Campbell’s Soup Launches $125M Food Focused VC Fund
February 18, 2016
Following in the footstep of other giant U.S. food companies including General Mills, Pepsi, and Coca-Cola, Campbell’s Soup announced it is launching a $125 million venture capital fund to finance innovative startups that are disrupting the food sector, according to the Wall Street Journal. As consumers continue to demand healthier, more traceable, value added foods, some of the largest, most entrenched food companies have been finding it difficult to respond quickly enough. However, Campbell’s Soup is looking to capitalize on these trends through the formation of Acre Venture Partners.
Unlike the venture capital division at General Mills' 301 Inc., which is managed internally, Acre Ventures Parners will remain independent of Campbell Soup and will be managed by general partner, Acre Ventures GP, LLP, with Jeff Dunn, president of Campbell Fresh as the Campbell representative on the fund’s investment committee, reports The Street.
Campbell’s has made some recent strategic moves in an attempt to diversify and broaden its consumer appeal, paying $1.55 billion for Bolthouse Farms natural fruit juice business, acquiring Garden Fresh Gourmet for $231 million, making an undisclosed investment in the startup, Juicero Inc., and announcing last June that it was removing all artificial coloring and flavoring from its North American product line by the end of FY 2018. However, Campbell’s CEO, Denise Morrison, says that more is called for, stating, “We believe that defining the future of real food requires new approaches, new business models, smart external development and an ecosystem of innovative partners,” during a presentation at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference on February 17, reports Fortune.
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