Kraft Heinz Co (NASDAQ:KHC) announced the launch Friday of Evolv Ventures, a $100 million venture fund focused on concepts that are shaking up the food industry, such as supply chain technology and e-commerce.
The maker of Philadelphia cream cheese, ketchup and roasted peanuts said it hired Bill Pescatello, a founding member of Peacock Equity, an investment group put together by NBCUniversal and GE Capital to lead the Chicago-based fund.
“New technological innovations in the food industry create endless new opportunities to strengthen business models,” Kraft Heinz CEO Bernardo Hees said in a statement. “Through Evolv Ventures, we will work with tomorrow’s most innovative founders and companies in the space and use the full resources of Kraft Heinz to help them succeed.”
While Kraft Heinz has a long history of developing iconic brands including Philadelphia, Heinz and Oscar Mayer, Evolv will accelerate Heinz’s exposure to fast-growing food startups.
“At Evolv Ventures, we will move beyond brands to have a committed first look at our industry’s most promising and disruptive tech-enabled companies,” said Pescatello in a statement.
Heinz is not the first food company to enter this investment space. In 2016, Kellogg Company (NYSE:K) invested $100 million in a venture fund, while General Mills Inc (NYSE: GIS) has used its fund to invest in companies such as Kite Hill and Beyond Meat, according to Bloomberg.
Shares of Kraft Heinz were trading flat at $55.60.
Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]