LONDON (Reuters) - Multinational packaged food and drink makers have been pouring millions of dollars into venture capital funds to invest in start-up companies offering healthier or more innovative products.
The strategy is becoming an increasingly common tool as large companies struggle to develop breakthrough products on their own, and has made it easier for entrepreneurs with good ideas to find funding.
Here are some of the corporate venture capital funds set up over the past 18 months, and their investments.
Set up by Tyson Foods (TSN.N) in December 2016 with $150 million. Its first investment was in Beyond Meat, a maker of plant-based burgers and meatballs.
Set up by Hain Celestial (HAIN.O) in November 2016. Its investments include BluePrint cold-pressed juice, DeBoles gluten-free pasta and Yves Veggie Cuisine foods.
Launched in June 2016 by Danone (DANO.PA). Its investments include Michel et Augustin cookies, salad vending machine company Farmer’s Fridge, and AccelFoods, an investment firm with stakes in food start-ups including ones that make mushroom coffee and cricket protein bars.
Launched by Kellogg (K.N) in June 2016 with $100 million. Its only announced investment so far is Kuli Kuli, which makes snack bars and smoothie powders from the moringa plant.
Pernod Ricard (PERP.PA) announced the new unit in May 2016 and has invested in Smooth Ambler bourbon.
Set up by Campbell Soup (CPB.N) in February 2016 with $125 million. Investments include data platform Farmers Business Network, at-home juice machine Juicero, and Spoiler Alert, a technology platform aimed at building a secondary market for unsold and surplus food.
Launched in October 2015 by General Mills (GIS.N). It has invested in eight companies including Purely Elizabeth organic granola, kale chip maker Rhythm Superfoods and Good Culture cottage cheese.
Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Pravin Char