and investment in brands such as Freshly, Sweet Earth, Blue Bottle Coffee, Chameleon Cold-Brew and Terrafertil.