Mondelēz makes minority investment in Uplift Food to deliver 'snackable' gut health products
Launched last year, Snack Futures is designed to drive company growth and innovation in three ways: invention of new brands and businesses; reinvention of small-scale brands with large-scale potential, and venture investments with start-up entrepreneurs.
Kara Landau, a dietitian and founder of Uplift Food, founded the prebiotic supplement and functional foods company in February 2018.
Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA last year, Landau observed a gap in the market of gut healthy food: “There is this tendency to sprinkle one functional ingredient [for example a probiotic strain] into an otherwise not particularly healthy product rather than asking, what are the base ingredients in my formulation and do they support gut health and overall health?”
Uplift Food's core product is its 'Daily Uplifter' prebiotic fiber mix -- a blend of sprouted fermented pea protein, sacha inchi, mesquite powder, green banana flour (a prebiotic fiber high in resistant starch, which is not digested in the small intestine); Jerusalem artichoke (a source of the prebiotic fiber inulin); five well-documented probiotic strains; and seaweed-based mineral complex Aquamin -- that can be used in smoothies to baking recipes, claims the startup.
Speaking on a panel at The Natural Products Expo West Show alongside founder and managing director of CAVU Venture Partners Rohan Oza and Brigette Wolf, the global head of Snack Futures Innovation at Mondelēz, Landau shared that her path to market was different than most. As a dietitian, Landau pursued the medical setting with a community of doctors recommending the product to his or her patients.
Uplift Food also sells Daily Uplifter direct-to-consumer on its company website for $34.95 per 6.75-ounce bag along with a variety of educational materials including the 'Good Mood Food Guide', recipes, and prebiotic manual.
Partnering with the Snack Futures team will allow the brand to grow into more snacking sub categories and unlock its large-scale potential, making gut health more understandable for consumers, said Mondelēz.
Beyond the financial investment, Snack Futures will also provide strategic support in areas like marketing, distribution, R&D and sourcing.
“Together with Uplift Food, we have a unique opportunity to disrupt the functional food category by delivering ‘snackable’ products focusing on gut health – something that does not exist today,” said Tim Cofer, Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer of Mondelēz International.