DEERFIELD, ILL. — Mondelez International, Inc. has taken a minority investment in Uplift Food, an early stage start-up focused on prebiotic functional foods. This marks Mondelez’s first venture investment as part of SnackFutures, the company’s innovation and venture hub created to unlock snacking growth opportunities. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Founded in March 2018 by Kara Landau, media dietitian representative for the Global Prebiotic Association, Uplift Food seeks to offer functional foods featuring the mood supportive benefits of prebiotic gut healthy foods. The New York-based company offers one product so far: Gut Happy Vanilla Daily Uplifter. The dietary supplement powder is made with pumpkin seed protein, probiotics, prebiotic fiber, mushrooms, green banana flour and sacha inchi seeds. The powder is vegan, paleo, gluten-free and dairy-free and contains 40 calories per 1-tablespoon serving. The Daily Uplifter may be added to smoothies, protein bars, oatmeal, muffins, pancakes and more, Uplift said.
The SnackFutures team will work with Uplift Food to make gut health more “understandable, accessible, and enjoyable” through new forms and flavors, Mondelez said. In addition to the financial investment, SnackFutures also will provide support in areas including marketing, distribution, R.&D. and sourcing.
“Partnering with SnackFutures will undeniably strengthen Uplift Food’s capacity to live our mission of seeing everyone benefit from the consumption of gut healthy foods,” Ms. Landau said. “The SnackFutures team provides the industry experience needed to make our dream a reality, and the continued support they show us to hold onto our nutritional and ingredient integrity allows us to remain true to our core values and grow.”
Mondelez launched SnackFutures in November 2018 with a focus in three areas — the creation of new brands and businesses, reinvention of some of the company’s smaller brands, and the funding of start-up entrepreneurs. Functional snacking is a strategic area for SnackFutures, Mondelez said, and Uplift Food offers functional food sklutions for consumers looking for snacks with benefits.
“As the global snacking leader, we’re on a clear mission to lead the future of snacking by providing the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way,” said Tim Cofer, executive vice-president and chief growth officer of Mondelez International. “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.”