The Kellogg Company is introducing a new business initiative called Eighteen94 Capital, which will establish a fund to invest in food and agricultural tech startups.
One of the 10 largest companies in the agriculture and food production industry, Kellogg wants to carve out a new path in the growing tech community. The venture wing of the company is named after the year the brother duo, W.K. Kellogg and Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, first launched the original company. The primary aim of the new branch is to help the development, manufacturing and retail of food products, while also exploring potential areas where technology and food can intersect fruitfully.
“We’ll have a big focus on food without a doubt, but we remain open to technology that helps us reach the consumer or retail partners. We want to win where the shopper shops, which sounds like an obvious thing, but there are a lot of ways to achieve that,” Vice Chairman of Kellogg Company Gary Pilnick explains.
One of the ways will be exploring new ideas and avenues by thinking outside of the (cereal) box.
According to TechCrunch, there are a number of venture funds specializing in food-related deals “and consumer packaged goods giants who already invest in venture deals regularly include General Mills via its 301 INC fund, and the Campbell Soup Co., the sole limited partner in Acre Venture Partners.”
“The rate of innovation across our industry has picked up dramatically, things are changing quickly, and investing is a great way to get a sense of what’s going to be important in the future,” Eighteen94 Managing Director Simon Burton said.
The market for the food industry seems to be strong enough to grow. Global food retail sales are roughly $4 trillion annually. “The top 15 global supermarket companies account for more than 30 percent of world supermarket sales,” the United States Department of Agriculture reports.
“With improved technologies and economies of size,” the biggest retailers “enjoy operating cost advantages over smaller local retailers,” the USDA’s website reads.
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