Culinology - June 2019 - 13

Standing out to investors
Increasingly, the industry's largest companies are launching venture funds, accelerators or incubators in pursuit of innovation.
This past March, Starbucks Corp., Seattle,
announced a $100 million investment in a
venture capital fund focused on food and retail technology, and Mars, Inc., McLean, Va.,
unveiled a new business accelerator to nurture "the next generation of food innovators."
Product categories of interest to the company
include flavors, plant-based foods, convenient
meal solutions, "responsible food" and "creating with care."
"Big food's inability to quickly innovate creates continued opportunity for smaller, more
nimble brands to disrupt and innovate within
the market," said Jon Sebastiani, founder and
chief executive officer of Sonoma Brands,
Sonoma, Calif. "While the landscape has
certainly become crowded with these smaller
brands, the truly innovative and differentiated
brands will continue to excel and garner at-

tention from strategics, propelling
M&A activity."
Mr. Sebastiani
founded specialty meat
snack company Krave Pure
Foods in 2009. The brand was acquired by
The Hershey Co. in 2015. A year later, Mr.
Sebastiani established Sonoma Brands,
which is described as a "specialist growth
equity firm exclusively dedicated to disruptive,
high-growth consumer brands."
"When looking for brands to add to our
portfolio, we seek disruptive brands who are
true category leaders or category builders
within the better-for-you space," he said. "We
also seek to work with extraordinary founders
and talented leadership who are passionate
and have an authentic story to tell...
"The brand needs to stand out in the crowd
and be a leader and innovator within its given
space. The product must also provide the
consumer with something new or different

Hu Products, a
snack company, has
received investment
from SnackFutures,
an investment hub
within Mondelez
International.

JUNE 2019 | Culinology |

13



Culinology - June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Culinology - June 2019

Culinology - June 2019
TABLE of contents
PRESIDENT’S letter - Keep sharpening your skills
EMERGING trends - Mashup beverage trends on the rise
Feel-good foods trending in the functional cat
BUSINESS trends - Investing in innovation
INGREDIENT trends - Alternative fats
MEMBER profile - The emperor has more cloves
EXPERT voices - Menu development at Shake Shack
INDUSTRY NEWS - RCA2019 The three most exciting days in food
RCA in Louisville
RCA awards 2019
Highlights from RCA Culinology Expo
PETITS fours - Gut feelings flourishing in new product development
Innovators capitalizing on consumer interest in keto
NEWS bites
Culinology - June 2019 - Culinology - June 2019
Culinology - June 2019 - Culinology - June 2019
Culinology - June 2019 - 2
Culinology - June 2019 - TABLE of contents
Culinology - June 2019 - PRESIDENT’S letter - Keep sharpening your skills
Culinology - June 2019 - 5
Culinology - June 2019 - EMERGING trends - Mashup beverage trends on the rise
Culinology - June 2019 - 7
Culinology - June 2019 - Feel-good foods trending in the functional cat
Culinology - June 2019 - 9
Culinology - June 2019 - 10
Culinology - June 2019 - 11
Culinology - June 2019 - BUSINESS trends - Investing in innovation
Culinology - June 2019 - 13
Culinology - June 2019 - 14
Culinology - June 2019 - 15
Culinology - June 2019 - 16
Culinology - June 2019 - 17
Culinology - June 2019 - INGREDIENT trends - Alternative fats
Culinology - June 2019 - 19
Culinology - June 2019 - 20
Culinology - June 2019 - 21
Culinology - June 2019 - 22
Culinology - June 2019 - 23
Culinology - June 2019 - MEMBER profile - The emperor has more cloves
Culinology - June 2019 - 25
Culinology - June 2019 - 26
Culinology - June 2019 - 27
Culinology - June 2019 - 28
Culinology - June 2019 - 29
Culinology - June 2019 - 30
Culinology - June 2019 - EXPERT voices - Menu development at Shake Shack
Culinology - June 2019 - 32
Culinology - June 2019 - 33
Culinology - June 2019 - 34
Culinology - June 2019 - 35
Culinology - June 2019 - INDUSTRY NEWS - RCA2019 The three most exciting days in food
Culinology - June 2019 - 37
Culinology - June 2019 - RCA in Louisville
Culinology - June 2019 - 39
Culinology - June 2019 - RCA awards 2019
Culinology - June 2019 - 41
Culinology - June 2019 - 42
Culinology - June 2019 - PETITS fours - Gut feelings flourishing in new product development
Culinology - June 2019 - 44
Culinology - June 2019 - 45
Culinology - June 2019 - Innovators capitalizing on consumer interest in keto
Culinology - June 2019 - 47
Culinology - June 2019 - NEWS bites
Culinology - June 2019 - 49
Culinology - June 2019 - 50
Culinology - June 2019 - 51
Culinology - June 2019 - 52
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