Accelerating the growth of the food industry: 5 reasons you should be collaborating with corporates

In our blog post last week we delved into why forging collaborations between startups and corporates can be a win-win for both sides. In todays post we offer some examples of some of the most disruptive brands in the food sector forming strong partnerships with larger companies and why we should be following their lead.


Why should I be collaborating with corporations?

As covid19 attacks every facet of the food industry, startups have done what they do best amid a crisis: they have adapted. Their endurance and flexibility amid a pandemic is one to learn from, but the benefits of such collaborations aren’t one-sided as startups gain access to a number of benefits: 

Access to new markets

Partnering with bigger and more recognised brands can help catapulte younger companies into a world of new markets and success, which can take up to years to reach. Collaborating with international brands is a sure-fire way to understand markets and consumers, as well as gain direct access to new sales platforms.

Mondelēz International is one of the best-known Open Innovation companies in food and business, and is a model example when it comes to developing collaborations between startups and corps. Snack Futures is one of the main global investment and innovation hubs where startups from all over the world participate and have the opportunity to work with an internationally renowned brand. 

Access to new channels

Large players are one of the strongest allies startups can have, whether trying to enter new channels or push growth on a budget, the opportunities available are unprecedented. 

If you need convincing just look at the Future Brands platform launched by Sainsburys back in June 2018. A platform that until now has introduced more than 1,700 product lines and 146 new “Future Brands”. These shiny new product channels offer startups a lifeline with the added bonus of increased visibility, both off and online. During covid19 startups, especially those without large amounts of capital, are especially vulnerable and as they grabble for new channels, corporations provide an opportunity to present product offerings without the need to make large logistical investments.

Access to industrial knowledge

Through the establishments of these collaborations, startups can finally gain access to extensive industrial knowledge, thus accelerating their development and adaptation of new products and services.

A prime example is that of the collaboration between YFood and Fonterra, in which the food tech startup gained access to expertise in ingredients, intellectual property and patents, and was thus able to develop its products more suitably to the market.

“This strategic partnership enables us to use Fonterra’s knowledge to continuously improve our existing products in terms of taste, nutritional value and added benefits like we have done in the past,” reported YFood co-founder Noël Bollmann in a statement to Reuters.

Access to product & service production scalability 

Startups have always offered the most disruptive technologies when it comes to embracing new innovations during a crisis; the exact technologies currently needed to transform our food system for the better. The only thing they lack is the resources needed for product scalability to gain a competitive upper hand in the globalized market.

The investment made for Israeli startup Yofix by two large dairy producers, the Müller group through Müller Ventures, and Bel Group, offers the startup the lifeline needed to scale their product to industrial levels while also promising cost reduction. In the meat space, large producers such as Cargil have invested in the development of Aleph Farms alternative protein. With its vast knowledge in the sector and economic possibilities, the startup will be able to offer its product to consumers at a more competitive price.

Access to consumers

The access to new consumer branches of an already established brand is a no brainer when it comes to the advantages of collaborating with a larger company. Thanks to new consumer streams startups can focus on implementing more innovative offerings. Keeping in mind that the young company must always keep in line with the philosophy of their corporative partner, thanks to consumer loyalties its a sure-fire way to reach large volumes of consumers faster.

Danone Manifesto Ventures is a good example which has just invested in two startups. Aligned with Danone’s new strategy to deliver more healthy and sustainable products to their consumers, both startups will gain exclusive access to consumers from across the globe. 

Want to learn more about how these collaborations can benefit YOU? Sign up to our free webinar this Thursday 21st “Accelerating Food Industry Growth: The power of Open Innovation” organized by our partners at Eatable Adventures. Don’t miss out on hearing from big names Mondelēz International and Sainsbury´s as they offer insights into the keys to their collaboration efforts with startups and how both parties are benefiting.

Sign up here!

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